Lithographic stone - India
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Throughout the 19th century, India saw a great expansion in lithographic printing. This was largely due to the fact that the same process could be applied to all languages irrespective of the varying scripts, since its basis was the manuscript transcribed by a copyist. Hundreds of lithographic printing houses flourished in India during this period. In the original lithographic process a slab of close-grained limestone was polished to form a perfectly smooth surface. Upon this the design was drawn (in reverse), or applied via a transfer paper in greasy ink. The surface was then etched with a solution of acid in gum to fix the design. Before printing, water was applied to the surface and absorbed by all areas except those occupied by the greasy ink of the design. Greasy ink was then applied and since this would not mix with water, covered only the coloured parts of the design. It was then printed by laying on the paper and applying pressure.