Block printing method:
was the first printing method which was used to print fabric.
this method, a block with raised printing surface is used.
raised printing surface is inked with the desired colour first.
inked printing surface is pressed on the fabric surface.
desired design is completed after repetition of a single block according to
· In old age, the blocks were made of terracotta.
the blocks are made of carved wood.
typical hand block print had no large, uniform areas of colour
· It was
skilfully built up from many small coloured areas because wooden surfaces
larger than about 10 mm in width would not give an even print.
had the advantage that a motif such as a flower would have an effect of light
shade obtained from three or four blocks, each printing a different depth of
the same colour or shade.
bleached or dyed fabric is fixed upon the printing table first with the help of
the block is inked and the inked block is placed on the fabric surface and is
pressed to make a colour impression to the fabric surface.
number of blocks getting used depends upon the number of colours present in the
Various steps involved in the block
Various methods involved in
the block printing methods are given below:
1- Carving of printing block.
2- Fabric mounting and fixing on
the printing table.
3- Colours preparation.
4- Fabric printing.
5- Printed fabric drying.
6- Curing and finishing.
Carving of printing block:
Fairly hardwood is used for
block preparation. The edges of the design do not break during fine cutting if
the wood is fairly hard. The pear wood is much suitable for block making. The
block-making process is completed in the below steps.
1- A flat wood piece of suitable
size is selected as per the design including side margins.
2- The bottom and top surfaces
of this wood piece are made plane and smooth with the hand plane tool.
3- Now, the bottom surface of
this flat wool piece is rubbed with the help of sandpaper.
4- The rubbed surface of the
wood piece is then coated with a removable white paint.
5- Now the required design is
transferred upon this white-coated surface.
6- The design is carved upon the
white coated surface with the help of cutting tools like fine and small chisels
7- The portion of the wood piece
which appears as the unprinted area on the fabric is carved only.
8- The portion of the wood piece
which appears as a printed area remains as a raised surface in the block.
9- Proper cleaning and finishing
of the design of the block are done.
Finally, each block required corner ‘pitch
pins’ which printed small dots.
These allowed the succeeding blocks to be
correctly positioned by accurately locating the pitch pins above the already
A handle is fitted above this block to lift and
press it during printing.
The raised surface depth is kept at 10 millimetres
Fabric mounting and fixing on the
1- A flat table is required for
2- The table width is kept
according to the fabric width to be printed.
3- The width of the table is
always kept more than the fabric width.
4- At least 6 inches margin on
both sides of the width of the table is kept.
5- Cushioning on the table
surface is done to make the table surface flexible.
6- Many layers of suitable
fabric are spread over the printing surface of the table.
7- These fabric layers are fixed
upon the table surface.
8- There should be no wrinkles on
9- Now, the fabric is spread
over the table.
The fabric selvedge should be parallel to the
length of the table.
The wrinkles are removed from the fabric to be
The fabric is fixed upon the cushion with the help
of steel pins.
First of all, one side of the fabric is
fixed upon the table in a straight line.
Now, the other side of the fabric is fixed upon
There should be no wrinkles in the fabric after
In this way, the fabric is ready for printing.
1- The required colour is
prepared in the colour tray.
2-Different chemicals like
binder, thickener, and softener are added to the colour as per recipes.
A separate colour tray is used
for each colour.
4- A thick woollen cloth or thin
sponge sheet is placed in the colour tray.
5-The woollen fabric or sponge
sheet absorbs the colour well.
6-Now, our colour preparation
process is completed.
Fabric printing process:
1- The fabric printing process
begins according to the design.
2- Normally, light shade is
3- The block is gripped with the
help of a handle fitted in it.
4- The printing surface of the
block is touched to the woollen cloth or sponge placed in the colour tray and
is pressed gently.
5-The printing surface of the
block is picked up the colour well.
6- Now, this block is placed
upon the fabric as per the design and pressed tightly.
7-The colour is transferred to
the fabric surface now.
8-This block is repeated
according to the design till completion.
9- Now, the second, third, and
fourth blocks are taken in the required sequence and colours are printed on the
Printed fabric drying:
1- When the fabric printing is
completed, the fabric is still in slightly wet condition.
2-If we remove this fabric from
the table just after printing, the colour spots may have appeared upon the
3- We do not remove the fabric
just after printing.
4-The fabric is left over on the printing
table for few times.
5- The atmospheric air comes in
contact with the printed fabric.
6-The moisture present in the
fabric begins to evaporate now.
7- After some time, the fabric
8-Now, the possibility of the colour
spot is finished there.
9- Finally, the fabric is
removed from the printing table carefully and hung up on the ropes in the open
The fabric comes with exposure to direct sunlight and gets dried completely.
Curing and finishing of fabric:
1- The colours of the above-printed
fabric do not have enough fastness.
2-This fabric undergoes the curing process.
3- The fabric passes through the heating chamber for a definite time.
4-The crocking fastness of the
fabric is improved after the curing process.
5- Finally, the softener is
applied to the fabric to improve the touch and feel of the fabric.
6-Thus the printed fabric gets
ready for use.
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