Block Printing

When I thought of block printing, the image that came to mind was a chopped up potato, dipped in paint in kindergarten. The techniques used in India are a little more sophisticated. Workers hand carve wood to make prints and one by one make a pattern on stretches of fabric. It's incredible to watch the speed with which they work.

I love the impefect nature of block printing, the small "mistakes" where the lines don't quite match up. It is here that block printing becomes an art for me. So much of the colour and pattern in our lives, be it fashion to tea-towels are designed on a computer and printed by a machine. There is no individuality in that. I love the character and the stories behind block prints. In India there is so much history and tradition, every pattern can be traced back to a philosophical story.

Next time you hold a piece of block printed organic cotton - which may be a simple as a sarong for the beach - take note of its details, appreciate the work of the person who made it for you. And know that yours is truly unique, one of a kind, perfectly imperfect, just like you.

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