A traditional mangle, dating back to 1633 and still functioning today, is preserved in the ancient Marchi printing house at Via C. Battisti 15. It consist of a large, vertical, wooden wheel, 6 meters in diameter, powered by one or two men walking inside it. This movement allows a large boulder to move backwards and forwards along wooden beams. The material is then wrapped around these beams so that the stone presses it until it becomes smooth and compact ready for print.
Marchi’s printing house still uses ancient techniques and hand carved wooden printing blocks. The wooden blocks, which date back to 1400 – 1500, mainly reproduce the local iconography and are a precious example of the decorative folk art of Romagna. After being soaked in colour the blocks are placed on the canvas and beaten with a hammer to make sure the colour has completely transferred onto the fabric.
The colours have a mineral origin and are all produced in the workshop following an ancient recipe, jealously guarded and handed down from father to son. The typical colour is rust, made from old iron dust; other colours such as blue, red and green were added more recently.
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