Taking Indian Block Printing to a new level 

Indian block printing on anything which stands still, skirts, tops, bags, tea towels and some fabric destined for a quilt too.  This week has been half term, so a great opportunity to run some daytime workshops while my lovely girls are away camping (poor things it is raining cats and dogs). I have recently acquired a summer skirt which after a few alterations will fit my little one – it is plain white so not idea for an active five year old but as she loves wearing her block printed t-shirt she has agreed that I can block print the skirt for her.

 Indian block printed t-shirt

A fellow school mum came along to an evening workshop – she asked if we could block print a t-shirt thinking it would be a great activity to do with her children. So when I was playing with the blocks and fabric paints I gave it a go. Although the design is not centred I think the circular overprinting of the peacock feather gives a pretty effect in pink and purple – best colours for my girl.

fish on skirt

I got ahead and printed a fishy hem line before the guests arrived. It was great fun printing on an uneven surface as the fish took on a new character, it also didn’t matter at all if I wobbled. As the session progressed I added different colours and blocks to each layer in the swirly skirt. I am pleased with the result – what do you think?

finshed skirt

So thinking about coming along to a second block printing session my guest wanted to do something different, she had been before and already had a bag (her design is one on my Pinterest page) and tea towel and she didn’t fancy printing up an apron. She is one of my regular Friday morning social stitch guests shares my love of reusing, up cycling etc. She had made a smock top from some sheeting with a lovely blue band at the hem and as the main part was plain white she was keen to embellish – and block printing is certainly simpler and quicker than stitching!

vee in top

I was really impressed with the placement of the design at the hem and neckline and the use of blues and greens to bring the whole thing together. Clever use of the bird blocks, peacock and peacock feather and using a gradient of colour across the block add to the depth and complexity of the finished item. I am sure she will be proud as a peacock to step out in her new top – it certainly gives no hint of its previous life.

On Tuesday we also had a young lady who was printing some plain fabric to make her own bag. She had a real flair for design and placed the blocks with confidence and in a really pleased and even pattern. Perhaps a textile design career could work for her (although apparently she also loves music and is working towards grade 8, wow). Her work showed a real confidence in colour choices and the blocks placed in a geometric repeating design will be just perfect for her next bag make, I can’t wait to see the finished article.

Absys printing

Guests always have the opportunity to print their own tea towel, bag or apron but this week it was certainly taking block printing one step further. So after two hours and a slice of banana cake look what we achieved…

harry potter colours

If you would like to have a go yourself or would like to return to print up your own clothes or household textiles do get in touch – I run Indian block printing sessions regularly and it would be great to pass on this craft to more of you!

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