We are very pleased to present to you Grafiche Damiani’s innovative technology for machine offset printing on genuine parchment.
After 10 years researching, studying and working on the production of facsimiles, we would like to share with you the prestigious results that we have been able to obtain. Our journey began with luxury coated papers and gradually we moved to parchment paper before reaching our final goal of being able to print, with stochastic screen and offset machines, on the same parchment that was used to make the antique manuscripts and codices. Grafiche Damiani
has developed and filed a patent application for an innovative process of printing, that allows one to obtain a faithful facsimile of the original in 4-colour printing, with foil gold and engraving, maintaining the original transparency and texture of the animal skin. Grafiche Damiani is now able to produce manuscripts of unparalleled prestige, by using offset machines to print on both sides of genuine parchment, to create a work of true rarity.
Facsimile editions of antiquarian books consist in unabridged, exact reproductions of original manuscripts. The latter were usually written on parchment by scribes and decorated with ornamental images and elements.
These antiquarian books are not exhibited, but kept for preservation by National Libraries, Museums or State Archives. As facsimile editions are entirely identical to the originals, their value lies precisely in the opportunity they provide for the consultation of works that are otherwise inaccessible.
The production of these editions is a long, complex process. It requires a study phase on the part of expert historians and philologists, followed by technical studies serving to establish the most suitable work procedures for the reproduction of each individual volume.
Thus, Grafiche Damiani uses machinery of the latest generation a team of skilful chromists also contributes to the process for the selection of colours. Engravers and silver smiths work on other accessories and artisan craftsmen are employed for the binding process. These expert craftsmen represent Italy’s heritage of master artisans. The reproduction of these works is a harmonious blend, embracing the most sophisticated printing technology and the most traditional and oldest artisan techniques.
Reproduction, photography, matrixes and systems
The books to be reproduced have to be photographed in every detail. In most cases we are not allowed to bring them out of the place they are kept in, therefore it is necessary to arrange real photographic sets in order to take pictures of the books where they are kept.
Offset printing, gilding and relief printing
The computer-to-plate system does not require film output, the resulting image is then directly engraved on the printing plate. Through the use of the stochastic screen we obtain a considerably high print resolution. This technique is particularly suitable for artistic prints, as the visual lack of the screen dot makes it similar to the photographic grain. Facsimile prints often have gold decorations, which can be reproduced using different techniques, including gold paste, silk-screen printing gold, hot-rolled gold, or gold powder for antique-look effects.
Bindings and accessories
The binding of facsimile books is a very skilful operation. Our expert bookbinders are responsible for the creation of covers, which are often made of wood and covered with leather or textures. As the search for materials is a very demanding job, we often commit weavers to produce the textures we need according to the photographs of the originals or let tanneries dye our leathers to obtain antique colours. With the co-operation of silver smiths, we can reproduce angles, buckles, decorations and silver closures that were typically stuck on antique books.