Block Printing in India

by Denis on August 30, 2011

Block printing has been used extensively for decorative purposes such as fabrics and wallpaper. This is easiest with repetitive patterns composed of one or a small number of motifs that are small to medium in size (due to the difficulty of carving and handling larger blocks). For a multi-colour pattern, each colour element is carved as a separate block and individually inked and applied. Block printing was the standard method of producing wallpaper until the early 20th century, and is still used by a few traditionalist firms. It also remains in use for making cloth, mostly in small artisanal settings, for example in India.

Above is a beautiful video showing the process of block printing. As per the video’s description: “After meeting the world’s great hand-block printing artisans on a recent trip to northern India’s Rajasthan, we asked them to make a special collection of quilts just for us. Watch here as they create an array of striking designs, all printed using intricately carved teak blocks and richly colored pigment dyes.”


by Denis on August 30, 2011

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