Block printing in India


Hi everyone,

So in a couple of weeks I’m going along to a craft workshop where I am going to learn how to make a lino print.   I’m so excited about it that I’ve been reading up about block printing and wanted to share a little with you.

Block printing developed in the 12th century in Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh in India. Block printing has always been a common craft in India using wooden blocks and natural colours of dye’s to create beautiful patterns and designs.  The craft is practiced in various locations around India.  Printed fabric and designs are identifiable by the region it originates from.

The wooden blocks are hand carved with some very intricate designs and then soaked in oil to help soften the wood and to prepare for printing.  The fabric is also prepared before printing by being washed, it is then stretched on to a table ready for printing.

Block printing process

Although hand block printing is still being used today, it has also been taken over by screen printing and digital printing. Screen printing is a stencil method of printing using a mesh screen, and its first recognized form appeared in China during the Song Dynasty. Ink is poured and spread over the screen stencil to create a print design.  Digital printing is what many of us use daily, a computer and printer to print designs.

screen printing

So I learnt a lot from the reading I had done and hope you found it interesting too.  I’ve also started to collect some ideas of designs for block prints.  Have a look at my pinterest page at some of the beautiful designs I have found!

I’ll blog about the class and let you know how I got on and give you a peek at the block I make so keep posted!  If you’ve ever done any block making or printing I’d love to hear from you and any tips would be much appreciated 🙂 so please leave me a message.

(Featured image courtesy of The Indian Block Company)


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