Process – Intaglio Print

Intaglio Plate Processing

Wash-out for an intaglio plate takes much less time than relief plate wash-out. Because intaglio plates are not in the water for as long they don’t require such a long drying time (except that is, when there is sticky emulsion that has to be dried very well). I ink intaglio plates in a similar manner to metal plates. You do not need to use a hotplate, just put some Easy Wipe in the ink if necessary. The pressure of the press should be a little less that that used for printing intaglio metal plates. I dampen my paper the night before printing so that the paper is just damp. There should be no surface moisture on the paper, if your plates stick to the paper, either your paper is too wet, or your photopolymer plate needed longer drying and post-exposing.

15. For an intaglio print using Torelief plate use the natural bristle brush very gently. After washing the plate for 30 seconds wipe all surface moisture from the plate and examine the depth of the wash-out. For an intaglio print an interrupted wash-out may be needed. A short wash-out may be enough. 16. Printight, and Miraclon and some other brands of photopolymer plate require a paint pad or cellulose sponge for the wash-out rather than the natural bristle brush used on Torelief plates.
17. After the required wash-out is achieved, wipe the plate surface with a relatively dry, squeezed-out sponge to remove any excess moisture from the surface of the plate. 18. Dry the surface of the plate with a fan heater or hair dryer for 5-10 minutes on a warm setting.
19. Bevel the edge of an intaglio plate holding a design knife at 45 degrees and cutting through the polymer. If the edge needs evening-up a fine file can be used. 20. Post expose the plate for the same time as the first exposure (or much longer) or until there are no sticky wash-out areas. The plate should feel shiny and smooth, rather than sticky.
21. For an intaglio print, ink the plate using intaglio ink mixed with Easy Wipe compound. Then wipe the plate using tarlatan and phonebook paper. 22. Print through an etching press on lightly dampened paper with slightly less pressure than for printing metal plates.