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By Indu Bindu

Hand block printing is a an old Indian art form that utilizes a hand carved teak wood block that is dipped in dye and stamped by hand onto different kind of fabric like cotton, silk, chiffon etc. The process of stamping can take 7 to 10 days depending upon the complexity of design. A skilled artists can print 20 meters a day of a one- block design or 4 meters a day of a 4 block design. The design for the block is usually a traditional Indian motif.

  Image via Pinterest

The printing process begins by pre-washing the fabrics in the river in order to reduce water consumption. The fabric is then dyed, laid flat on a table and fixed firmly to the table with pins. Four to five basic natural colors are used that are then mixed together to form a multitude of colors. The block is then dipped in the dye and stamped firmly by hand onto the fabric. Finally, the fabric is rinsed in the river and hung to dry in the sun, minimizing energy consumption.

Good printing requires skill and practice in order to create uniformity and clear block printing patterns. There are small variations in the printing which adds to the unique charm of these handmade fabrics. As the printing is done using natural colors not all colors are possible unlike chemical dyes. As natural colors are used, so the colors have the tendency to bleed a bit. Due to this the fabrics needs to be machine washed with mild detergent in cold water and wash colors separately, do not soak and do not dry in direct sunlight.


  Handblock fabrics can be used for wide range of homedecor.


Images via Pinterest

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