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Part 1- How the art of hand block printing respects and celebrates nature

by Hannah Briant 07 Dec 2021 0 Comments
Part 1- How the art of hand block printing respects and celebrates nature

Have you noticed how most ancient textile art forms are eco-friendly? There are many traditional methods of fabric dyeing, weaving and printing that are examples of sustainable practices. Hand block printing is no exception.


Hand block printing is an ancient textile art form that has a rich history which can be traced back to the 5th century BC with its roots in India, China and Japan.

range of wooden hand block prints

As with most ancient practices, every process in hand block printing, including the preparation of cloth, is labour intensive and time-consuming.

A host of artisans are involved in the process. Alongside the printers are the masters of colour, the dye experts. The secrets of plant based dyes extracted from local vegetation have been kept as alchemical traditions of this craft for centuries.


The wood blocks are also hand carved and this traditional art has been passed from generation to generation. 

artisan at work

The prints are beautiful renditions of plants, animals and human culture and showcase the beauty of nature. Each hand block printed fabric tells its own unique story.

example of hand block printed fabrics


If you look closely at these fabrics you will see how intricate the work is, the hand of the artisan is evident in the little imperfections that make this fabric unique. You will not see this on factory made cloth. 


In this era of mass produced textiles here is a beautiful textile that is made by hand with skill and care. 


paisley block printer



At RainbowLife we believe that hand block printing is a unique textile art form that deserves appreciation and recognition. We celebrate within this art form the  respectful relationship between plants, nature and people. 


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