Block print is a beautiful art form that is produced through the carving of wooden blocks. A seperate block is carved for each part of the pattern, meaning most textiles require the carving of various blocks to produce a finished block print. It is a trade that is typically passed down and learned from elder family members.
Once the carving is done, three different methods can be used to imprint the pattern on textiles depending on the design you want. The first and most simple method is known as 'the direct method.' It is similar to a stamp in that you dip the block into a dye and then stamp it onto the fabric.
Discharge printing is used when you want to create a white pattern on a colourful background. This is achieved by replacing the ink with a bleaching agent and stamping that instead.
The final method of block printing, known as 'resist printing' is the inverse of discharge printing, and is used when the pattern is created before the textile has been died. In this case, the carving would be dipped in a waxy paste and pressed onto the fabric. The wax would help to preserve the pattern after it has been dyed.