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  • Writer's pictureJulija Greaves

Indian Block Printing First stage step 1

Preparing new Indian wood blocks for printing.

New Indian wood block carvings require good preparation before printing. The wood needs 24 hours minimum soaking in oil to enable the oil to soak through every fibre.

This will only need to be done once when you first purchase your blocks and is not repeated after every use.

Indian Block Printing step2

Depth of oil to the Indian blocks

You will need a large plate or tray whether plastic or pot/metal etc and cover the bottom of the tray with enough oil to a depth of 2mm of the blocks you are treating carved side down.

put the tray on a flat surface and wait for 24 hours.

Indian Block Printing step3

Check soaking after 24 hrs.

After 24 hours check that the oil has been distributed evenly. The oil is soaked up by the new wood and grows darker in colour. If there are still light patches where the oil has not reached then soak for a few more hours. The image below shows light patches that require longer for the oil to soak through.

Indian Block Printing step 4

Removing the Indian wood blocks

Take out the blocks one be one and wipe them with a dry cloth to take off excess oil and store. Discard the oil safely. The Indian wood blocks are now ready for use and do not require further oiling.

Indian Wood Block Printing step 5

Block Printing Inks.

There are many inks available for use with wood blocks and much depends on the material chosen to print on. I wanted to print on fabric and so used a special block printing ink.

However these carved blocks are also used on card and paper as decorative designs and there are suitable alternative inks which can be purchased for this.

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