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Re: [PPLetterpress] Paper Basics

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  • Peter Fraterdeus
    Dear Kristin Please look in the archives under voodoo ;-) I m sure that you ll get some good ideas here. My advise would be to use heavy wool felts, which
    Message 1 of 2 , Feb 3, 2003
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      Dear Kristin

      Please look in the archives under 'voodoo' ;-)

      I'm sure that you'll get some good ideas here.

      My advise would be to use heavy wool felts, which are large enough to have a couple of inches margin around your stock.

      I soak the felts, and then squeeze as much water out as possible (I put a stack between 1/2 in. plywood in a large 18x24 photo tray in my Challenge cutter and use the pressure of the screw-down vise to extract the water from the felts.)

      Then, interleave your cut sheets between the felts in small groups of 6-8 sheets (depending on the weight of the paper). Restack, and wrap the whole thing loosely in plastic. Leave it for a few hours, then come back and split the groups in half, turning the outer sheets to the inside of the groups. Re-stack and leave it again for some hours.

      If the felts are too wet, the paper will be also.
      Better too dry than to have wet paper...

      Also, keeping a good humidity in your studio is probably the most important thing.
      If the stock is kept from excessive dryness, it should be OK without much dampening.

      I've found that dampening is most useful when you're trying to print large solids.
      The other primary advantage to proper humidity in the paper is that you can use half as much ink, and still get a fine impression. (The cleanest impression you can get with LP is a blind (inkless) emboss. Add ink from there ;-)

      Hope that helps a bit. I'm sure others will have different ideas!


      At 10:05 AM -0800 2003-02-03, K Martin wrote:
      >Hello, I am looking for some help on the process of
      >dampening paper before printing. I am new at
      >letterpress printing and have a small C&P pilot press
      >that I have been working with. I've heard several
      >times that dampening the paper can enhance the
      >impression of the press. I have samples of Rives,
      >Johannet, Arches and Stonehenge papers. Can anyone
      >help me with the basics of this technique to get
      >started? Thank you!
      >San Diego, Ca

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