I have always thought the beauty of block printing lies in its tedious process - the detailed designing of the patterns, carving of the blocks, layering of colors and of course the history of its artisans!
Even though block printing is a widely known art of printing on fabrics and textiles not many are aware of its extensive use on wallpapers and leather products. In-fact block printing was the standard method of producing wallpaper until the early 20th century and is still used by a few traditionalist firms.
I happened to stumble upon an enlightening video on the Victoria and Albert Museum website that inspired me to write this post and share my two bits. TheV&A video shows the woodblock printing process William Morris went through to create some of his timeless wallpaper designs; for this pattern he used 30 different blocks, 15 colors and took about 4 weeks to complete the entire printing process!!!
(Sharing a few screenshots for a quick scroll but I encourage you all to watch the full video – linked above.)
One thing that has totally impressed me always is the use of the right paper. It's that background which upholds the identity of one's design, the intend of a photograph, the character of your writing...... it's like a foundation of any building. Well yes! That's how important choosing the right paper is because you may ignore it, but it is that little detail that enhances the overall experience.
Sun Papers in Bora Bazaar, Chimanlals in Wallace Street, and Sona Commercial in Lower Parel, bombay (mumbai), India are MMT’s favourite shop stops for paper.
Chimanlals has been making and selling handmade paper and paper products for the past 50 years bringing along a paper culture in India and overseas. Their pursuit of traditional designs and printing techniques reflect in their stationery collateral (letterheads, envelops, visiting cards, desk organizers) wrapping papers, wedding invites, gift cards and many other accessories. If you want all the Indianness in your paper – ikkat, bandhani, ghumar, patola, warli, block etc etc. Chimanlal’s is your must go to store.