Block printing is a process of printing patterns on fabric by the means of carved wooden blocks. Knows as the earliest way of adoring the look of a textile. Block printing method is ruling in the textile world for years now. Being an oar of occupation for many artisans around the country, making it still breathing proudly in our nation. With the myriad of designs and colors- block printing, is like a magic spell, reviving the soul of any fabric, style, or outfit.


What is block printing?

Printing text onto fabric and paper with hand-cut blocks. The block is first cut, then printed. Hence the name, "block printing."

Block printing stencils are typically made from wood, fabric, or rubber. Block printing ink is either water soluble or oil based. The stencil is clamped down on a hard surface and the inked brayer is rolled over it to transfer an image onto the fabric.


Step 1: Design a print and draw it onto your Wood block.

The first step in block printing is coming up with a design. Draw your design onto the carving block using a permanent marker and you will know precisely what to cut for that particular design.
Permanent markers ensure ink does not come off onto your fabric or paper.


Step 2: Start carving the Wood block.

Use your carving tools, choose the size lino cutter attachment you want to use.


Step 3: Ink your Wood block.

Another option for block printing fabric is using an ink pad that can be used on fabrics, like this one. Using ink pads for block printing are best for small lino blocks.


Step 4: Print block design onto fabric

Next, no matter how you’ve inked your lino block, flip the block over. Then press the inked design face down firmly and evenly onto fabric or paper. Then, pull the stamp away from the fabric, straight up if you can.


Water Based Block printing Inks vs Oil Based Inks

The cool thing about oil based inks are: they can be used on both fabric AND paper. But they have their drawbacks too.

Water based inks can be removed from skin and clothing with soap and water. So, they clean up very easily, and again, are great for hobbyists.

Oil based inks typically need to cleaned up with mineral spirits or turpentine. Although, this set of oil based inks says that it can be cleaned with just soap and water.