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Re: Letterpress Printing Question

>About printing on Vellum:
>Unfortunately, I know very little about printing on vellum since
>(to my knowledge) none of my customers has ever attempted to print
>on my parchment/vellum.  The impression I have is that while it
>can be done, it is technically challenging.  A paper that discusses
> this subject appears in:
Dear Rick, I have printed several books on vellum, using handset type and my
Amos dell'Orto Albion Handpress. In General it is not advisable to use a
standard ink,
rather mix something based upon the surface and quality of the vellum, also
based upon
if one intend to print from lead type, or a woodcut. The ink requires high
of the finest quality, i mix it also with some lithographers ink, which has
to be scraped from the pot and slowly heated to be usable.
The smoother the surface of the vellum, the stiffer the ink.
As for example if you print on a calligraphers vellum, you have a surface
with a certain tooth, pumiced, as there you print on a fine scraped surface,
yiu wwill find a surface like printing on acetat.
I use Carl Wildbrett in Bobfingen by Augsburg in Germany as a supplier, his
family makes parchment some odd 150 years.
Also, printing on vellum requres that you prepare the surface to accept the
Trial and error helps, but I found a wash with vinegar helpful, or ether.
>The Paper Conservator.  vol 16, 1992.
>In it, the author mentions a book called 'The Mystique of Vellum'.
>I have yet to locate a copy of this other work, but the paper seems
>to indicate that it contains more information about printing on vellum.
>(sorry about the incomplete citations, my copy is at home)
The book pops up on the antiquarian market once in a while, you might ask
the folk s from Oak Knoll Books in Delaware to find you a copy.
Brief annotations about Printing on vellum also can be found in :
Oda Weitbrecht und Ihre Presse (in german, small volume, rare, published in
the 1930.
In the Literature on the Kelmscott and Doves Press, also Shakespeare Head press.
>That issue of the paper conservator also has an article describing the
>various types of immitation 'parchment papers'.  Care must be taken
>since some of these are created by treating the paper with sulphuric
>acid, which can make them subject to rapid degredation.
>Of course, there's a philosophical issue here, in that trying to make
>paper look/feel/behave like parchment/vellum may be like hammering a
>square peg into a round hole.

Depends, as there is a simple economical question at hands.
If you are a Handpressprinter like myself and you spend a certain amount of
time to print books on a handpress which is time consuming (I do not mean a
cylinder Proofpress
with the term handpress, the term handpress refers absolut to iron cast
and you use handset type, original Illustrations and a fine Binding, in that
case it is wortwhile to use the real vellum, but it is quite expensive.
In the case of facsimile publications, there you have a substantial
costfactor in Printing cost and binding, also distributoan and advertising,
you like to give the "feel" of the real thing, but it is simply not possible
to use vellum.
(Joh. Guttenberg himself had to take a loan to afford his vellum copies!!).
Therefore, paper or to be specific a "Fibermaterial" has been created which
provides the feel, touch and stiffnes of real vellum.
(One might have a loke at the Books of Faksimile Edition in England, which
have one of the best ""Vellum simile "" on the market, as very often a high
gloss coated paper is used and the apearance printed upon in offset.
>The first question that comes to my mind is 'What *kind* of vellum do
>you want this paper to look like?'
### Depends what you're up to - there is no general rule, especially as the
real vellum is a natural product and has slight differences from sheet to sheet.
>(ignoring, for the moment, the fact that no two people seem to agree
>on a precise definition of the word 'vellum')
One should have a look in the Ethrington Dictionary on Bookbinder's Terms
which is available on-line through Book Arts_L link.

In Greek, Latin, German, French, Italian the term used is Parchment for the
hide of small animals like sheep, goat, calf, which are soaked in lime,
scraped with a blind knife to remove the hair and roots, and tried in a
wooden frame by stretching it.
In Italian it is interesting to see that vellum is referd to as pergamena fine,
vellum is a split skin which doesn't show a surface grain on is prepared in
the finest manner for the use of scribes.
(See: Goettinger Schriftmusterbuch, Historie des Kloster's Lorch
(The City of Goettingen in Germany has an original Manuscript which is an
handbook of an scribe, describing in Detail the Manufacturing of inks and
materials like skins to write on; the Monastery of Lorch maintained a
substantial Scriptorium and therefore has Materials regarding the
manufacturing and preparing of Pergament (Parchment).

>Cheers, Rick C.
>I hope, the few lines help a bit.

L.A. Book Arts, Inc. d.b.a. The Custom Bindery
Custom Fine Binding in Traditional French and German Techniques, in Leather,
Parchment, Cloth, Paper. Custom Design for Boxes and Portfolios, Development
of Artist Book Structures and Portfolios, Restoration of Books and related
Objects from 900 B.C to contemporary Bindings, Marbled Papers, Individual
Instructions in Bookbinding.

We also import fine papers, parchments and Brasscorners and clasps for the
restoratioan of medivael  to renaissance bindings.

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