Letterpress Printing Process



Born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1885, our ‘old series’ Chandler & Price letterpress has survived two world wars, the great melt down when many letterpresses succumbed to the needs of war, and a transatlantic crossing to find itself a new home in Ireland. Bought unseen, packaged by the previous owner and transported by land and sea, she was a diamond in the rough. With some elbow grease and care, the years of grime were slowly peeled away, revealing underneath the original pin-striping of the press as she left the factory over one hundred and twenty-eight years ago. Some attention was required for the mechanical parts but when a new set of rollers and a new treadle was added, the clack and clang soon rang out as the she sprang back to life.

Music – Bill Wither’s: Grandma’s Hands available on iTunes – Click here


We are proud to to say that all our letterpress pieces are designed and printed in-house on either a platen letterpress dating from 1885 or a cylinder letterpress dating from 1929. The paper is hand feed onto the platen or cylinder which is pressed against the printing plate to create each individual piece. The impression is created by hand set lead type, wooden type, or photopolymer plates which we also produce in-house, ensuring we have complete control over the quality of the printing process. Our letterpress printing is a craft and as such some variation in impression, placement, and intensity of the ink may arise during a press run. These combine to give each piece its own character and uniqueness.


Von-Son rubber based inks are our choice for printing due to their vibrant colours, excellent consistency and suitability to the letterpress papers. We mix the ink for your print by hand and colour match as closely as possible to your chosen colour. To ensure consistency of colour, we recommend that all printed pieces required are printed at the same time. Specific pantone colours are also available at an additional cost.


All our letterpress papers have been carefully selected and tested to ensure that your stationery will be elegant, timeless and of the highest quality. We use beautiful cotton papers which are produced from cotton fibres and are luxuriously soft. Cotton papers are the perfect choice for letterpress printing because the impression achieved showcases your details in the most delicate but elegant fashion. We stock two alternatives;

  • Crane’s Lettra is available in a fluorescent or pearl white and in weights of 300 gsm and 600 gsm. Matching 100% cotton envelopes are supplied with all wedding invitations printed on this stock.
  • Artistic cotton paper is a available in a soft white and weights of 330 gsm and 500 gsm. Standard envelopes are supped with all wedding invitations printed on this stock.


Mixing ink

Sample of range of papers available

Photopolymer plate

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