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Lithography

From Greek lithos (stone); A planography printing technique where printing and non-printing elements are about on the same level. A highly absorbent and uniformly granulated limestone (Solnhofer slate) serves as the printing plate. Since 1835, zinc and aluminium plates have been employed as well. Lithography uses the principle of repulsion of oil and water. The image to be printed is drawn on the plate with fatty chalk or tusche. The plate is cauterised with nitric acid and rubber arabicum, resulting in the non-printing areas to become water-friendly and oil-repelling. Then the plate is moistened and dipped in fatty ink. Only the prepared areas absorb the ink, whereas water-friendly and oil-repelling elements remain free and do not print.

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