Ishka Blog


A Textile Tradition: Indian Block Print Quilts

A Textile Tradition: Indian Block Print Quilts

Indian block printing is a traditional form of dying and decorating textiles using handcrafted wooden blocks.

The discovery of ancient textiles dating back to 3000BC indicates this art form has been used to adorn fabrics in India for centuries.

Three main tools are used to produce the block-printed fabric you see in these beautiful quilts; wooden blocks, fabric and dye.

Due to the intricate nature of the designs, each wooden block can take five carvers up to three days to shape from a block of teak.

When it comes time to print, printers will dip the block into a coloured dye then press it firmly onto the fabric, carefully moving the block along the fabric from left to right. As they work, the printers pull along a wooden cart filled with a variety of carved blocks to create different patterns. Often up to 30 different blocks are used to complete each printed design.

When the printing is complete, the fabric is treated to a process where it is dried in the sun, steamed, and finally ironed.

Now that you’ve learned about the process behind our gorgeous Indian block print quilts, we’re sure you’ll feel inspired to take a closer look and appreciate their beautiful artistry and craftsmanship.

Explore this beautiful collection online or at your nearest ISHKA store.

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