Japanning

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Japanning - A high gloss - normally black - finish applied to most early sewing machine painted parts. Originally a very complex recipe of Shellac Varnish, Ivory Black or Lampblack, Asphaltum, Balsam of Capivi, Turpentine and Burnt Umber. Applied in three to five coats with a camel hair brush and involving heat for mixing and curing. Other colours possible with different mixtures were White, Blue, Red, Yellow, Green, Orange, Purple and Tortoiseshell. Now, the term 'Japanning' is commonly applied to any high gloss black finish eg. Japlac, a readily used, brush on, one coat enamel.