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**Types of Lacquer:**

– Unprocessed types: raw lacquer, kijomi-urushi, guangqi, kijiro-urushi, roiro-urushi
– Processed types: nashiji-urushi, jo- lacquers, shuai-urushi, ikkake-urushi
– Basic unprocessed lacquer is raw lacquer, directly from the tree with impurities filtered out
– Processed lacquer is stirred until water content evaporates, known as guangqi in Chinese
– Specialist lacquers like ikkake-urushi are thick and used for applying gold or silver leaf

**History and Development:**

– Sophisticated lacquer techniques were developed during the Shang dynasty in China
– Chinese lacquer objects date back to the Neolithic period
Lacquer production centers were established during the Han dynasty
– Chinese lacquer methods spread to Korea, Japan, and eventually Europe
Lacquer was a major export from Japan to Europe in the 16th to 17th centuries

**Cultural Significance:**

Lacquer trade routes extended to the Middle East
– Traditional red lacquerware from China uses lacquer mixed with powdered cinnabar
– Lacquerware was a major export from Japan to Europe
– Terms related to lacquer are derived from Japanese
– Different types of lacquer-yielding trees produce variations in lacquer properties

**Shellac-based Lacquers:**

Shellac derived from insect lac was used in India since ancient times
Shellac is used for wood finish, lacquerware, skin cosmetic, ornaments, and dye for textiles
Shellac is the secretion of the lac bug and is used for surface coating
– Different grades of shellac are produced for various applications
Shellac is a natural product with multiple uses in various industries

**Urushiol-based Lacquers:**

– Urushiol-based lacquers are slow-drying and set by oxidation and polymerization
– The resin is derived from trees indigenous to East Asia
Lacquer skills were highly developed in Asia, producing many decorated pieces
Lacquer tree has existed in Japan for thousands of years
Lacquer was used in Japan as early as 7000 BCE during the Jōmon period

Lacquer (Wikipedia)

Lacquer is a type of hard and usually shiny coating or finish applied to materials such as wood or metal. It is most often made from resin extracted from trees and waxes and has been in use since antiquity.

Lacquer dish with Chinese character for longevity, mid 16th century
Maki-e sake bottle with Tokugawa clan's mon (emblem), Japan, Edo period
Lacquer plate, Nam Định province, Vietnam, Nguyễn dynasty

Asian lacquerware, which may be called "true lacquer", are objects coated with the treated, dyed and dried sap of Toxicodendron vernicifluum or related trees, applied in several coats to a base that is usually wood. This dries to a very hard and smooth surface layer which is durable, waterproof, and attractive in feel and look. Asian lacquer is sometimes painted with pictures, inlaid with shell and other materials, or carved, as well as dusted with gold and given other further decorative treatments.

In modern techniques, lacquer means a range of clear or pigmented coatings that dry by solvent evaporation to produce a hard, durable finish. The finish can be of any sheen level from ultra matte to high gloss, and it can be further polished as required. Lacquer finishes are usually harder and more brittle than oil-based or latex paints and are typically used on hard and smooth surfaces.[citation needed]

In terms of modern finishing products, finishes based on shellac dissolved in alcohol are often called shellac or lac to distinguish them from synthetic lacquer, often called simply lacquer, which consists of synthetic polymers (such as nitrocellulose, cellulose acetate butyrate ("CAB"), or acrylic resin) dissolved in lacquer thinner, a mixture of various organic solvents. Although synthetic lacquer is more durable than shellac, traditional shellac finishes are nevertheless often preferred for their aesthetic characteristics, as with French polish, as well as their "all-natural" and generally food-safe ingredients.

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