Printmakingblog

Graphic Chemical & Ink Company is a world leader in the fine art field of printmaking. We manufacture our own time-tested inks for etching, litho and relief printing, as well as sell screen print inks, papers, tools, chemistry, plates and supplies for all of a printmaker's needs

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Location: Villa Park, Illinois, United States

I have worked for Graphic Chemical & Ink Company since 1968 - with a brief hiatus(almost 4 years) to travel the World courtesy of my uncle. Sadly it turns out it was my Uncle Sam, and I wasn't too thrilled about the places that he chose to send me. My wife and I have run Graphic Chemical for many years, and have enjoyed the travel that comes with the position. We get to meet our customers (and the occasional vendor) from all over the World

Friday, March 21, 2008

WOVEN BLANKETS


video



One of the common threads, if you'll pardon the pun, in intaglio is the blankets. Now, we've all seen blankets, we understand that they're felt, but have you ever thought about the process to manufacture these essential components of the craft?


In fairness, I'd never given it a thought until I visited the mill where we have our Pusher blankets (and the new Swanskin blankets) made. Starting with bags of wool - a lot more than 3 bagsful required in the nursery rhyme - the wool is spun into thread based on a complex formula using many different types of wool.

The threads are stretched across huge frames to create the warp and weft elements of the blanket, and placed into weaving machinery (as in the video above) and the weaving gods go to it. It is a slow process but the quality of the finished product is the best available anywhere in the world.

The next time you print an etching, look a little more closely at that top blanket. The quality of that blanket, which so affects the quality of your finished print, may have begun in the fields of America, Britain or Australia. Somewhere a sheep is running around without a coat - the price paid for a quality pusher blanket.