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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Block Printing for Beginners.

What is Block Printing?

Block printing is a process of transferring an inked image from a surface cut in relief to paper, fabric, or other material. The printing block is often of wood (sometimes of linoleum or a similar substance), and the ink is a paste or liquid carrying pigment or dye. The image transfer is made by pressure, applied by any one of several methods. The process varies in technical details, in both fine arts and craft applications.


History of Block Printing:

Block Printing is one of the oldest types of printmaking, and has been around for thousands of years.  There is evidence that it existed as early as the fifth century BC, with actual fragments found from as early as the fifteenth century.  It has been done around the world, with roots in India, China and Japan. Since there is such a long history of block printing, there are many different techniques, but it is essentially using a carved material covered in ink to transfer an image on to paper or fabric.  Block printing can be done with wood, linoleum, rubber, or many other materials.

Materials Required:

  • Wooden Blocks 
  • 5 Samples of Cotton Cloth 10"x10"
  • Block Printing Colours - Liquid or Powder.
  • Binder
  • Colour Fixer
  • Gloves
  • Disposable Plates, Glasses and Spoons.
  • Sponge 1/2 meter sheet.

Block Printing Dyes - Liquid and Pigments, Colour fixer and Binder paste.

Wooden blocks of different shapes and sizes.


Block Printing Process:

This a fairly easy process all you need to do is that add one teaspoon of block printing colour in 4 teaspoons of binder in a glass and mix it well to make a paste. You can also do this directly on the disposable plate. Once this is done we can start with the next step. All we need to do is to pick the colour with a sponge and directly apply it on the wooden block. Once this is done apply the block directly on the cloth where ever you want the motif or design to be and press the block or tap the block with palm of your hand.

You will notice that once you pick up the block again, the motif or design gets transferred on the cotton sample with your choice of colour. Repeat the same process again and make as many designs that you can with blocks. Once you have finished working on your samples let them dry for a couple of days. Then soak them in a bucket of water with a cap of colour fixer mixed in it after this squeeze the water out and let it dry again. This will fix the block printing colours on your samples and they will not fade easily.  Have Fun.  :)




These are some of the samples that I made recently. Yes, it was a little messy job but the result is worth waiting for!

Two Motifs




Border and Motif

Multiple - One motif

Block Printing done with Gold pigment.


 Tip:  Diwali is on 13th November 2012. You can make Greeting cards, Pillow covers, Hankies, T-shirts, Kurti's for gifting.  :)



Happy Block Printing!!



Availability for Blocks and Block Dyes in Delhi:


                      1)  Dawar Di Hatti - 150, Gaffar Market, Karol Bagh.

                            The shopkeeper argues a lot and believes in mass profiteering however some of

                            Block colours have a really good colour payoff. I bought few pigments and liquid  

                            colours from him. Pigment was avg and Black liquid was a complete waste of 

                            money, Red was really bright and lovely colour to block print with.

                      2) Sanjay Stationeries, Hauz Khas Mrkt, South Delhi.

                           Acramine colours for Block Printing are available which are student colours

                            and are okay to experiment with binder paste of 250 gms is also available.

                      3) Jagdamba Stationeries - Kamla Nagar.

                      4) Stationeries of Nai Sarak, Chandini Chowk.

                      5)  - Procion MX Dyes.



Love, Surabhi



  1. you have a wonderful blog! very compliments!
    if you want this is my

  2. Hi surabhi wonderful blog...
    I loved reading every bit of it. B-)
    Love ur designs, so simple & beautiful.

    Could you plz tell me from where I can buy wooden blocks in delhi & any info abt the price range would also be very helpful. Aftr reading your blog I am so curious to try blocks. :-)

    Thanks in advance
    Best regards

  3. Hi Layeeqa,

    I am very happy that you liked the post and loved my blog!! Thankyou for visiting!. Block printing is an interesting hobby... You can buy everything related to block printing from any of the stores below as I mentioned it on the post...

    Dawar Di Hatti - 150, Gaffar Market, Karol Bagh,
    Jagdamba Stationeries - Kamla Nagar,
    Stationeries of Nai Sarak, Chandini Chowk, - Procion MX Dyes.


  4. Can u pls tell he to prepare golden color..mine turns blue after some time..


  5. Nice post...I look forward to reading more, and getting a more active part in the talks here, whilst picking up some knowledge as well..

    Dyes And Pigments Importers In Delhi

  6. For good quality block printing in Bangalore for sarees, pillow covers, table mats, table covers, bags and lots more collection of blocks visit
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  7. The art of Indian block print fabric is a labor-intensive,painstaking process that has survived from ancient times to the present because of the beauty of the handmade products.
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  9. IN White Rose,We provide excellent services for all printing.Printing in Delhi.White Rose is the leading Advertising Agencies and companies in India. We offers you integrated newspaper, printing, Corporate films, media.

  10. IN White Rose,We provide excellent services for all printing.Printing in Delhi.White Rose is the leading Advertising Agencies and companies in India. We offers you integrated newspaper, printing, Corporate films, media.

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  12. Heyy nice block printing such printing looks really great on pakistani salwar kameez if they are in cotton fabric a sweet and simple kurti will look really great

  13. Bagh print sarees are from a small village in Dhar district of Madhya Pradesh. From a near forgotten tribal art to today leaving an imprint in the textile and art world, these Bagh print silk sarees have come a long way.bagh sarees

  14. There are websites that allow you to design your shirts online or you can take one of your computer programs and design it on your own computer. t shirt


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