Image courtesy Indulgy (left) and Artfire (right)
Block printing though a slow, pain staking process, can be incredibly fun too. A traditionally Indian method of creating designs on fabric, this method is widely popular for the simplicity of technique which results in gorgeous, vibrant patterns on the cloth.
Image courtesy Blocks & Prints (above)
In this technique, it is the preparation of the block that takes the most amounts of time and technique.
Image courtesy galenfrysinger (above) and Aapnostore (Below)
First, a design is drawn and transferred (using carbon paper) onto a prepared wooden block. Then a block cutter carves out the design in the wood, leaving the finer detailing of the design to the end. The wood is often reinforced with strips of brass or copper, driven edgewise into the block to ensure that pieces don’t break down or chip away.
Image courtesy Art.com (below)
The flat surface of the block is then coated with paint, and pressed down steadily against the fabric. The block is smacked on the back with a wooden mallet to ensure that the design is impressed into the fabric completely. This process is repeated till the entire area is covered.
If the fabric is to have multiple colors, the cloth is first printed with the first color, then dried thoroughly and printed with the second. This process is repeated till all the colors are completed.
Image courtesy Blocks & Prints
Block printing brings truth to the saying there is beauty in simplicity. With a freshness and vibrancy that cannot be matched in other forms of textile design, block printing holds its own as a much loved traditional craft form of India.