Spotlight on Blockprinting

At Stripped, one of our main motives is to shine a light on lower impact manufacturing methods - which often hark back to traditional, artisan hand crafted techniques. 

A classic example of this is the mesmerising art of block printing.

This beautiful form of printing has an extensive history, spanning back thousands of years. Originating in East Asia, block printing existed in China in the 2nd century CE - with one of the earliest woodblock printings found done before 220 CE. 

Block printing uses wood carved into shapes to create unique colours and patterns. This ancient technique relies completely on the skill and steady hand of its craftsmen. Different depths of colour are created by stamping at different pressures and the blocks must be washed and dried before adding the next colour.

Block printing organic cotton dress

Everything about block printing is hand created and time consuming, from the wooden block carved by hand into the right shape for that print, to the slow and precise process of stamping the blocks. It is for this reason that it is a dying craft that doesn’t accommodate the demands and pace of the fast fashion market. 

It’s been replaced by screen printing, which while still labour-intensive, is faster and more controllable. Often cheap, chemical laden dyes are used and more chemicals are then needed in the cleaning process for the screens. 

Here at Stripped we believe in putting the passion back into clothing. Honouring the work and skill of those who make our clothes. The prints seen on our block printed items are as unique as they are beautiful, and the talent of the makers shines through.