88. Printing from perforated sheets of metal, or stencilling. Very thin brass is sometimes perforated in the form of letters, usually those of a name; this is placed on any substance which it is required to mark, and a brush dipped in some paint is passed over the brass. Those parts which are cut away admit the paint. and thus a copy of the name appears on the substance below. This method, which affords rather a coarse copy, is sometimes used for paper with which rooms are covered, and more especially for the borders. If a portion be required to match an old pattern, this is, perhaps the most economical way of producing it.
89. Coloured impressions of leaves upon paper may be made by a kind of surface printing. Such leaves are chosen as have considerable inequalities: the elevated parts of these are covered, by means of an inking ball, with a mixture of some pigment ground up in linseed oil; the leaf is then placed between two sheets of paper, and being gently pressed, the impression from the elevated parts on each side appear on the corresponding sheets of paper.
90. The beautiful red cotton handkerchiefs dyed at Glasgow have their pattern given to them by a process similar to stencilling, except that instead of printing from a pattern, the reverse operation that of discharging a part of the colour from a cloth already dyed—is performed. A number of handkerchiefs are pressed with very great force between two plates of metal, which are similarly perforated with round or lozenge-shaped holes, according to the intended pattern. The upper plate of metal is surrounded by a rim, and a fluid which has the property of discharging the red dye is poured upon that plate. This liquid passes through the holes in the metal, and also through the calico; but, owing to the great pressure opposite all the parts of the plates not cut away, it does not spread itself beyond the pattern. After this, the handkerchiefs are washed, and the pattern of each is a copy of the perforations in the metal-plate used in the process.
Another mode by which a pattern is formed by discharging colour from a previously dyed cloth, is to print on it a pattern with paste; then, passing it into the dying-vat, it comes out dyed of one uniform colour But the paste has protected the fibres of the cotton from the action of the dye or mordant; and when the cloth so dyed is well washed, the paste is dissolved, and leaves uncoloured all those parts of the cloth to which it was applied.
91. This second department of printing is of more frequent application in the arts than that which has just been considered.
92. Printing from wooden blocks. A block of box wood is, in this instance, the substance out of which the pattern is formed: the design being sketched upon it, the workman cuts away with sharp tools every part except the lines to be represented in the impression. This is exactly the reverse of the process of engraving on copper, in which every line to be represented is cut away. The ink, instead of filling the cavities cut in the wood, is spread upon the surface which remains, and is thence transferred to the paper.