The History – China, India or Japan?
If somebody mentions Woodblock printing (or block printing) to you may automatically think of India as the originator but history shows that the technique is most likely to have originated in China as a method of printing on cloth as early as the 7th century AD. from the 15th century India had also started using blocks carved from wood to print fabric and books. The Japanese also started to use block printing in their art and this is known as Ukiyo-e.
So how are the blocks made?
To make the wood blocks that are used today the process is the same one used thousands of years ago. The wood block is carefully prepared as a relief pattern, which means the areas to show ‘white’ are cut away with a knife, chisel, or sandpaper leaving the characters or image to show in ‘black’ at the original surface level. The block is cut along the grain of the wood which may have been made from teak.
Would you like to try Block Printing – check out the date of our next workshop here