Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Block printing tutorial

I bought this vintage middle eastern block about a year and a half ago and have been dying to use it.
I finally found a worthy project. It involved printing a yard of cotton twill as a part of another project that I promised soon.

To start you need to measure your block and see how that translates to a pattern that works.

I marked off the spacing I wanted for the first row and then offset that by half for the second row. It is a good idea to get this spacing figured out by printing on paper first.

For the "ink" I used red oxide heavy body acrylic paint and a bit of fabric medium. I mixed it and rolled it out on an old palette but it is properly done on a piece of glass. The roller thingy you see is called a brayer. It is a hard rubber roller and I have had it since college. Many times, over the years I have been tempted to pitch the brayer but the memory of its unusual expense at the college art supply and the two stinkin' times I used it had me holding on and I am glad I did.
It is important roll a layer out so that it goes on you block evenly.

It took me some time to get the feel of how much to ink the block. I was using too little at first. Then, about halfway through, the block got a bit gloppy.

I simply wash and thoroughly dried it to continue.

My project will require just a bit less than the one yard and the first three rows of printing were not ideal so I can cut them off. It took me an hour to do one yard but I got much faster and more precise by the end of the run so a larger piece would not be too hard.
My bank account is relieved I did not go for the Robshaw fabric and I still got some hand printed fabric.
I can't wait to try this again.


Nancy said...

This is fabulous Kerry, I want to do this. I was going to make my own block print, but I need to look for one like this.. fantastic.
xo Nancy

ArchitectDesign™ said...

that is so cool!

The Pink Pagoda said...

This is fantastic! Where would you suggest looking for

My Crafty Home Life said...

This is something I would try. I also want to know where you can get vintage blocks? Ebay?

Karen Albert said...

Beautiful work Kerry. I love the look of block printing!

2013 Artists Series

PURA VIDA said...

wow! you did a great looks perfect! Pillow?

Julie Taylor and Danni Greenwalt said...

Love this...great idea!

An Urban Cottage said...


Vel Criste said...

this is really cool Kerry!!! Can't wait to see it all set and done! :-)