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Block printing

This is the first printing technique, dating back, some say, 5000 years. Its earliest use was for printing text on paper.
When used in fabrics, a block of wood is carved for each of the colours in the design. Some of the finer details of the pattern are delineated in brass or copper. 

Block printing

The more colours there are, the more intricate the pattern is, the finer the skills required from the carvers and printers. The artisans work on long tables cushioned in dozens of layers of plain cotton, wool or jute.
Lengths of fabric are drawn across the table, and a mark is made to show where the first impression of the block is to be made. The blocks are then pressed into the colour first and onto the fabric next. Each colour must be dry before the next is applied. 

block printing
block printing

When the printing is done, the colours are fixed, and the fabric is then washed and sun dried.

The fabrics in Caravane’s Folio, Trio, EPI DAUR and GUJARAT collections bedlinens are traditionally block printed by hand, from simple one colour prints to the rare, exceptionally intricate Papilio design using up to 9 different blocks.

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