Sensuously tactile effects, elaborate detail and the outstanding precision of printing with engraved dies and copperplates. Die-stamping is the most opulent of all the processes that lay ink down on paper.

The die-stamper is a craftsman, and there are only a few remaining in the country. It is a skilled operation, in which the image to be printed is carved or ‘engraved’ into a steel block

A ‘male force’, is then cut to exactly mate with the ‘female’ die, which is inked over, before being applied to the paper or card. You can see when stationery is truly ‘engraved’ by the ‘force mark’ on the back of the sheet.

It’s a complex process, especially if several colours are involved. See for yourself the many stages in a die-stamping job.

Die-stamping presses are huge, beautiful, but heavy machines. Piccolo has four, built by “Waite & Savill” of Otley over sixty years ago. The videos below show how all the working parts act in harmony.

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