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Indian wood block printing

Updated: Feb 22, 2021

Whenever I see a cotton sari or tablecloth (no shame here!) from India that has that great simple hand-stamped (or hand-stamped-looking) printing I just grab it up immediately! Beauties like this:

Whenever anyone I knew went to India I longed to ask them to bring me back yards and yards (ok, meters and meters in this case) of these fabrics but I just had no idea what it was called. I used to wear saris but I don’t recall ever really seeing this fabric in the sari stores. I would scour Jackson Heights in Queens looking for it but with no luck. Strange, right? It wasn’t until recently that I guess I kind of figured out that maybe it doesn’t really have a name….? Please someone correct me if I’m wrong. When I would Google the description it would always just come up as “Indian block-print cotton fabric.” Which is exactly what it was so fair enough. Look, its not sooooooo pricey to buy online but I wanted a better alternative. When I lived in NYC I would hop into ABC Carpet and Home any second that I got and I remember I would just lust over the antique wood blocks (made for printing) that they had there; although ABC Carpet is my personal version of heaven nothing there is even remotely affordable so that is where the love affair would end; but no matter, the seed was planted.

Back on track: I decided that I would just print by own fabric, easy peasy! So I ordered a wood block from India from another seller on Etsy (gotta support the people!) and got some luxurious cotton poplin and went to it. It was fun and sooooo satisfying! I just eye-balled a half drop repeat and it worked out remarkably!

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