Block printing is an art form that originated in China over 4,000 years ago, and later spread throughout Asia and the rest of the world. Eventually, India became the epicenter of block printing.

Early in the 16th century, a descendant of Ghengis Khan invaded the region, and so began the beginning of the Mughal Dynasty. The Mughal emperors had a fondness for block printing, resulting in a flourishing textile industry under their rule.

block printer

During the rise of European industrialisation, Great Britain began to import textiles to India that imitated the iconic block print style. As a result, local producers were no longer able to compete and the industry struggled. 

In more recent years, the Indian textile industry has experienced a rebirth of their ancient art form. The block printing techniques that are used today, for authentic pieces, remains largely unchanged and continues to be done by hand. 

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Isabella Furber