block printing

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block printing:

see textile printing under textilestextiles,
all fabrics made by weaving, felting, knitting, braiding, or netting, from the various textile fibers (see fiber). Types of Textiles

Textiles are classified according to their component fibers into silk, wool, linen, cotton, such synthetic fibers as
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Block Printing


(in Russian, naboika), a form of applied art, the hand printing of a colored pattern on fabric by means of blocks with a raised design; the Russian word naboika is also used to designate the patterned fabric resulting from the process.

The blocks used in this type of printing may be pieces of carved wood or copper plates with movable studs. A block to which color has been applied is placed on the fabric and then hit with a special hammer. For multicolored patterns, the number of blocks should correspond to the number of colors.

The distinctive artistic features of block printing are the graphic simplicity of line and the abstraction of patches of color. The graphic severity of the pattern is often softened by errors that naturally arise when prints are made by hand. Such errors include the overlapping of patches of different colors, irregular lines, and light, uncolored spots.

Block printing has been known since antiquity among many peoples of the world. It was first used by peoples of what is now the USSR since the tenth, 11th, or 12th centuries. Its use was particularly widespread from the 16th through the 18th centuries. At the end of the 18th century, block printing was gradually replaced by the mechanized printing of fabric. However, some forms of block printing continued to survive among a number of peoples throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries. Today, the technical and decorative techniques of block printing are used by textile artists.


Armianskaia naboika. Moscow, 1953.
Alpatova, I. A. “Naboika.” In Russkoe dekorativnoe iskusstvo, vols. 1–3. Moscow, 1962–65.
Tomilina, O. N. “Iskusstvo tkani v Indii.” In the collection Iskusstvo Indii. Moscow, 1969.
Biriukova, N. Zapadnoevropeiskie nabivnye tkani 16–18 veka. Moscow, 1973.
Dzuhaiev, V. A. Ornament ukrains’koi vybiiky. Kiev, 1950.
Vydra, J. Ludová modrotlač na Slovensku. Bratislava, 1954.


block printing

[′bläk ‚print·iŋ]
(graphic arts)
The earliest form of printing, involving the cutting of crude pictures and lettering on blocks of wood.
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