Here's a British product to celebrate 200 years of American Independence.
Someone had a go at this Holly Hobbie transfer, but then wisely changed their mind. There's also a typo on it; the Design Reference is given as "27.01.38", when it should be "27.01.138". Easily done!
Even though most of Letraset's printing moved to Italy after the purchase of Sodecor in 1976, & some Decor-Craft are marked "Printed in Italy" while dated as early as 1974, you can see that some are marked "Printed in England" with dates as late as 1978.
Later printings in Italy would no doubt change "Printed in England" to "Printed in Italy", since these changes are easy with litho printing, but of course there would be no reason to change the original copyright date. This would account for Decor-Craft marked "©1974 Printed in Italy", which otherwise might seem confusing.
Furthermore, copyright dates are very often earlier than publication dates, since they refer to the intellectual property rather than the production. So early dates do not rule out later publication; whereas on the other hand, late copyright dates do imply late publication… since no-one is going to copyright their material — in advance — for a date in the future after which it will already have already been published for some time!
The first Decor-Craft were pre-Sodecor, but litho printed on heavy matte plastic (at BKT in Tonbridge) rather than the glossy brittle plastic used for gravure printing.
Before the Sodecor purchase in 1976, the heavier litho plastic was only used for Decor-Craft & the Walls Star Wars Free Gift transfers. Other products may also have used it, but either they're not relevant to our interests or we simply haven't come across them yet!
The latest appearance found so far of the glossy brittle plastic used for gravure printing is from 1984, showing that printing at Ashford continued until well after the demise of Letraset Consumer Products. However, the gravure press was sold off around that time.
Picture Credit: The SPLAT Scan Archives (with thanks to Joe)
© Tom Vinelott 2019