Hand block printing is a centuries old art form in India. It is also referred to as “block printing” or “woodblock printing”. This ancient printing technique utilises a hand carved teak wood block that is dipped in dye and stamped by hand onto cotton or silk. The result is truly unique , hand block printed fabric that connects us to a rich tradition and history of handmade crafts.
First, the block for the design is created. the design itself is most often a traditional Indian motif, which is typically influenced by the nature, beliefs and customs of the region. these motifs regularly take the form of geometric patterns, animals and plants. The wood block is oiled and sanded before the craftsman carefully chips away at the block, leaving behind the desired design for the stamp.
Then the artisan pre-washes the fabric. Many Indian artisans, including those who work with Passion Lilies, pre- wash fabrics in local rivers or other waterways. This makes the block printing process highly sustainable, because it reduces water consumption. The fabric is dyed to its base colour, laid flat on a table and fixed firmly to the table using pins. The artisan mixes together four or five basic natural colours to create a multitude of dyes. The block is then dipped in the dye and stamped firmly by hand onto the fabric. .Once the dye has dried , the completed block print fabric is rinsed in a local river or waterway. The block printing process concluded by hanging the fabric to dry in the sun.
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