Shading Plate

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A shading plate is a textured square of hard plastic used to create backgrounds or fill in other areas of artwork on a mimeo stencil or ditto master.

Because large areas of solid black were difficult to mimeograph, fanartists and handstencilers used patterns to "color in" black-and-white drawings. While this might be done through stippling or cross-hatching, shading plates made adding textures much easier and faster.

To use the plate, you put it underneath the stencil, and then rubbed over the top with a stylus or folding bone.