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Antonio Sansone.

The printing of cotton fabrics, comprising calico bleaching, printing, and dyeing online

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Cotton Fabrics



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ANTONIO SANSONEmm









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1895



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THE



FEINTING



Cotton Fabrics,



COMPKISING



CALICO BLEACHING, FEINTING,



AND DYEING,



BY



ANTONIO SANSONE,

Leading Contributor to the Colourist Section of "TIte Textile U^anufacturer;"

late Director of tfie School of Dyeing at the H/lanchester

Technical School.



MANCHESTER :

Abel Hetwood & Son, 56 & 58, Oldham Steeet.

LONDON :

SiMPKiN, Marshall, & Co., Stationers' Hall Court.

Hamilton, Adams, & Co., 32, Paternostek Eow,

1887.



/O^






PEEFAOE.



English teclinical literature is pretty rich in books re-
lating to Calico Printing, but the standard works, such as
the excellent handbooks by Crookes, O'Neill, and Calvert,
are now somewhat out of date, the progress in this branch of
industry having been very rapid during the last few years.

In compiling this work I have tried to bring all infor-
mation up to the latest industrial methods and scientific
discoveries, and have striven as much as possible to select
only such matter as I thought to be of practical utility. At
the same time it has been my aim to illustrate the principles
of the different operations, and to give an outline of the
theory of the fixation of the different colouring matters on
the fibre, so as to embody both theory and practice.

The book contains also record of many of the lectures
delivered by myself before the students of the School of
Dyeing during my connection with the Manchester
Technical School, and the majority of the processes have
been tried on the printing machine and by my students in
the laboratory. Some of the practical recipes have been
published by myself in a series of articles which appeared in
the Textile Manufacturer, on the testing of colouring matters
in Printing, and I must tender my thanks to the proprietors
of that Journal for allowing me to make use of them, and
of other matters which I have previously published in their
periodical, with the double object of exposing them to
public criticism, and of having them to a certain extent
checked by the experiments of my pupils. The recipes,
however, must not be considered as fixed and unchangeable,
but as guides or bases on which to work.

In the part relating to machinery I have tried to collect
all the information concerning the apparatus now in use in
the best works, and it is here, also, a pleasant duty to thank



IV. PKEFACE.

first of all the calico printing firms who have allowed me to
visit their works on several occasions during the last two
years ; and, also, the machine makers for information
kindly supplied to me, along with some of the diagrams
and illustrations which appear in this work. I have tried,
also, to illustrate the different styles and colours used in
calico printing, and am enabled by the kindness and
generosity of several eminent firms to furnish the book
with the pattern sheets, which will be found at the end of
this work. I have, also, to thank some of the firms already
spoken of, and also many gentlemen who have been of
much assistance to me in the preparation of this work, and
I must not forget the manufacturers of dye stuffs, and their
Manchester agents for valuable information and samples
supplied to me by them on repeated occasions.

This book is only intended to illustrate the principles of
bleaching and printing, with a short notice of the dyeing of
cotton cloth, since the dyeing of fabrics generally has been
so ably treated in Prof. Hummel's recent work on the
dyeing of textile fabrics. Originally it was only intended
to treat of the printing of cotton cloth, but a present of a
set of printed patterns of woollen goods from a well-known
continental chemist and calico printer, has brSught about
the insertion of a few of those patterns along with the
other prints, and 'necessitated a short notice of the newest
methods of printing woollen cloth.

In the theoretical part of the work the best methods of
analysis or testing of the different raw materials have been
indicated, and in treating of the different substances
formulae have been given of as simple character as possible.



Manchester, March, 1887.



TABLE OF CONTENTS.



HISTORY OF CALICO PRINTING
BLEACHING

EAW MATERIALS:

MINERAL COLOURS

NATURAL ORGANIC COLOURING MATTERS

COAL TAR COLOURS

MORDANTS, ETC

THICKENING OR SIZING MATERIALS
WATER



1

10

41

55

78

107

159

173



PRINTING PROCESSES:

INTRODUCTION 176

PREPARING THICKENINGS AND MORDANTS ... 183
PRINTED (direct) COLOURS 202

STEAM, OXYDATIOX AND REDUCTION COLOTTRS (PRINTING COLOURS OE
PROCESSES OP RECENT INTRODUCTION.)

DYED COLOURS 801

ALIZARINE COLOURS (MADDER STYLES) — RESISTS — DISCHARGES — TURKEY
REDS — ALIZARINE REDS — INDIGO PRINTS— MANGANESE BRONZE
COLOURS— BENZOPURPURINE AND ALLIED DYESTUFPS.

THE PRINCIPAL STYLES IN CALICO PRINTING

(diagram) Face 370

MACHINERY AND APPARATUS 349

*FINISHING PRINTED GOODS 350



APPENDIX :

ELECTRICITY IN PRINTING .,
I>RINTING WOOLLEN FABRICS



363

365



*THE READER IS EEFEEEED FOE DETAILS OF CONTENTS UNDEK ABOVE HEADINGS
TO THE GENEEAL INDEX.



VI. TABLE OF CONTENTS.

PRINTED PATTERNS:

COMPARATIVE TABLE OF BE. AND TW. DEGREES... 370

EXPLANATIONS TO PRINTED PATTERNS 371

GENERAL INDEX 377

INDEX TO PRACTICAL RECIPES 383



LIST OF PLATES.



L-

IL-

IIL-

IV.-

V.-

VL-

VII.-

VIII.-

IX.-

X.-

XL-



-Bleaching and Scouring Cisterns
-KoUer Washing Machine . .
-Steam Kier with Cages
-Bleaching Range — Mather

Process ...
-Sample Printing Machine . .
-Colour Pans...
-Steam Ager ...
-Dunging Cisterns ...
-Copper Cased Dyebeck
-6-Colour Printing Machine..
-8-Colour Printing Machine

arranofements ...



12 -Colour Printing Machine



XII.-
XIII.
XIV.-

XV.

XVI.

XVII.

XVIII

XIX.— Calendar



FACE PAGE.

17

18
25



Thompson's



26
177
180
270
308
310
353



with drying



Continuous Steamer. . .

Soap Becks ...

Mather & Piatt's Open Soaping Machine

Farmer & Lalande's Open Soaper . . .

-Gadd's Open Soaper

-Finishing Machine ...



... 354
frontispiece.
... 357



359
364
368
370
372
374



ILLUSTRATIONS.
Fig.

1. — Rasping and Chipping Machine ... ... 71

2. — Disintegrator 73

3. — Chenailler's Evaporator ... ... ... ... 75

4. — Chenailler's Evaporator — Modification of ... 76
4. — Machine for Drying Cloth a second time before

printing ... ... ... ... ... 285

^•|_Root's Blower 287

9. — Indigo Steam Apparatus ... 289

10. — Connection of Arrangements for Printing,
Dyeing, and Steaming Indigo Printed

Cloth 291

11. — Large Fly Dung Beck for washing printed pieces 291

12. — Gadd's Steam Ageing Machine 307

13.— Three-bowl Friction Mande 362



HISTORY OF CALICO PRINTING.

The study of the tinctorial arts is not only of interest to
the industrial world, but is also of historical interest, since
in history Ave find that the highest political and commercial
powers of nations, and consequently the highest degree of
civilisation, have been connected with the greatest develop-
ment in the production and colouring of the textile fabrics.
This fact, if true for past periods of history, is especially
striking in the middle ages, and certainly very striking at
the present time, when we find that those countries which
have made the greatest progress in tinctorial arts are also
those which have attained the foremost rank in modern
civilisation ; and this gauge of the degree of civilisation, if
correct for the arts of dyeing generally, applies in a special
way to the industry of calico printing. And in fact there
are lew industries which require the same amount of skill
and practical ability, combined with so much science and
art, as this wonderful manufacture.

When we look at a print — especially a modern one — our
attention may be directed to the beauty of the pattern, the
brightness of the shades, or perhaps the happy combination
of colours, but as a rule we are apt only to give a passing
attention to it, so much have we been accustomed to see
calico prints, and entertaining the idea that their production
is one of the most natural things in the world ; but only
those who are acquainted with the subject can imagine the
amount of labour, ability, and intelligence which has been
bestowed upon them. Our modern prints represent the
labour, experience, creative and inventive genius combined,
of many centuries. By this I do not mean to say that the
present generation has not had its share in the develop-
ment and improvement of the industry ; on the contrary, the



2 CALICO BLEACHING, PRINTING, AND DYEING.

most striking results have been acliievecl in modern times
by bringing to bear upon it the brilliant discoveries and
untiring labours of the scientific men of the present day.
Further, a great impetus has been given to calico printing
by the application of the wonderful mechanical inventions
for which this century will ever be famous in the history
of industry, and not least by the application of the principles
of art to the designing of the patterns. The great merit of
the modern industry of calico printing lies in the happy
combination of science, art, and practical skill and ex-
perience.

The art of staining or producing designs on fabrics can be
traced to very remote times, and it is by some authors
asserted that it was practised 2,000 years before the
Christian era. All writers on the subject are agreed in
considering India as the birthplace of calico printing, but
the earliest known historical record is from Pliny, from
whose writings we gather that the Egyptians were very
skilled in the production of patterns of different colours by
applying or painting mordants on fabrics, and then dyeing
by a colouring matter, which very likely may have been
madder.

Indiofo as a colourino; matter has been known from the
most ancient times, having very likely been one of the first
which gave rise to the production of patterns, some of which
even yet survive. One of the most primitive methods of
producing patterns on fabrics is by binding some spots
round with cord ; when immersed in the dye bath the fabric
is coloured all over except on the spots which have been
tightly bound.

For some centuries the art progressed very slowly, as for
a long time it was only possible to produce two or three
colours on the same fabric at the same time, whilst the
mechanical appliances have been correspondingly slowly
improved until brought to their present state of comparative
perfection.

Madder, although of not such remote employment as
indigo, was also known in ancient times, and its introduc-



HISTORY OF CALICO PRINTING. 3

tion into European industry gave a great impetus to the
development of the dyeing and printing trades.

As will be easily understood, the transformation which
has gradually taken place in printing has been brought
about either by the discovery or application of some new
colouring matter, or by the improvement of mechanical
means employed, or by the combination of the diti'erent
colours on the same cloth, and in the production of varied
coloured effects, which constitutes, in fact, the artistical part
of calico printing. The mechanical means used in the pro-
duction of patterns or designs Avere at lirst of a most
primitive character. But the production of white spots or
patterns on fabrics, which are afterwards dyed in the
indigo vat by the resisting, or what we may call the reserv-
ing process, cannot be considered as a primitive process,
since in this a much more advanced knowledo-e oi
the tinctorial arts was needed — in fact, it required the
knowledge of the setting up and employment of the indigo
vat, knowledge which could only be obtained by consider-
able progress in civilisation. White effects on indigo-dyed
goods were produced principally by two simple methods
which are yet employed by eastern nations, one of which
consists in tieing up very tightly the spots which are to
remain white, as referred to before. The other method
relies on the employment of fused wax, Avhich is put on the
cloth in spots which are intended to remain white, and
Avhen the cloth is immersed in the indigo vat it is dyed all
over except where the wax has been applied ; the wax
itself is removed afterwards by washing in a warm alkaline
bath.

Employment of stencil plates to produce coloured pat-
terns on white ground, the colour being applied by means
of a brush, may be considered another stage of progress ;
but this method has never been extensively employed for
calico. The introduction of the block in calico printing was
a marked advance — in fact, it may be considered that since
that time calico printing has really attained to the dignity
of a great ind.ustry. By means of the block a large variety



4 CALICO BLEACHING, FEINTING, AND DYEING.

of patterns could be produced in diti'erent colours and
design, and patterns could be properly and artistically
executed. The perrotine, the forerunner of the roller
printing machine, was an industrial adaption of the block
printing, and the machine is even now employed in some
warks on the Continent. But the credit of the calico
printing industry having attained such an important de-
velopment is due to the roller printing machine first, and to
the progress of chemical science afterwards.

The Indian printed, or rather painted, fabrics were known
a long time . in Europe before any attempt was made to
imitate them. The exact date is not known when the art
was introduced into Europe, but it is not unlikely that it
was tried in several countries at the same time, judging by
the records and the specimens in the different museums.
At the beginning it was really painting rather than printing,
and, in fact, in the French language the name of
L' Industrie des toiles'peintes, ordes /'?^(:?^e'?^'?^es,preceded that
of Limpression des Tissus. It is stated that painted cloth
was produced in London in 1410, but it is probable that it
was linen cloth. The printing of linen and other fabrics,
especially silk, was known in Europe previous to that epoch,
as is proved by specimens of printed fabrics in the South
Kensington Museum, among which is a specimen block pro-
duced in Sicily in the 13th century ; but the production of
printed cotton cloth was a later achievement. It is
difficult, however, to be precise in the exact date or the
country where it was first attempted. Judging by a
Genoese square, a large printed pattern kindly lent to me
some time ago by Sir Joseph Lee, of Manchester, the art of
calico printing or painting was known in Italy in the i6th
century, and probably even before this date. It is certain
that printed calicoes were imported into England in 1627 by
the East Indian Company, and that patents were granted in
this country for the production of printed or stained fabrics
in 1619, 1634, 1675, etc., mostly for linen, cotton cloth being
mentioned, however, in the patent of 1634. In 1689
the manufacture of Indiennes was established in the



HISTORY OF CALICO PRINTING. O

neisflibourliood of Neucliatel, in Switzerland, and the old
works are still existing, althougli the industry has left the
place long ago. The Brothers Koechlin started cloth print-
ingf at Mulhouse in 1746, and in 1748 introduced block
printing and the use of mordants. The first record we have
of calico printing in Manchester is from 1763, while it was
established in Scotland in 1738. Among the various
difficulties and trials the industry had to submit to in its
early days in this country was an excise tax of 3d. per
square yard on all printed calicoes, which was imposed in
1702 and raised to 6d. in 1714 ; and curiously enough in
1720, a law was passed forbidding the wearing of printed
calicoes, and cases are recorded of ladies being lined for the
offence of wearing printed calico dresses. This law was
partially repealed in 1736, when mixed goods were allowed,
but still saddled with an excise duty of 6d. per yard. The
prohibition was completely removed in 1774, but the duty
was retained at 3d. per yard, to which |d. was added in 1806;
and it was not until 1831 that the tax was completely
removed.

In 1830 the amount of printed calicoes produced in
England w^as about 8| millions of pieces, while in 1840 it
rose to 16,000,000 pieces. The price of some prints in 1795
was as high as 2s. 6d. per yard.

The block, which in its most primitive form has been used
from the remotest times among the Eastern nations, seems
to have been employed in Europe for the printing of fabrics
before it was used for book printing ; but it is certain
the introduction of the block in calico printing has asserted
a very marked influence in its development. The block-
printing machines, such as the Perrotine, etc., have no doubt
also had a certain share in the progress of the industry, but
it is due to the roller printing machines that it has attained
the development which it now possesses.

The employment of engraved copper plates is a matter of
great historical interest, for to this method was due the
invention of the roller printing machine. The first attempt
to print calico goods in England was made with the object



6 CALICO BLEACHING, PRINTING, AND DYEING.

of imitating the Indian fabrics, which were, eariy in the
17th century, largely imported into this country. First
calico was imported from India and printed in this country;
then yarns were imported, woven into cloth, and the cloth
printed ; and finally the cotton itself was imported, and the
Avhole of both the manufacturing and printing processes
gone through here, and therefore the history of the develop-
ment of calico printing is doubly interesting, it having been
the principal cause of the building up of the great cotton
industry of Manchester and Lancashire generally.

The roller printing machine was introduced at the end of
last century, the first patents taken in this country dating
1748 and 1772, being the first attempts in the application
of the new principle of continuous printing. The invention
is generally ascribed to Thomas Bell, who describes a six-
colour machine in his patent dated 1783, when we find the
" Doctor " mentioned for the first time ; patents and im-
provements have followed each other during the course of
this century, until the roller printing machines have been
brought to the high state of perfection in which they now
exist.

In France the roller machine was introduced in 1801, so
that England has the priority in this important modern
invention. The block in its improved form has been em-
ployed all along during the course of this century either
alone or connected with the roller machine, and is even now
employed in its most perfected form for the production of
very fine and artistic prints in Alsace.

The Genoese square, alluded to before, is a large piece of
print which was very probably used as a bed cover, or it
might be as a kind of banner or piece of decoration, in the
numerous religious feasts which were so much in vogue in
Italy up to within a quarter of a century ago, and which
still exist in some places. The design, which appears to
have been produced both by hand, by the brush, and by the
block, must have also been used in the repeating of the
patterns ; it is also probable that the stencil Avas employed
at the same time. The design represents the trunk of a



HISTORY OF CALICO PRINTING. 7

tree with branches, on which are arransfed flowers, leaves,
grapes, etc.; birds and butterflies being introduced on the
tree and on the ground. The colours found on the pattern
are principally red and pink for the roses and other red
flowers, Indigo blue principally for the leaves and for blue
flowers, then very dark purple or chocolate on the trunk,
branches, etc.; then light purple and buff are also found, and
a black, which, in reality, is a very dark purple, for the
outlines of the difl'erent patterns.

The design contains a large border all round, consisting
principally of flowers and leaves. The red and pink are
undoubtedly madder red and pink on alumina mordants,
while the black, chocolate, and j)^irp^es have also been
obtained on iron mordants alone or mixed with alumina.
The blue is indigo ; here it is of importance to note that
while by some it is asserted that indigo was not known in
Europe in the IGth century, this, however, is not the case,
as indigo was in use in Italy already before that epoch, and,
in my opinion, the Genoese pattern has been produced by
direct application of reduced indigo, and not by woad, the
dyestufl' used in Europe before indigo was introduced.

If some enthusiasts are to be believed, roller printing will
have at some future time to make room for the electrical
processes both for producing patterns aud colouring matters
on the cloth. Still, as these are yet either only in the
imagination, or in a very crude, experimental state, we must
patiently aAvait the revelations the future may have in store
before accepting their vicAvs, though there is not much
doubt that electricity will in future play an important part
in the tinctorial industries.

Photography has also been repeatedly tried for producing
patterns on fabrics, but the processes have never been found
capable of being used on a large scale in an economical way.

Other methods of printing have been repeatedly tried and
recommended, but only one or two have been found capable
of utilisation, and even then in a limited scale, so that the
roller printing machine is the one now mostly used in the
production of prints. If we consider some of the most



8 CALICO BLEACHING, PRINTING, AND DYEING.

recent events in calico printing we will be struck at the
thought of the complete disappearance of madder; this
dyestuff, which only a few years ago formed such an
important factor in the production of prints, has been com-
pletely driven out of the printworks, and replaced by
artificial alizarin, and the madder cultivation which m France
only amounted to about four millions of pounds sterling
annually, is now almost a thing of the past. A certain
amount of madder is still used in wool dyeing.

In reference to the production of turkey-reds, the principal
improvements that have taken place are the employment of
alizarin, and the introduction of the shorter process ; the
long process is, however, still employed, and the prints are
still produced by the discharging method, although it has
been repeatedly tried to produce them in a more direct
way. The tendency of the industry is to produce the
colours on the cloth by the direct printing process, and the
steam colours have attained a great importance and a high
degree of development, and it seems likely that in the future
the steam colours Avill be more and more employed, and in
preference to the dyed colours.

The introduction of coal-tar colours has eftected great
changes in the practice of calico printing, and rendered
possible the production of more complicated patterns, and
much brighter and greater variety of shades than could be
done before.

Indigo, although seriously threatened by Bayer's dis-
covery of the synthetic production of indigotin, is as firmly
established as ever, as the artificial product cannot be as
cheaply produced as the natural dyestuff.

By looking at the patterns in vogue in the last few
months it, will have been observed that indigo blue and red
have been very prominent, in other words, it is interesting to
observe that after all we have gone back in these styles to
the effects produced 2000 years ago by the Hindoos.
We can produce brighter reds, and execute finer pat-
terns, but the colours are j'ust the same, although fixed
differently.



HISTORY OF CALICO PRINTING. 9

The indigo blue, being fixed by the direct process, with a
short steaming by the Ghicose method, which, although
patented in England in 1857, and in actual work in this
country in the last few years, has been brought to great
perfection of late in Germany.

One of the most important matters connected with calico
printing is the improvement which have of recent years
taken place in the machinery and plant used, and in this
respect Manchester occupies the front rank, while the
machinery produced here is largely used in the best works



Online LibraryAntonio SansoneThe printing of cotton fabrics, comprising calico bleaching, printing, and dyeing → online text (page 1 of 29)