How to carve and Block Print on a Fabric

wood block carve printing

What is Hand Block Printing?

Block printing originated from a village named “Sanganer” located near Jaipur, India around 350 years back. Block printing is a practice of dipping a hand made wooden stamp into the ink and posting it on to a fabric as many times as it is required.

The wood used in the making of block printing stamp is known as Sheesham. The clothes which usually get printed through this process are cotton and silk with the vegetable dyes & pigment colors. The mostly used colors in block printing are Red, Blue, Yellow and Orange.

How to make a Block Printing Dye:

Things required for block printing:

  • Pencil,
  • Tracing paper,
  • Carbon paper,
  • Permanent marker,
  • Linoleum wood blocks,
  • A craft knife,
  • Small roller for ink,
  • Color ink,
  • Ink tray,
  • Solid color fabric,
  • Iron.


  1. Use a pencil to draw the desired design on a tracing paper.
  2. Trace a design onto a linoleum wooden block using carbon paper and darken the traced design with a permanent marker.
  3. Carve the traced design on the linoleum wooden block using the carving knives.
  4. Apply ink onto the designed block using ink roller.
  5. Start stamping the block on the fabric from the right side and carry on with the process till your design calls for it.
  6. Dip your other blocks in different colors that you want to apply and stamp it on the fabrics for filling your design as required.
  7. Let the ink dry and then iron it.

If you have an interest in block printing or if you are intending to start a business of block printing its very important to understand the local market demand for it. It has been observed that digital printing has almost failed to replace block printing however it has made some space for itself in the market. Block printing is still quiet popular in the Asian market especially Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Nepal.

Within the Asian region there is a huge cottage industry for block printing who does not only print their own designs and supply that into the market but they also provide custom designs based on your need. Check out the How to start a block printing business.

Written by Sheri


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