Why soak the paper for printing etchings?
After fully soaking and draining a sheet of fine etching paper, the fibres soften up, making it pliable enough to pick up even the finest lines from an intaglio plate when pinched between the rollers of the etching press. The difference between printing on dry paper instead of wet is pronounced and affects the print quality. This is because the dampened paper is much more pliable and receptive to the inks. Blotting paper is sometimes used to interleave between wetted paper sheets to remove excess moisture before printing since the dripping wet paper will not produce a perfect print. The correct level of dampness is key.