After inking the plate, the next step is to wipe off excess ink with a tarlatan pad. Tarlatan is an open-weave, heavily starched cotton cloth that was used for ballet dresses before the advent of synthetic fabrics. Now, it is specially made for wiping etchings. It will take about a square yard of fabric to make a resilient pad that fits your hand. Get some of the starch out of the tarlatan by stretching, crinkling, and pulling it a bit at a time. When you’ve worked small wrinkles into the whole piece, shake it out, select one spot, smooth it, and fold the rest of the fabric in layers behind that spot, smoothing as you go. When you touch the finished pad in the center, it should have the same kind of resiliency as the pad under your thumb. As you wipe the plate with the tarlatan pad, the top surface will take on ink. Refold periodically, each time selecting a relatively clean spot and then backing it up with folded layers. Tickle the plate, don’t rub. $4 per square yard.
One square yard per order; please order more than one if you need more than one square yard.