Block Printing

Block print carvings, India. (

Block printing traces as far back as the fifth century BC, and can be summarized as an image produced by the stamp of carved block (linoleum, wood, rubber & old potatoes).


Ray Morimura (b.1948) From Lines and


Hand carved stamps of kitchen items Yellow Owl Workshops (www.

Block printing is used both for textiles & paper decoration & design. 


18th century block textile, florals (

Styles tend to be quite diverse, varying regionally, some images and patterns or graphic and bold whereas others showcase great carving skill with the addition of many details.

A 17th century example of block printing on clothing from the Victoria & Albert Museum, London (



Bird printed textile (


Artisan working on block print textile, India. (

While much of the finest work comes from India, there are also many notable American artists working today.


Intricate botanical carving block by the talented Jeanne McGee (from jeannemcgeewordpresscom)


Jen Hewett, American (

Jen Hewett is a contemporary American artist whose gorgeous textiles are a unique admixture of African pictorial traditions, mid century modernism & a great sensitivity to texture, color and patterning. (





Stamp. photo from Hier Houd ik Van (

Jesse Breytenbach of Henri Kuikens – Block Printed Textiles (


Stamp. photo from Hier Houd ik Van (

2 replies »

  1. This is really neat. I was just reading some memoirs my grandmother wrote and she told about using linoleum to make blocks for printing in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Your article is wonderful. Love the pictures.


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