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the leaves of a tree, and that the colors thus ob

tained were durable. Pliny gives a description of The art of impressing in color various figures and the art as practised by the Egyptians, which bears patterns upon calico, silk, and other fabrics, is one a great resemblance to the modern method. He of great importance to the world, and forms a says, “ They take white cloths, and apply to them branch of what is the most extensive of the me- { not colors, but certain drugs, which have the power chanic arts. It was the custom formerly to print of absorbing or drinking in colors; and, in the cloths

so operated on, there is not the smallest appearance of any dyo or tincture. These cloths are then put into a caldron of some coloring matter, scalding hot, and, after having remained a time, are withdrawn all stained and painted in various colors. This is, indeed, a wonderful process, seeing that there is in the said caldron only one kind of coloring material; yet from it the cloth acquires this and that color, and the boiling liquid itself changes according to the quality and nature of the dyeabsorbing drugs which were at first laid on the white cloth. And these stains and colors, moreover, are so firmly fixed as to be incapable of being removed by washing. If the scalding liquor were composed of various tinctures and colors, it would doubtless have compounded them all in one upon

the cloth; but here one liquor gives a variety of BLOCK-PRINTING.

colors according to the drugs previously applied. upon linen fabrics; but, since the modern improve- } The colors of the cloths thus prepared are always ments in the manufacture of cotton cloths, it is now more firm and durable than if the cloths were not seldom practised. This arises not only from tho dipped into the boiling caldron." expensiveness of linen, but also from the greater The cotton chintz counterpanes of great size, facility in printing upon cotton, from the nature of called pallampoors, which have been manufactured the material; cotton possessing more affinity for { in Madras from the earliest ages, have, in like mancoloring matter than flax.

ner, peculiar dye-absorbing drugs applied to them The art is of very ancient date in India, and with the pencil, as also wax, to protect certain parts takes its English name from Calicot, a town in the of the surface from the action of the dye, and after province of Malabar, a district where it has been wards immersed in a staining liquor, which, when practised with great success from time immemorial. wax is applied, is usually the cold indigo-vat; but, Homer notices the variegated linen cloths of Sidon without the wax, is a hot liquor similar to thu as magnificent productions, and Herodotus says that Egyptian. In the cabinet of the “ Société Industhe inhabitants of Caucasus adorned their garments trielle," at Mulhouse, there are many interesting with figures of animals, by means of an infusion of specimens of this curious mode of printing, togethor


with the native implements used for applying the wax and coloring basis. In the same collection, is a sample of an ancient pallampoor, five French yards long, and two and a half broad, said to be the labor of Hindoo princesses, which must have taken a lifetime to execute. Cortez noticed in Mexico that the inhabitants wore garments ornamented with colored figures. The North American Indians have also been long acquainted with the art of applying different-colored patterns to cloth, as may be seen in the various museums in this country.

The art of calico-printing was practised in Asia Minor and the Levant several centuries before its introduction to Europe. It was not till the close of the seventeenth, or the beginning of the eighteenth century, that Augsburg became celebrated for its printed cottons and linens, and that city was long a school for the manufacturers of Alsace and Switzerland. The art was introduced into England, about the year 1676, by a Frenchman, who established works on the banks of the Thames, near Richmond. More extensive works were established soon after at Bromley Hall, in Essex.

Printed goods which, half a century ago, were sold for fifty-six cents per yard, may now be had for twelve and a half cents or less; and a cotton print, sufficient for a complete dress, may be had for one dollar or less. It is stated, as an example of the prodigious increase of calico-printing, that, in 1829, 89,862,433 yards of all descriptions of printed goods were exported from England; whereas, in 1841, there were exported of printed cottons alone, 329,240,892 yards

The object of calico-printing is to apply one or more colors to particular parts of cloth, so as to represent a distinct pattern, and the beauty of a print depends on the elegance of the pattern, and the brilliancy and contrast of the colors. The procegses employed are applicable to linen, silk, worsted, and mixed fabrics, although they are usually referred to cotton cloth, or calico.

There are various methods of calico-printing, the simplest of which is block-printing by hand, in which the pattern, or a portion thereof, is engraved in relief upon the face of a block of sycamore, holly,

tightly over a wooden drum. This, which is called the sieve, is made to float in a tub of size or thick varnish, for the purpose of giving it elasticity. The sieve is covered with the coloring-matter by a child, called the tearer-probably from the French tireur —who takes up with a brush a small quantity of the color from a pot, and spreads it uniformly over the surface of the sieve, and every time that the man presses his block upon the fieve, in order to charge it with color, it is the duty of the tearer to brush over the woollen surface, in order to erase the mark of the block; for, if this were not done, the block would not be equally charged with color.

The calico having been prepared for printing by singeing, bleaching, and calendering (see BLEACHING], a number of pieces are stitched end to end, and lapped round a roller, or arranged in folds in the printing-shop, which is a well-lighted apartment, the air of which is kept warm, in order to dry the colors soon after they are applied, for which purpose the cloth is passed over hanging rollers, so as to expose a large surface. The printing-table is about six feet long, and is made of mahogany, marble, or flagstone, or any material capable of forming a flat, hard surface. This table is covered with a blanket, upon which the calico is spread, and the block being charged with color as above described, the man applies it to the cloth in the exact spot required, and, in some cases, strikes it on the back with a wooden mallet, in order to transfer the impression fully. Thus, by repeated applications of the block, a pattern is produced in one color. Care is required to place the block in the exact spot, so

as to make one impression exactly join or fit in with } the previous impression; and, for this purpose, the

block is furnished with small pins at the corners, which make holes in the cloth, and serve as a guide to the printer. If the pattern contain three or more colors, there must be as many blocks, all of equal size, the raised portions in one, which take up color, corresponding with depressed portions in the others which do not take up color. In order therefore to print a piece of cloth twenty-eight yards long, and thirty inches broad, with three blocks, each measuring nine inches by five, there must be six hundred and seventy-two applications of each.* But, if the design consist of parallel stripes of different colors, they may be applied with one block at a singlo application on the same part of the cloth, by arranging the colors in small tin troughs, and transferring a portion from them to the sieve by means of a small wire brush, and the color is then distributed evenly in stripes over the surface by a roller covered with

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* Our engraving of block-printing shows the general arrangements of the printing-room in printing by hand. The printers are working in the discharge style (which will be noticed further on): the acid used to discharge the color is supplied to the sieve by means of an inverted bottle, as shown in the cut, so that the services of the tearer are not required. (See cut, p. 5.)

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