A Treatise on Calico Printing, Of preparing and setting Prints and Grounds to work

Or, in other Words, Making the last Trial of the joinings and fitting of Prints and Grounds.

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.


* This is a circumstance very apt to be more or less omitted, and much sometimes depend on it, both in pencilling and grounding, therefore whoever is making this trial, should always have the pattern by him, to compare with the impressions.

** That is, as required to be either true, round or hollow.

*** If cloth is calendered too wet, stov« drying will take the calendering out; and if one edge is wetter than the other, then after stove-drying, one edge must run flacker than the other, or if the calender itself is imperfect, and the cloth naturally flimsy, Printers will accordingly complain; but, such inconvenience may be partly removed, by running the pieces through a liquid of a stiffening quality.

The writer here mentions an error some Printers fall into of always looking at the backside of a piece for the colour: in some cases it is absolutely necessary, but in general it is wrong, to let it go quite through, and in some cases very much so.

**** In any case, much indeed depends on good calendering, both for the ease and conveniency of the printer, and the delivery or receiving of the colour, particularly where most requisite, that it fink not far into the cloth.
If there be pin work, examine carefully whether it be all in* and properly set, then see how the pitches answer by joining the print by the squares, and that none of them are obscured by the joinings, and see likewise, that the impression has an even face.

2. If the reds are separate, that is to say, if there be a brown red boundage for flowers, or other objects, pitch the brown red next, to see whether the stalks want lengthening, shortening or trimming; and if any other colour works with the stalk, it should be struck in at the same time, and amended or altered where necessary; then, if there be two purples, besides the black, strike in the deep one, and then the pale one; and, if there be three reds, observe the same process with them.

3. If there be grass grounds, see that none of the table-work obscure the pitches, even making an allowance for imperfect joinings; or in other words strike in whatever grounds there are, in the same progression that the printer will print them.

4. If there be three purples and three reds, see that the different shades stand distinct from [from] each other; and if there be pinning, see that it joins or touches the wood where intended, or that it stand at a proper distance. Paper being deceiving, it is best, (as said before) to keep a spare piece of cloth for such trials, or at least for the last one, when it is supposed the prints and grounds are all fit for working.

5. In order (as likewise intimated before) to render the work as neat as possible, let the pitchpins, or the tops of them, be as small as possible, so that they can but be seen plainly enough to prevent confusion or mistake.

6. As it is in general deemed best to work the pieces as given out, first entirely through with the print alone, and then with the grounds in due succession; therefore, while the print is v working, there is time to get the grounds in order against they are wanted;** and a print should be carefully locked at before it goes to work, to see that it is likely to have the grounds answer; as for instance, if there be much solid work in the print, and the cloth be soft, it will be needful to work it as narrow as possible; but if it be a light one, and has to work on hard cloth, such caution will not be accessary, neither will such caution be needful, if the print has been taken off for the grounds, by some such mode as is suggested a few leaves back, in order to. extend whatever the im pression is received on, before the blocks for the grounds were laid on it.

Note, It may be here observed, that good printing depends a great deal on the manner in which cloth (as the phrase is) is got up***; but particularly, how it is calendered; and in the case of cloth having to be grounded after it comes off the grass, too much attention cannot be be stowed on the means to render the performance easy and expeditious; in attaining which, the grand object is to get the cloth as near as possible to the state in which it was printed on the table; to which state the nearer it can be brought, it need not be laid that. the execution of the after-grounding must be proportionably accurate and easy. But,

As the common methods of stretching and rolling are far from being adequate, except perhaps, for very small grounds, a suggestion dr two may furnish means for improvement.

First, as the piece comfii through the calender, which should be in as square a direction as possible,**** or from over the rolls, if it be slowed, let it be received on a thin deal board turning on a horizontal spindle, see fig. 96, and at the corners aud middle, let points be fixed, standing rather less than half an inch out, as fig. 97, to take hold of the cloth as you lap or fold the board; and at every fold where the point comes through, make a small mark with some colour that will remain distinct from the colour with which the cloth is printed; this done, the Printer may print from it, as it is unfolded, either by hand, or turning it on pivots at the end of his table; and When it has gone through the usual processes of copper-work and fielding, let it, preparatory to its being grounded, be received on the same board (perhaps it may be needful to stretch it first,) taking care that the points fall on the cloth where the marks were made before; it being evident, that if they go through where they did before, for which the marks are a guide, and the grounds are laid in as the cloth is un folded, they cannot be a great way out of their places, even if larger grounds are made use of than in common. In some cases, if the cloth be received on a board without points, and a mark made at every fold, it may be grounded easier than in common, by taking care that the marks answer to every fold again in the same manner.

Or something similar maybe done by receiving the cloth on a roller, with marks at a proper distances, and when it comes from the grass, rolled in the same manner.

The piece might likewise be easily grounded, if stretched on a frame to keep the impressions square, or such a thing may be used in printing with marks made at certain distances, and grounded from the same frame.

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