Monday, 21 November 2011

Block printing with linocut

We need new curtains for our snug and I've been toying with the idea of printing my own design. But it's an awful long time since I printed any textiles which means I'll need to do plenty of experimentation - this is good, it will be fun to play around for a bit. 

We also need a very small blind for the downstairs loo, so that's what I'll start with. That way I only need to print a couple of metres of cloth as apposed to printing about 12!
I don't have easy access to screen printing equipment and studio so I went back to my roots and played around with some simple block printing onto cloth. 

I used existing bits of lino because I wanted to experiment with the technique but once I feel I've mastered that, I'll work out a design and make the plates specifically for this project. It will give me the perfect excuse to get my old textile books down from the shelf and pay the V&A a visit.

By inking each plate individually you can achieve really 'clean' shapes, then printing onto paper or cloth the ideas start to form and I can see how printing 12 metres is possible!

I think I've just found a new use for our kitchen table, hurrah!


  1. Your fabric prints are looking interesting... are your using a fabric ink/paint or just a regular block oil based printing ink?

    I keep trying different things...but I haven't hit on anything I'm really happy with yet.


  2. These prints are really beautiful Mavina and have a lovely delicacy to them that you would not achieve with screen printing. I am looking forward to seeing more.

  3. There's room for a lot of variety in this process, layering and differing pressure for tonal effects - however when i print a large piece of cloth I'll have to develop a more methodical approach, or it may look a bit patchy.

    I used a pigment mixed in with a binder, as you would for a screen print, dabbed onto the block with an old sponge. Then ironing to fix the colours onto the fabric.

    At I use Magnaprint, supplied by

  4. These are beautiful Mavina- as Jacqui said, there's a delicacy about them that would be difficult to achieve with screen printing. Thank you for the link too- definitely something to look forward to experimenting with in the new year. Amanda : )