Textile printing is the process of applying color in definite patterns and designs. Fabrics that are properly printed are color bonded with the fiber, so as to resist color from fading while washing or applying friction. For making various designs on the fabric, wooden blocks, stencils, engraved plates or rollers can be used to place colors on fabric during printing. There are several ways by which a fabric can be printed. Hand block printing is one such technique, which involves carving a desired pattern or design on a wooden block, covering this block with ink or dye and then stamping it on the fabric. While blocks can be made up of stone; but for better results they are more commonly made from wood. Intricate designs that you see printed on a fabric are not designed with a brush; they are carved to wooden blocks. Fine prints of flowers, animals and several abstract designs; gives an interesting face to a simple fabric.
Woodblock printing is the process of printing patterns on textiles; like linen, cotton or silk by using wooden blocks. It is the simplest, but the slowest process of textile printing. Hand block printing is capable of yielding higher artistic results, some of which are not possible by any other designing method. Earlier, the design for the hand block was usually a traditional Indian motif; however, now any design can be engraved on the block to hand print the fabric. Rajasthan is home to hand block printing. This technique of block printing is used in both fashion and interior industry. Good wood block printing requires skill and practice in order to create uniformity and clear patterns.
PREPARING THE BLOCK
Wood blocks used for hand block printing is generally made up of sycamore, plane and pear wood. These blocks may vary in size, but should be two or three inches thick for ease. Side edges of the wood are left and it is not carved. Fine details are very difficult to cut in wood; and if successfully cut they tend to break off in printing. Each color has a different block; so while getting these blocks ready; an important task is to get exact design in your hand before applying. Once wooden blocks are ready, you can start off with printing the fabric.
SOURCES OF INSPIRATION
Block printing designs are fascinating. These printing designs add an edge to the garment and make it look alluring. Unlike different design trends like Phulkari, hand block printing takes its inspiration from the age old form of arts like many abstract designs and mehendi designs. The artistic abilities of various designs lead to intricate patterns within the basic hand block printing designs. Elaborate designs can also be created through this technique of hand block printing. Certain basic components of Buti, Jhal, Bel and Buta constitute small patterns in a Block Print.
VARIETIES OF HAND BLOCK PRINTS
Wooden blocks are carved in such a way that they portray the exact imagination of a designer. These hand block printing designs can be simple geometric formations or more detailed impressions. Serving the needs of Indian and global fashion, hand blocked designs are molded in the best possible way by designers.
PRESENT DAY SCENARIO
Hand block printing designs are cherished since Mughal era. However, recently hand block printing has taken a different route. It has been an elaborate technique ever since it is known. Hand block printing has always been one of the most admired arts, but many facets are added to it, to update it as per the current fashion trends. Block printing on components of garments like pockets or collar add an edge to the overall look and make the garment a statement piece. Also, such prints used as patches on various products look fascinating. Hand block printing has a tremendous demand in apparel industry for sarees, suits, and dresses and also for products such as handbags etc.
FUTURE OF HAND BLOCK PRINTING
Looking at the current situation of hand block print fabrics in the market, future of these fabrics seem to be quite impressive. From blocks, it will take time to get the designs customized where people can contribute in designing prints and patterns. Instead of wasting time in engraving, hand block printing should be made customized to complete the task in a time friendly way. Experimenting with block prints will never go out of trend. Also, such prints combined with chunky jewelry, gives a chic and modern look, which is not dying at least for many years to come.
Small variation in designs of wood block in printing, adds a unique charm to hand made fabrics. It is easy to add value to the life of Hand block print fabric. Some basics like washing them on reverse, ironing regularly and keeping them stain free, helps. The fact that maintenance of these hand blocked fabrics is easy, draws many consumers from across the globe. Also, for hand blocked fabrics in wholesale; buy fabric online at The Design Cart.
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