Printing Technology and its Succession through the Ages
The most initial records of printing date back to the Ancient Chinese Civilization, and it was Woodblock Printing that was the most common. Some time ahead after the advent of fabric, cloth printing took the forefront. It would be interesting to note that the oldest remains of both woodblock printing as well as fabric printing has been unearthed from Ancient China. No prizes for guessing the fact that it was silk cloth that was used for this purpose. While there are diverse views from a couple of historians, most of them are of the definitive view that it was the Early Han Dynasty that commissioned the first silk printing, and it comprised of relics hailing the great deeds of the dynasty scions and emperors, replete with beautiful floral patterns and vivid colors.
What is Relief Printing?
In a nutshell, Relief Printing is all about getting documents printed via raised images instead of using the regular plain ink and even surface route. So basically what happens here is that the printer head or matrix is adequately inked, and thereon brought in very close contact with the surface of the paper where the printing is sought. Now the main aspect that distinguished Relief Printing from other forms of printing, is that in case of the former, only the protruding areas have ink, while the surface of the paper in and around the protruded ink area is free of ink. It is therefore the contrasting visual effect that accentuates the ability for the printing to be legible and the reader to be able to read the text document easily.
Wading back in time…
Ever wondered about the prelude from which the concept of printing came forth? Well, it was none else but the clay tablets, trading seals and stamps that were used in Early China, which were responsible for kick-starting printing at its earliest phase! And it was not just Ancient China that took the lead in Block Printing. Similar artifacts have been unearthed from the Ancient Indian as well as the Ancient Egyptian Civilizations. As of today, we have taken the technology of printing, and mass distribution and assimilation of information, to be something as granted. But there until the invention of the printing press during the industrial revolution, manual printing was the norm. Therefore it wasn’t possible to distribute printed copies on a large scale, unless it was any religious or political propaganda document, towards which massive time and resources were spent trying to produce as many copies as possible for large-scale distribution.