History of printing Origins in China By the end of the 2nd century ce, the Chinese apparently had discovered printing; certainly they then had at their disposal the three elements necessary for printing: Some of the texts were classics of Buddhist thought inscribed on marble pillars, to which pilgrims applied sheets of damp paper, daubing the surface with ink so that the parts that stood out in relief showed up; some were religious seals used to transfer pictures and texts of prayers to paper. It was probably this use of seals that led in the 4th or 5th century to the development of ink of a good consistency for printing. A substitute for these two kinds of surfaces, the marble pillars and the seals, that was more practical with regard both to manageability and to size, appeared perhaps by the 6th century in the wood block.
Woodblock printing Woodblock printing is a technique for printing text, images or patterns that was used widely throughout East Asia. It originated in China in antiquity as a method of printing on textiles and later on paper. As a method of printing on cloth, the earliest surviving examples from China date to before A.
In East Asia[ edit ] Main article: History of printing in East Asia The earliest surviving woodblock printed fragments are from China.
They are of silk printed with flowers in three colours from the Han Dynasty before A. They are the earliest example of woodblock printing on paper appeared in the mid-seventh century in China.
By the ninth century, printing on paper had taken off, and the first extant complete printed book containing its date is the Diamond Sutra British Library of A skilled printer could print up to 2, double-page sheets per day.
This technique then spread to Persia and Russia. There is some evidence to suggest that these print blocks made from non-wood materials, possibly tinlead, or clay.
The techniques employed are uncertain, however, and they appear to have had very little influence outside of the Muslim world.
Though Europe adopted woodblock printing from the Muslim world, initially for fabric, the technique of metal block printing remained unknown in Europe. Block printing later went out of use in Islamic Central Asia after movable type printing was introduced from China.
Images printed on cloth for religious purposes could be quite large and elaborate. When paper became relatively easily available, aroundthe medium transferred very quickly to small woodcut religious images and playing cards printed on paper.
These prints produced in very large numbers from about onward. Around the mid-fifteenth-century, block-books, woodcut books with both text and images, usually carved in the same block, emerged as a cheaper alternative to manuscripts and books printed with movable type.
These were all short heavily illustrated works, the bestsellers of the day, repeated in many different block-book versions: There is still some controversy among scholars as to whether their introduction preceded or, the majority view, followed the introduction of movable typewith the range of estimated dates being between about and History of Western typography Movable type is the system of printing and typography using movable pieces of metal type, made by casting from matrices struck by letterpunches.
Movable type allowed for much more flexible processes than hand copying or block printing. Aroundthe first known movable type system was created in China by Bi Sheng out of porcelain.
He also developed a complex system of revolving tables and number-association with written Chinese characters that made typesetting and printing more efficient.
Still, the main method in use there remained woodblock printing xylographywhich "proved to be cheaper and more efficient for printing Chinese, with its thousands of characters".
It was used in large-scale printing of paper money issued by the Northern Song dynasty.
Movable type spread to Korea during the Goryeo dynasty. AroundKoreans invented a metal type movable printing using bronze.A selector tool to be used by suppliers and buying organisations preparing a catalogue for upload into PECOS; Updated on 10th September for use with Excel This compilation is dedicated to the memory of our nameless forebears, who were the inventors of the pens and inks, paper and incunabula, glyphs and alphabets.
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