Unlike their Chinese counterparts, with hand painted decoration under the glaze, these early attempts at competition had decoration over the glaze. This meant that, with use, the pattern would wear off.
Most of these early prints mirrored the fine art engravings they copied. Black was the key colour, which worked well with the cream coloured wares popular at the time. For ladies taking tea, this was a popular subject!
Later, around 1780, an underglaze process was invented that meant the designs were protected under the glaze from wear and tear. Because the design was under the glaze, just like the expensive Chinese wares, the pattern was made permanent.