What is Block Printing
Complete Process of Block Printing
Earlier were the days where people were very fond of getting their clothes hand sewn and stitched. Now with the fast track time, nearly everything has gone to mass production and with help of machine. Still there are some places in rural areas, small villages where people love to stick to their tradition and had work. Today, talknstory bring you one such commitment where people are committed to hand work which is BLOCK PRINTING. There are small workshops from where this is followed and admired from centuries.
One of the oldest and still running, Block printing is known to have been used in India since at least the 12th century. This method is thought to be around 2,000 years old but more commonly taken into place later in 12th century.
Block Printing originated or the roots are from China, India turned this technique into distinct art form. This art form later converted into different types of patterns and dye. Most popular designs amongst block printing are Paisley, Floral etc. But these days some other designs and pattern have also came into existence according to the fashion trends. Over the years, the process and technique of block printing improved a lot. Many of the factories and workshop have started using screen printing which is fast and can do bulk in one go but still there are small workshops which are stick and holding this tradition.
Today in this blog post, we are going to take you to tour of this very special tradition of Block Printing.
What is Block Printing?
Block Printing is an art which involves carving of designer design on to wooden block, covering the design in ink or color and stamping onto fabric.
How Block Printing is different from weaving?
In weaving the prints are woven with help of threads on to fabric and in block printing designs are stamped on cloth.
What are the steps of Block Printing?
There are multiple steps involved to block print a design on fabric. Here at talknstory, we have broke down the process step-by-step to make you understand the beauty of this traditional method.
In this article we are also going to tell you about how the centuries old block printing art form can turn plain fabric into a masterpiece.
- Selecting a Fabric – It is recommended to have a plain and cotton fabric for block printing. This kind of fabric is easily available in market.
- Washing and drying the fabric – Once you have fabric, soak in water for atleast 2 days. This will remove starch from the fabric. Once fabric is dried, you can crease it for better printing results.
- Carving the blocks – These days many wooden carvings are available in market. Either you can go with ready carvings or in case you have any special design than you can carve on your own. These blocks can be made from mango wood which has soft tendency and your carving can be made easily on it. When you choose wood make sure it has good height so carving can do 2-3 inches deeper to prevent warping. It is recommended to make separate blocks for each color for better printing.
- Preparing color – Color is easily available in market. We recommend for natural fabric color or dye. You can go for vegetable and organic color.
NOTE – Cut your fabric into required size and lay the fabric on long table, pin it on its border and draw lines across borders for reference.
We have got some queries which people generally asks – How the centuries old block printing art form can turn plain and simple fabric into a masterpiece.
Let’s start printing on our fabric –
Dip the wooden block in to color/dye and press the block firmly onto fabric. Repeat the process till the design covers all of your fabric. Do this with steady hands so there is uniformity all over the fabric. If you have multiple colors on your fabric design, then do one by one. Let previous one dry first before you apply for next. The process though is quite time consuming and requires patience with precision to avoid breaks in motif.
Once your design printing is done, let it dried and give a final wash so extra color can come out.