Some of our designs are available as hand block-printed fabric.
Hand block-printed fabric
We are delighted to offer block-printed fabric by the metre. It is only made to order (we do not keep it in stock), and due to the labour-intensive nature of block-printing, and our press size, we are only able to produce short runs - up to approximately 3 metres - at present.
We print on Russian linen, a natural, high quality textile with a tight weave. This ensures even the finest details can be transferred to the textile.
How it's made
The linen is pre-washed (by us) to allow for shrinkage and to remove any sizing, before being ironed. It is then arranged on the bed of the press to await the inked block. Linseed-based relief ink is mixed to the desired colour before being applied (using an artist's hand-roller) to the block. The inked block is carefully placed face-down onto the fabric, before the press's heavy cylinder roller is passed over it. The block is then gently removed to reveal the design on the fabric.
The process is repeated a second time - at this stage, printing becomes a two man job (or, more accurately, a one man, one woman job!). This is because the inked block needs to be registered correctly - in other words, placed carefully in line with the edge of the previously printed image. We always aim for perfection but due to the 'primitive' nature of block-printing, a seamless repeat isn't always achieved. However, many would argue that these imperfections actually make the finished product richer (we call them 'happy accidents'), in that they evidence the role of the human hand and eye in the production process, and imbue the fabric with a gentler, more authentic look and feel.
The process is continued (sometimes over a period of days to allow sections of the fabric to dry) until the required meterage is printed. Once finished, it is ironed again to ensure the block-print is fixed.
Our block-printed fabric is currently available in our 'Varx', 'Nightjars', 'Ode to the Ash' and 'Bloodlines' designs, and in four signature colour-ways: Blue grey, Elizabethan ochre, Venetian red or Carbon black.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact us via email or telephone.
Detail from 'Ode to the Ash', hand block-printed on linen
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