This December, LET’S LEARN ABOUT…Block printing!
Have you ever tried creating designs on paper using stamps? Block printing is one of the oldest stamping techniques in the world. It involves using wood blocks to print text, images, or patterns on paper and cloth.
Many cultures have long traditions of printing on cloth, but it was in India that the practice reached new heights. Indian block-printed textiles were traded across the globe for hundreds of years, in exchange for gold, silver, and valuable spices.
To make these textiles, craftsmen would slowly and carefully stamp lengths of cotton fabric with hand-carved wood blocks coated with coloured ink or dye. Many of these craftsmen were taught the trade by their parents, who were in turn taught by theirs — each generation working almost exactly as the one before.
Block printing by hand is a slow process, but can produce beautiful results not achievable through other methods. Patterns usually include geometric shapes, as well as designs inspired by plants, animals, people, and even structures.
Watch textile artist Sunaina Bhalla who will show you how to block print in a step-by-step video. Then, try making a block-printed artwork yourself! Tag us @ACM_SG and #LearningatACM to have your artwork featured on our Instagram.
Length of video: 6:12 minutes