Woodblock Printing: Meerut, India

Meerut, an ancient settlement of the Indus Valley Civilization, is still alive, and maintains one of the world’s oldest forms of printing dye on fabric, the tradition of woodblock printing. The technique is practiced in many different regions of India; the patterns differ to reflect cultural influence and the evolution of the art form. The process requires great dedication and meticulous care as the wooden stencil is repeatedly pressed down by hand over the fabric to create the imprint. The fabrics produced here can be spotted for their butis, paisleys and other large colorful patterns.


Block Printing Technique:

  • Raw cotton or silk cloth is bleached and dyed to create the base color.
  • The fabric is stretched and pinned to a printing table.
  • Blocks made of teak wood are hand-carved to create the outline shape for the desired pattern and soaked in oil to soften.
  • The blocks are dipped into a tray of color and pressed evenly and firmly to the fabric to create a pattern.
  • The dyed fabric is dried, washed and ironed before being packaged and shipped.