Re: Gravure tissue

From: Richard Sullivan ^lt;>
Date: 03/08/04-12:10:14 PM Z
Message-id: <>


Thanks, I am digesting your comments now.


At 07:00 PM 3/7/2004, you wrote:
>Richard and Jack,
>I'll try and answer some of the questions regarding tissue.
> > Do you prefer the burnt sienna color? Does the color matter at all?
>Actually, I think a lighter pigment would be ideal as long as it is in the
>"red" area.
>The pigment is used to provide a visible image to gauge exposure after
>developing washout, and for visual tracking while etching the plate. It is
>also used to limit the diffusion of light within the gelatin layer during
>exposure. That is why the pigments all tend to be reddish to reddish brown.
>Also, the "speed" or "contrast" of a particular tissue can be controlled by
>the amount and type of pigment present. In general, the higher the pigment
>content, the lower the contrast/speed of the tissue. To a lesser extent, the
>type of gelatin will also determine contrast/speed.
>I recall that Hansfstengl had a series of "synthetic" pigment papers which
>were supposed to be superior for etching. They employed dyes instead of
>actual pigments. I never tried this product and it was discontinued before
>the actual shutdown of the company.
> > I am making the carbon with 250 Bloom gel which is pretty high. Would that
> > be a benefit? You seem to say it is?
> > Would a thicker tissue be of a benefit? Again that is implied in your
> > comments?
>This is a hard one to call. The maximum thickness of a gelatin coating
>should not exceed about 8 microns during etching, which represents the limit
>of thickness that can be penetrated under common etching conditions. I guess
>in practice, the thickness range of gelatin on a paper substrate is very
>small. I use Autotype G25 most of the time, and it is 42, (a symbol which I
>think stands for microns).
> > Haenfstengl was about 2.4 mil as I measured some once. >
>I think that would be a great jumping off point for the thickness of the
>coating. I mean, they had a pretty dependable product. When I refer to
>Autotype tissue as being "thin", I might be using the wrong term. It's more
>of a feeling of a "thin" resist. This might have a lot more to do with the
>chemistry of their carbon tissue then the actual thickness.
> > Ashless gelatin was used in making tissue for ceramic processes so I am
> > sure why Autotype is using that. I could make ashless gelatin but it is a
> > pain and would run the cost up.
> Autotype's gelatin makeup is quite strange to say the least. They claim to
>use "a blend of gelatins" for their G35 tissue (normal contrast) to deliver
>high sensitivity at low light intensities. Also, the additives which are
>inserted in the coatings must play a role on how it performs too. Things
>such as soaps, sugars and glycerin are added in propriety formulas to
>control pliability, act as preservatives and modify the working qualities of
>the tissue. Who knows what they are currently adding in theirs...
>Another problem with Autotype could be the actual ph of the gelatin they
>use, which has an effect on speed. I don't know what "ashless" gelatin is,
>so I'm not at liberty to make a comment on this, except that you would want
>to have as neutral a ph reading as possible in the gelatin. Ph also comes
>into play in the dichromate bath, having another effect on tissue speed, so
>why compound it with an out of kilter ph to begin with.
> As for bloom, I would stick to a gelatin of medium hardness, as this is
>what is most mentioned in the old texts and what not.
> > I assume that most plates need extensive retouch work before printing
>Not true, if you're doing the job right. Having the proper density range in
>a positive is can solve 75% of problems in the outcome of a successful
>photogravure print. So, ideally, there is no retouching needed in the
>finished plate. Of course, the etching in multiple baths and determining the
>time in each is also a deciding component in whether one has to do any
>retouching to the plate. But with the proper positive and a set regimen of
>times, temps and baths for etching, no retouching should be necessary.
>This is not the case with what is known as "direct gravure" where one uses a
>drawing or painting on frosted Mylar or grained glass. If the highlights of
>the image are close to the base density of the Mylar or other substrate,
>then retouching in the form of selective polishing will be necessary. But a
>photo should come out looking just the way you want it from sink to the
>The biggest problem with Autotype that I have found is accurate control over
>the final stages of etching the highlights. It can be quite unpredictable in
>the lower baths of 40 and 39 baume. This was not the case with McGraw
>Colorgraph or Hansfstengl tissue.
>I don't think the differences in having tissues with varying characteristics
>would be much of a problem with most folks doing gravure. As with any
>Alt.Photo process, you break out the Stouffer scale and do a bit of
>homework. It would be worth it in the end to have some choices for different
>applications. I use G25 tissue sensitized in a 5% dichromate for screened,
>halftone and line/type work. For con-tone grain aquatint applications I
>switch to G35 sensitized in a 3.5% dichromate solution. There are different
>exposure times, etching times and even single bath (line and type work) as
>opposed to multiple baths (45 to 38 baume, 6 baths) for con-tone aquatints.
>It's all relative...
>Something else I failed to mention for those gravurists plagued by "devils":
>During sensitization of the tissue, minute amounts of material will dissolve
>from the surface of the gelatin and become suspended in the sensitizing
>solution. This becomes evident after repeated usage by the discoloration
>(turning brown) and sediment at the bottom of the container of dichromate.
>This particulate matter can be carried over when ferrotyping and become
>embedded in the surface of the carbon tissue, resulting in minute holes when
>developing which in turn become "devils" while etching.
>So always filter your dichromate after usage. A drip coffee filter in the
>funnel works quite well.
>I hope we can get this up to speed. Just the thought that you are
>entertaining the actual production of a new carbon tissue is enough to keep
>me awake at night! :)
>I would love to speak to some colleagues about this and try to glean some
>further info that could be of benefit for you Richard.
>Will be in touch shortly with any info I can dig up.
>My best, Craig Zammiello
> > At 07:14 AM 3/7/2004, you wrote:
> > >Richard,
> > >It's very exciting that you would consider making a carbon tissue for
> > >gravure usage.
> > >I don't think you would cut into Auto monopoly to the extent that they
> > >cease making their product, as it has a very healthy, if small, consumer
> > >base in Europe.
> > >
> > >The problem that has been brought up about Autotype's tissue, referred to
> > >assh*les, is in my opinion, not a fault of Autotype's manufacturing, but
> > >created during the actual process of making a gravure plate, or to a
> > >degree, during the sensitizing of the tissue. What people may be seeing
> > >could be air bells trapped during the ferrotyping of the tissue. Not to
> > >confused with trapping air during laydown on the copper which results in
> > >visual air tracks (bubbles) in the stencil. These actually don't etch,
> > >result in white spots on the final print.
> > >But, trapping small amounts of air during ferrotyping create areas of
> > >thinner gelatin, especially with Autotype tissue, due to it's low gelatin
> > >bloom. These thinner areas will etch quicker and finally blow out to form
> > >"devil".
> > >
> > >The "star" like gunshot wounds to the plate viewed after etching were
> > >commonly referred to as "devils" in the Rotogravure industry. They are
> > >almost always prevalent in the shadow areas of the image because those
> > >etched the longest and this is where the tissue is thinnest. Also, they
> > >more of a problem when doing actual grain gravure due to the uneven
> > >of the plate due to the aquatint resist.
> > >
> > >The main reasons they occur are due to:
> > >1, dust contamination in the process of adhering the tissue to the plate
> > >during laydown.
> > >Even the best controlled environment will contain small dust motes which
> > >will get between the tissue and plate during laydown, causing a
> > >hole in the stencil that will start etching as soon as the plate is
> > >in ferric. This continues for the entire duration of etching resulting in
> > >creve-like hole.
> > >
> > >2. "free" acid contamination of the ferric chloride etching solutions.
> > >This is probably a more prevalent problem facing people doing gravure
> > >today. The free acid will increase the rate of penetration by softening
> > >gelatin where it comes in contact, usually at the site of a dust mote,
> > >the gelatin is thinnest.
> > >Hunt Blue label Roto Iron ferric chloride, still made for whatever exists
> > >the rotogravure industry today, contains a very small amount of "free"
> > >but it is negligible for most of our gravure applications.
> > >If you are using a ferric chloride other then Roto Iron, you can be
> > >it contains much to much free acid that must be neutralized with a
> > >of ferris hydroxide.
> > >
> > >Both of these problems will at one time or another plague someone doing
> > >gravures. I've had a close look at Autotype tissue before sensitizing and
> > >have never seen any blowouts in the emulsion, though they may indeed
> > >But I believe the two points stated above are a far more common cause of
> > >devils then holes in the tissue from the factory.
> > >I base this on 30 years of using many different tissues and having these
> > >problems intermittently with all of them.
> > >MaGraw Colograph tissue was probably the best controlled and finest
> > >ever produced for photogravure. It went out of business in the mid 80's
> > >sold it's coating machines and proprietary formulas to the German Carbon
> > >tissue makers Hansfstengle Gmbh. Hansftengle continued to manufacture the
> > >duplicate MaGraw product into the early 90's, when it was forced to shut
> > >it's doors. I purchased 19 rolls of carbon tissue from their last run,
>and I
> > >can say that the last run they was not particularly consistent in
> > >But, at the time, it was still a better product then Autotype.
> > >My main gripe with Autotype's tissue is the gelatin and pigment ( iron
> > >which is probably not as finely ground as one would like, as opposed to
> > >MaGraw's burnt sienna). The gelatin itself continues to be dubious, a
> > >lower bloom then what was used in most pigment papers, hence the
> > >in temperature (lower) and shorter time (to control swelling and
> > >of the dichromate) in the sensitizing process. It is slimy, course and
> > >workable above 53 degrees F besides being notoriously thin.
> > >But, at the time being, it is the best pigment paper made for
> > >by default!
> > >Cheers, Craig Z.
> > >
> > >
> > >----- Original Message -----
> > >From: "Richard Sullivan" <>
> > >To: <>
> > >Sent: Saturday, March 06, 2004 2:37 PM
> > >Subject: Re: News from Bostick & Sullivan
> > >
> > >
> > > > Assuming this means gravure tissue, what is the gripe with what
> > > > produces? Quality? Price? Would folks be willing to re calibrate to a
> > > > different tissue. It is my understanding that Autotype dearly wants
>out of
> > > > making it. The risk is if I come out with it and they drop it, I am in
> > > > pickle as I have then inherited the mantle. There would be no getting
> > > >
> > > > I have heard that some batches are plagued with what are in the trade
> > > > termed assh*les, tiny areas that cause asterisk looking pits in the
> > >copper.
> > > > This i got from a couple of gravure printers here in Santa Fe and also
> > >a
> > > > book on gravure from the 30's. I believe they are caused by small
> > > > bubbles in the tissue. With this long a history it may just be an
> > > > problem in making the tissue.
> > > >
> > > > Thanks for the comments.
> > > >
> > > > --Dick
> > > >
> > > > At 12:07 PM 3/6/2004, you wrote:
> > > > >I would like to recommend the production of gravure paper. Autotype
> > >sure
> > > > >use some competition.
> > > > >
> > > > >Jack Reisland
> > > > >
> > > > >Richard Sullivan wrote:
> > > > >
> > > > > >
> > > > > > With the coating machine I am looking at other coated products
> > >oil
> > > > > > paper, collotype film, albumen, etc. Comments welcome.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> >
> >
> >
Received on Mon Mar 8 12:13:11 2004

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