We started working on The Millinery Issue about a year ago. As the deadline of an issue approaches, the the Selvedge Office turns into a hive of activity as we work with photographers and writers to create the content of the magazine. It doesn’t stop there… After the images have been photographed or illustrated and the text has been edited the digital files of the pages are sent to our printer Westdale Press in Cardiff. There Alan Padbury and his team print, fold and bind the pages into the magazine that you receive.
Here’s a look behind the scenes…
While we were there we asked Alan a few questions:
How many pages can you print in an hour? Of A4 it is 16 pages a section at 15000 per hour = 240,000 per hour x 3 presses is 720,000 per hour or 1.7 million pages a day (assuming we didn’t stop for anything!)
How often are the colours checked during the printing process? The on board computer is checking every few sheets. The ‘glass’ also called a ‘linen tester’ is really only used to check fit of the colours on set up.
How long does it take to dry? It depends on material from a few hours on a gloss coated to a day or longer on uncoated.
How long does the binding process take? On the magazine, three to four days.
And a few questions about you:
How long have you been in the printing business and director at Westdale?
I started printing on a letterpress at home when I was 15 and made my career choice after spending holidays with my uncle in Ipswich where he worked for a traditional printing company. Westdale was formed 31 years ago and I was the Production Manager and I became a director in 1989 and later bought the business with a colleague in the mid 1990’s.
What was your first experience with printing?
Printing leaflets for Flatford Mill in my uncles garage on a 1920’s Model 4 Excelsior Press.
Can you tell us a bit about your collection of old presses, how many do you have? Which is the most exciting, or the oldest?
I have a collection of about 20 hand presses and my favourite is and always will be the Model 4 which I still have and still print on 45 years later. I also have two treadle platens and many cases of original type including a lot of wooden type.
We’d like to thank Alan and everyone at Westdale Press for their hard work in making Selvedge. The issue is out now, if you don’t already subscribe why not join us and you’ll receive an issue every two months through your letterbox.