by Jonathan R. Wright
From the thirteenth century on, Greek manuscripts were written increasingly on watermarked paper imported from Italy, and soon from other sources in Western Europe. Watermarks were developed by Italian papermakers. They may originally have served to identify papers produced by different workmen within a factory (who were paid by the piece).
Picture several workmen working at adjacent workstations in a factory, all producing paper of the same size and appearance. It is easy to imagine a workman suffering from backache, getting behind in his work, and being tempted to steal from another who had produced a larger pile of paper. However, the watermark originated, this new development in papermaking technology was quickly adapted to new functions by the paper factories, which began using them as "trademarks" and to distinguish different grades or batches of paper.
"Watermarks were made by bending pieces of wire into filigree designs (French: filigrane) and tying them onto the wire mesh which served as the bottom of the paper mold. As the paper pulp drained, this device would be imprinted in the paper along with the lines of the wire mesh.
Watermarks took many different shapes, such as natural things (Fig. 1) (e.g., birds, hands, flowers, mountains); tools and weapons (e.g., anvils, hammers, arrows, rifles); household implements and clothing (e.g., vases and pots, scissors, hats, gloves or gauntlets); mythological beings (e.g. dragons, mermaids, unicorns); religious symbols (e.g., angels, crosses, paschal lambs, chalices); and heraldic symbols (e.g., crests, monograms, crowns, trophies). As the use of watermarks became standardized, so did their location in the sheet of paper. The watermark was normally situated in the center of one half of the sheet, so that when the sheet was folded to form two folios, the watermark would appear approximately in the center of one of the folios. Sometimes this usage was varied; for example, papers were sometimes made with double watermarks so that when the sheet of paper was folded, each folio showed a watermark in the center."
This little info stuck with me while researching I learned different methods used the traditional way it done with wiring the screen and a more contemporary way is done with foam of all sorts, easy but the only down fall is foam can last so long before its starts to deteriorate. The system with the wiring to the screen has been the go to method if you want fine mark making.
"Beginning in the sixteenth century, in addition to these watermarks, many papers also were given smaller, secondary marks called countermarks.
Countermarks were usually small letters or numbers or simple shapes such as flowers or shields. (Fig. 2) Countermarks were situated in a corner of the sheet of paper, usually on the opposite half of the sheet from the watermark. In codices, they usually appear on one of the outer corners of the folio, if they have not been trimmed off during binding and rebinding the codex."
Researching Countermarks it was a way to further your identification/security in case the original watermark was unseen. I'm interested in doing this also with my further projects. if done right your countermark and watermark can make one solid watermark to make an interesting pattern/image.
By Zixiang Jin
A watermark is a pinpointing image that comes with variety of darkness or lightness when viewed by transmitted light. Government documents, including the field of currency and postage stamps are known to employ water mark in order to avoid forgery. Cylinder Mould and dandy roll processes are used in producing watermarks in paper. The new technique of laser’s watermarking has a wide range of benefits. They include secure data protection methods are easily incorporated, easy customization per document, high-contrast mark and time and money is saved on changing tools.
Various skills and techniques have been invented. Example include water fluid that water fluid that does not damage the paper even after wetting it. Examinations employs watermark. They are used in determining the quality of a sheet of paper, identifying sizes, dating, mill trademarks and locations. New technology breakthrough has made watermark a necessity. Watermark is incorporated in document security such as driver’s license, banknotes, passports and other state issued-photo IDs (Benderly, 2015).
Today, paper can be watermarked using three processes. One way is use of Fourdrinier which is made during paper manufacturing process. It is often referred to as a true watermark. Dandy roll applies varying degrees of pressure. The dandy roll contains the image to paper that is still wet. The paper is impressed in select areas of varying thickness making the watermark to appear when illuminated from the back. The thicker layers of paper block and absorb light (Benderly, 2015). This ensures the darker color. The thinner portions appear lighter in color because they let light to pass through them.
Artificial is another type of mark. It is created by printing an image using an opaque, transparent ink, white ink or using varnish. The process is quite unique because it can be seen from one side of the paper when viewed from an angle reflected with light. When illuminated from one side of document it is invisible.
Cylinder mould is also a common type of watermark. It includes depth with shaded, grey scale image. Shading is caused by areas of relief on the roll’s outer surface. Paper is rolled once it is dry to produce a security mark of varying thickness and density. This process appears more detailed and much clearer compared to using the dandy roll process. It is commonly used in motor vehicles titles and other documents where measures of anti-counterfeiting are taken.
The laser technology has made it possible to have made it possible for synthetic paper to be watermarked. The process used can either be wet or dry process. It is done by deforming the selected portions of the micro-porous structure in a pattern corresponding to the mark and changing its light transmission characteristics. The synthetic paper pores is distorted by radiant energy from the laser beam. Careful selection of laser parameters will help the paper’s top layer to remain the same. The technique under normal conditions provides low visibility. When illuminated it becomes highly visible.
David Benderly (2015) New watermarking techniques provides additional security benefits in Authenticating documentation. Photoscribe Technologies
Buxton B.H (1977) The buxton encyclopediaof watermarks. Tappan, New York.