#925. The art of manufacturing paper hangings

- By Formula pot


  • Refer procedure


This business, which has been usually, though improperly termed paper staining, consists principally in stamping or painting various figures in water colours on paper. The paper for this purpose is formed into long strips or rolls, by pasting the edges of several sheets together. The edges of the sheets should not lap on each other more than half an inch, and the usual length of a roll is about nine yards. These rolls are first painted plain with a large brush; the paint is composed of refined whiting with some colouring ingredient, being ground in water and tempered with a sufficient quantity of glue to prevent it from rubbing off; when a new design or figure is to be introduced, several colours are prepared, i.e. as many as are required in such design, and with these the design is painted on a sheet of paper. The paper is then laid on a smooth birch or maple board, and such parts of the paper as contain the colour that was last applied in the drawing (which is usually the white) are completely cut out, with a sharp pen-knife, and the parts thus cut out, are pasted down upon the board, immediately, in the places and positions they occupied in the design. The sheet is then removed to another board, and another colour is cut out in the same manner; thus the several colours are distributed in their proper arrangements on as many different boards. Each board is then cut away with chisels and gouges, to the depth of a fourth, or an eighth of an inch, in every part except where the pieces of paper are fixed. These boards or prints are supported by other thin pieces, which are fixed firmly on the backs of them by screws, in such manner that the grain of one, crosses that of the other, and thus prevents their warping. They have also cleats or pins attached to them which serve as handles. A trough is provided, a little larger than the prints, of one inch in depth, and having a smooth bottom, on which is laid three or four pieces of fine flannel or cassimere, each of which is at least as large as the prints. Then some of the colour with which the first part of the design was painted, is spread upon the cloth with a brush; and upon this, the print containing the corresponding parts of the figure, is pressed, (the pieces of paper having been previously scraped off;) the print being thus charged with the colour, is placed upon one end of a roll of the prepared paper, which is laid on a table for that purpose, and is pressed down hard by a lever or screw. It is then returned to the trough, and again charged with the colour, and again impressed on the paper at a proper distance above the other impression. In this manner several rolls are printed with one colour. Then the next colour in the design is applied to the paper in the same manner by another print;—a third colour by a third print and so on till the paper is completely printed with every colour in the design, each in its proper place. These prints should be washed and kept dry for future use. A variety of figures may be produced with the same print, by varying the colours.