What Is Block Printing?

Jon Connell/CC-BY-2.0

Block printing is using a carved piece of wood or other type of block to imprint an image on fabric or paper. In the early days of printing, it was used to print entire books.

The Chinese used block printing for books as early as the 9th century. They would carve a page of words into a block and use ink to reproduce it on a page.

Today, block printing is considered an art form. For instance, this technique can be used to make anything from stationary to fabric to customized shoes. Essentially, it is a stamping technique, where ink is rolled onto a custom-carved block.