A Treatise on Calico Printing, Of Squaring Blocks

A Treatise on Calico Printing, VOL. I-II
Printed for C. O'Brien, Bookseller, Islington, and fold by Bew, Paternoster-row: Richardson, Royal Exchange: Murray, Fleet-Street: And the Booksellers of Manchester, Glasgow, Dublin, &c.
In making a square (as it is always called) though the four sides are seldom equal, if a print is intended to be a 5 over on 5-4th cloth, or about 7 3-8ths wide, it should not be above nine inches long, it being handier for working, and not so apt to warp, as if longer in proportion to that width, and for very close fine prints that are difficult to join, the smaller they are the better, as they have less cutting, are easier to work, the warping is not of such consequence, and the grounds are more likely to be hit in, especially the grass grounds, and the best general size for them is about 8 by 6 and a quarter, or 6 and a half at the utmost, or what is called a six over, for to make it any thing wider under 7 3-8ths, so much cutting would be thrown away; as it would still be six over, and the worse for it, it thea having to work a narrow edging on the offside, the inconvenience of which has been amply discussed.

2. For larger prints it is presumed the best general sizes are, for 4 overs about 12 by 9 and a half, for 3 overs 15 or 15 and a half by 13, but when a pattern requires a pair of prints or more, the length and width must be governed by the nature of the design; if not drawn to any particular size, unless the pattern would not be injured by altering it.

Note, In speaking here of 5 overs and 6 overs it must be understood (as before remarked) as referring to ell-wide cloths; though after all, (as likewise remarked) the best rule to abide by, is knowing what cloth is most likely to be made use of for the respective patterns that are determined on. The sizes however as above will nearly suit narrows, with one more over.

This circumstance of determining on the sizes of prints, is of consequence from other motives; for to have a print unnecessarily small (which is the case if the work be light and easy to join) is protracting the working of it, and encreasing the expence attending its working, if on account of its smallness, the Printer requires a proportionable price; besides, such a print will be as much worn in doing a hundred pieces as, if made a little larger, it would be in doing twenty or thirty more; which altogether is of some importance, and must considerably outweigh the circumstance of its having cost less for cutting, if that had been an inducement to have had it cut so small.

It is however al necessary to consider what it may have to do in respect to grounding, particularly grassy work; hence if the size is such that the grounds cannot he worked whole, the print in this case had better have been smaller, and this circumstance is determinable by the ease or difficulty of the grounding, for if the grounds are to fall into small objects dr fine lines, the print should be small, or if it be larger the  grounds must work in halves, unless there is good latitude for the grounds to sall, and then they may work whole with such a print.

3. In squaring a block the most expeditious and certain method, as well as of making the divisions, (if they are required) is to have a plate of copper or pewter, set out with a number of squares within each other, of the different sizes above - mentioned for 6-overs, 5-overs, and 4-overs, as being most generally in use; and set into as many divisions as you chuse, and at the  corners of each square, and wherever the division's are marked, let there be holes pierced through, as fine and as strait as possible; you have then only to lay your plate on a block or paper, and with a fine needle prick through the holes where necessary, and then rule as usual from the pricked holes left on.

4. Another method is, by having a piece o£ thin wood or metal, made angular as fig. 74, which laying on a block or paper, rule two lines fig. 75, and then with your companies or dividers (beam compasses fig. 76 are best) extended to she length of your print, fix one point at A, and make with the other a hole or curve at B, then put one point on the line as far distant from A, as, near as you can judge, what the width of your print is, and strike a curve as as D, this done, rule a line from the bottom of the curve to B, fig. 77, then move your dividers to the width of your print, put one point at A, and strike a curve as at F, and with the point at B, make another curve, intersecting that at D; lastly, rule from the intersection to F, fig. 78, and you have your square.

But observe, that the truth of your squari ia this manner, depends on the just form of the two sides, from which you first rule, and of the instrument which you use.

This instrument, or the copper or pewter plate first spoken of, if it be cut perfectly on the square, will serve to try whether pitches stand square or not, by laying it to one of the ends and one of the sides at the same time, and repeating the trial at the other end and side.

5. If you square your block in the usual way, and have occasion to make divisions, divide into halves first; then divide those halves; then divide those quarters, and so on; instead of taking a certain part, and running the dividers along the line, because of the great probability that the same number of divisions run along in the same manner, will not form the same length exactly again.

6. In squaring a block for a stripe pattern, if it be on a joined face, take care that the joint is parallel to the side of the square, and (if it can be so in the most vacant place: to get it parallel to the square line, you have only to put one point of your compasses on the joint at one end of the block, and with the other make a hole or curve near the edge of the block, from which you mean to raise your square, repeat the same at the other end, and from. the two pricked holes or curves, rule the line which is to be that from, which you raise the square. This observation should be attended to in sprig patterns, or anyt other where the joint can be possibly avoided.

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