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Art Encyclopedia - Block Printing

Art information > Art Encyclopedia > B > Block Printing

Block Printing
Block Printing is a technique used to print text, images or patterns. The technique is used widely throughout East Asia and is believed to originate in China as a method of printing textiles and later on paper.

In block printing the areas to show white in the final print are cut away, leaving the image to show black at the original surface level. The image prints as a mirror-image.

Multiple blocks are used for block printing in colour; a block for each colour. Overprinting two colours can also produce a further range of colours.

Block printing has been extensively used for decorative purposes and has been the preferred method of producing wallpaper until the early twentieth century. It is still used in some areas as a means for making cloth.

 





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