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PHILADELPHIA, JULY, 1852.
EVERYDAY ACTUALITIES. —NO. II.
ILLUSTRATED WITH PEN AND GRAVER.
BT C. T. DINCKLET.
upon linen fabries; but, sinee the modern improvements in the manufaeture of eotton eloths, it is now seldom praetised. This arises not only from the expensiveness of linen, but also from the greater faeility in printing upon eotton, from the nature of the material; eotton possessing more affinity for eoloring matter than flax.
The art is of very aneient date in India, and takes its English name from Calieot, n town in the provinee of Malahar, a distriet where it has been praetised with great sueeess from time immemorial. Homer notiees the variegated linen eloths of Sidon as magnifieent produetions, and Herodotus says that the inhahitants of Caueasus adorned their garments with figures of animals, by means of an infusion of
the leaves of a tree, and that the eolors thus obtained were durable. Pliny gives a deseription of the art as praetised by the Egyptians, whieh bears a great resemblanee to the modern methed. Ho says, " They take white eloths, and apply to them not eolors, but eertain drugs, whieh have the, power of absorhing or drinking in eolors; and, in the eloths so operated on, there is not the smallest appearanee of any dye or tineture. These eloths are then put into a ealdron of some eoloring matter, sealding het, and, after having remained a time, are withdrawn all stained and painted in various eolors. This is, indeed, a wonderful proeess, seeing that there is in the said ealdron only one kind of eoloring material; yet from it the eloth aequires this and that eolor, and the boiling liquid itself ehanges aeeording to the quality and nature of the dyeabsorhing drugs whieh were at first laid on the white eloth. And these stains and eolors, moreover, are so firmly fixed as to be ineapable of being removed by washing. If the sealding liquor were eomposed of various tinetures and eolors, it would doubtless have eompounded them all in one upon the eloth j but here one liquor gives a variety of eolors aeeording to the drugs previously applied. The eolors of the eloths thus prepared are always more firm and durable than if the eloths were not dipped into the boiling ealdron."
The eotton ehintz eounterpanes of great size, ealled pallampoora, whieh have been manufaetured in Madras from the earliest ages, have, in like manner, peeuliar dye-absorhing drugs applied to them with the peneil, as also wax, to proteet eertain parts of the surfaee from the aetion of the dye, and after wards immersed in a staining liquor, whieh, when wax is applied, is usually the eold indigo-vat; but, witheut the wax, is a het liquor similar to the Egyptian. In the eahinet of the "Soeift f Indnttrielle" at Mulheuse, thero aro many interesting speeimens of this eurious mode of printing, together with the native implements used for applying the wax and eoloring hasis. In the same eolleetion, is a samplo of an aneient pallampoor, five Freneh yards long, and two and a half broad, said to bo the labor of ITindoo prineesses, whieh must have taken a lifetime to exeeute. Cortei notieed in Mexieo that the inhahitants wore garments ornamented with eolored figures. The North Ameriean Indians have also been long aequainted with the art of applying different-eolored patterns to eloth, as may be seen in the various museums in this eountry.
The art of ealieo-printing was praetised in Asia Minor and the Levant several eenturies before its introduetion to Europe. It was not till the elose of the seventeenth, or the beginning of the eighteenth eentury, that Augshurg beeame eelebrated for its printed eottons and linens, and that eity was long a seheol for the manufaeturers of Alsaee and Switzerland. The art was introdueed into England, about the year 1676, by a Frenehman, whe established works on the hanks of the Thames, near Riehmond. More extensive works were established soon after at Bromley Hall, in Essex.
Printed goods whieh, half a eentury ago, were sold for fifty-six eents per yard, may now be had for twelve and a half eents or less; and a eotton print, suffieient for a eomplete dress, may be had for one dollar or less. It is stated, as an example of the prodigious inerease of ealieo-printing, that, in 1829, 89,862,433 yards of all deseriptions of printed goods were exported from England; whereas, in 1841, there were exported of printed eottons alone, 329,240,892 yards.
The objeet of ealieo-printing is to npply one or more eolors to partieular parts of eloth, so as to represent a distinet pattern, and the beauty of a print depends on the eleganee of the pattern, and the brillianey and eontrast of the eolors. The proeesses employed are applieable to linen, silk, worsted, and mixed fabries , altheugh they are usually referred to eotton eloth, or ealieo.
There are various metheds of ealieo-printing, the simplest of whieh is bloek-printing by hand, in whieh the pattern, or a portion thereof, is engraved in relief upon the faee of a -bloek of syeamore, helly,
i tightly over a wooden drum. This, whieh is ealled 5 the sieve, is made to float in a tub of size or thiek
> varnish, for the purpose of giving it elastieity. The j sieve is eovered with the eoloring-matter by a ehild, j ealled the fearer—prohably from the Freneh tirtur
> —whe takes up with a brush a small quantity of the
> eolor from a pot, and spreads it uniformly over the 5 surfaee of the sieve, and every time that the man 5 presses his bloek upon the Vieve, in order to eharge
> it with eolor, it is the duty of the tearer to brush 5 over the woollen surfaee, in order to erase the mark 5 of the bloek; for, if this were not done, the bloek \ would not be equally eharged with eolor.
s The ealieo having been prepared for printing by 5 singeing, bleaehing, and ealendering [see BLEACns Inn], a number of pieees aro stitehed end to end, j and lapped round a roller, or arranged in folds in j: the printing-shep, whieh is a well-lighted apart; ment, the air of whieh is kept warm, in order to dry j: the eolors soon after they are applied, for whieh ; purpose the eloth is passed over hanging rollers, so ; as to expose a large surfaee. The printing-table ia \ about six feet long, and is mado of mahegany, marble, or flagstone, or any material eapable of forming ; a flat, hard surfaee. This table is eovered with a | blanket, upon whieh the ealieo is spread, and the j bloek being eharged with eolor as above deseribed, '. the man applies it to the eloth in the exaet spot required, and, in some eases, strikes it on the haek with a wooden mallet, in order to transfer the imj pression fully. Thus, by repeated applieations of the bloek, a pattern is produeed in one eolor. Care is required to plaee the bloek in the exaet spot, so ! as to make ono impression exaetly join or fit in with the previous impression; and, for this purpose, tho i bloek is furnished with small pins at the eorners, whieh make heles in the eloth, and servo as a guido to the printer. If the pattern eontain three or more eolors, there must be as many bloeks, all of equal size, the raised portions in one, whieh take up eolor, j eorresponding with depressed portions in the others j whieh do not take up eolor. In order therefore to i print a pieee of eloth twenty-eight yards long, and 1 thirty inehes broad, with three bloeks, eaeh measuring nine inehes by five, there must be six hundred j and seventy-two applieations of eaeh.s But, if the \ design eonsist of parallel stripes of different eolors, they may be applied with ono bloek at a single 5 applieation on the same part of the eloth, by arrangs ing the eolors in small tin troughs, and transferring \ a portion from them to the sieve by means of a small j wire brush, and the eolor is then distributed evenly \ in stripes over the surfaee by a roller eovered with
i s Our engraving of bloek-printing (diows the general
5 arrangements of tbo printing-room in printing by hand,
i The printers nre workinn in the diseharge stgle (whieh will
j be notieed further on): the arid used to diseharge the eolor
> is supplied to the sieve by means of an inverted tattle, as J sbown In the eut, so that the serviees of the tearer are not ? required. (See eut, p. 5.)