Sarees -Ramdhanu Ethnic

Hand Block Print

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Hand Block Print

What is a hand-block print fabric? 

Hand block printing is an ancient method of textile printing. This type of painting is popular for exotic designs ornamented with vibrant colors on the fabric. To explain it, wooden blocks carved with intricate details are employed to manually print beautiful designs that generally cover the entire length of fabric. 

This form of printing takes both time and effort. However, the results are stunning. When the work gets completed, you can understand why it takes so much time. Hand block print looks awesome on pure silk saree, like any other fabric. 


Historians have found that the art of hand block printing was present during the Indus Valley Civilization. You can find hand-block printed clothes in museums which are actually 12th-century clothes. 

The process of creating the design

If you search hand block print saree online, you will find a lot of stuff and one thing that you would surely find is about how the design is created. It starts with the design of the wooden blocks. Normally, the block is two or three inches thick. The surface of the upper side is perfectly flattened and extremely smooth. 

Next comes transferring the design onto the block. The design is first created on paper, then it is outlined on the block using lampblack and oil. The block cutter then starts carving in the details. The heavier masses are first created, and then the later finer portions are handled. 

After the cutting of larger masses, the design distinguishes itself like a letterpress. Next comes the most difficult part, When we see the hand block fabric, be it a pure silk saree, we observe several fine details. It is not easier to achieve by just carving them directly into wood. The delicate details sometimes break off easily. In order to stop this from happening, details are built up in strips of metal and driven into the printing surface. This process is known as ‘coppering’.In this process, we create delicate stars, flowers, and other designs using hand-block printing. 

The printing process

The fabric to be printed, here printed silk sarees, is tightly stretched out on a printing table. A color sieve is a tube filled with starch paste and a dye is used to create the color. In traditional hand-block printing methods, eco-friendly dyes get used. All the dyes that are used to block print silk saree are azo-free. 

Then artists start the process of printing by stretching the required amount of fabric from the roll, securing it, and creating the position where the first print is to be created. The engraved block then gets immersed in the dye. Then, they firmly press the block on the indicated area of the fabric, and strike from the back to make an impression. The second impression is created the way the first has been created. To do this continuously, a person needs an incredible amount of skill. All these are done by relying on the pins present in the specific locations on the blocks as guides for the next placement. An expert printer ensures continuity and there is no break in the print.

Preparing various colors


It is possible to generate prints with more than a single color at the same time. This method is known as ‘toying’. Be it a block print silk saree or any other printed silk sarees, the special color sieve including compartments with various colors is used. The arrangement shows that the colors remain within their specific boundaries. When the blocks get pressed onto the sieve, each and every part comes out as different colors and then gets transferred to the fabric. But this process can only be used for patterns with different colored shapes placed at small distances. 

Fixing of colors

Though the method of hand block printing on a saree is simple, it is a labor-intensive process. This technique is primarily used to create ethnic prints on sarees like printed silk sarees on sustainable textiles created out of natural fibers. Anyway, the results are sensational, and the great effect of the hand-block fabric is tough to achieve by any other method. 

We have a wide range of soft silk sarees that have hand-block prints. You can visit our website to select your favorite hand-block print saree. The printed silk sarees that we have are the works of our master artisans.