So, you wanna go the DIY letterpress route. Groovy! Whether you use the L Letterpress or are fashioning your own printmaking contraption, you’re gonna need some supplies. Custom Plates:
- Lifestyle Crafts, makers of the L Letterpress, will soon be offering a custom plate service.
- elum (creators of some of the most gorgeous letterpress stationery on the planet) is offering a letterpress platemaking service at Letterpressplates.com
- Boxcar Press, respected letterpress gurus, also offer custom plates.
- DIY Bride: stay tuned for our DIY platemaking tutorial.
- Note: when looking for plates, you’ll want the KF152 type photopolymer plate. It’s best for the L Let and die cut machine presses due to its deep relief and plastic backing.
Inks: Letterpress inks are expensive and because they’re sold to the letterpress trade, they come in larger-than-necessary-for-a-crafter amounts.
- Lifestyle Crafts sells inks for the L Let in 20 colors. They come in 30 ml tubes for around $7.00 a pop. The colors water-based can be mixed. Nearly all of the L Let retailers sell the inks. Shop around for the best prices + shipping.
- NA Graphics deals mostly in oil-based inks but they do have smaller sizes for the casual printer.
Papers: Paper is extremely important in letterpress-type printing. It needs to be thick and cushy to be able to take the impression from the plate. Most letterpress operators use papers that are made of cotton rag. Beware that many printmaking papers are sold in large sheets, not in convenient 8.5″ x 11″ sizes. Below is a list of the types of papers (brands and lines) and resources where to buy. This is, by no means, a complete list but should keep you busy for a while. Crane – Lettra 80# text, 110# and 220# covers Crane - Palette Fabriano Medioevalis French Paper Muscletone 140# cover Magnani – Pescia Porridge Papers Rising Museum Board Rives Neenah Classic Crest in 80# text, 130# and 165# covers Somerset – white or natural white – 250 gsm (120lb) Where to buy paper: http://www.archpaper.net/ http://www.artpaper.com http://www.atlanticpapers.com/ http://www.crane.com http://www.dickblick.com/categories/printmakingpapers/ http://www.grungepapers.com/HandmadePaper.htm http://www.keldonpaper.com http://langdellpaper.com/ http://www.legionpaper.com/ http://www.frenchpaper.com/ http://www.mohawkpaperstore.com/shop-by-project/specialty-processes/letterpress/list-view?sort=asc&order=Weight&search=attributes http://www.neenahpaper.com/ http://www.paper.com http://www.paper-papers.com/ http://www.porridgepapers.com/handmade-paper.html http://www.strathmore.com/ http://www.thepapermillstore.com/