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Science & Industry Museum & CPA

During my research for Dinting Vale Printworks and Edmund Potter & Co , I discovered that in 1899, 46 textile printers and 13 textile merchants came together to form the Calico Printers' Association Ltd. This was established in Manchester and came about as a result of the increased competition within the printing market and the decline of quality goods.

Edmund Potter & Co was one of the textile printing companies that merged with the other companies to form the CPA. This is where the trail for Potters prints becomes a bit lost as the designs were amalgamated within the CPA.

The Science and Industry Museum in Manchester has a selection of publications that relate to the dyeing and printing of Textiles from the CPA. I had wondered if these would help shed some light on the processes and techniques that were used within the Dinting Vale Printworks. After booking a session at the archives to visit these I found that they were in majority written in French! Oops!

There looked to be a huge amount of technical information in some of the books but with an hour and a half time slot at the archives it was tricky to photograph & translate so many pages, it's possibly a good idea to go back at a later date and concentrate on one of the books at a time.

With my very basic French, I was able to see there were sections dedicated to dyeing and dye stuffs including some recipes. There were also some interesting diagrams that depicted the machinery and processes that would have been used at the time.

As well as these technical journals there were some pattern books that the archivist found for me, however, these were from other textile mills that were part of the CPA. Some of the prints were similar to that of DVP and still held the colour well. Again, stripes and florals amongst some of the most popular prints.

Before the time slot at the Archive research centre I had a look around the textiles gallery at the Museum to see if there was anything there that would help my understanding of the printing process. A lot of the information there was more focused on the manufacture of cotton but there were some elements dedicated to the dyeing and printing of the cottons.

There was an example of a pattern book out on display, this one was dated around 1835.

There was a section of printing blocks and rollers on display too. These were a collection of hand printing blocks from around 1840, Trademark blocks and laser engraved printing rollers.

Edmund Potter had moved his paintwork's on by letting go of a large number of printing blocks and tables and used the printing machines instead which used copper rollers. I'd really like to find some copper rollers from this time period.

This research trip is part of my DYCP and has been funded by Arts Council England.

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