At Toast we love block printing for the processes involved: each
block is skilfully hand carved then patiently, laboriously, lined up
by eye upon the fabric. It is these human processes that result,
inevitably, in slight irregularities. A machine-printed fabric might,
by contrast, be perfectly executed yet it is somehow always a
little flat, lacking the inherent liveliness of a block printed piece.
Though the roots of the technique date back to ancient civilisations
– for millennia people have sought to imprint pattern on cloth –
India has long been the epicentre of block printing. Originally
made with natural dyes (madder root for red, rusty iron solution
for black and indigo for blue) India’s block printed fabrics were
shipped to the Arab world, Indonesia and more latterly to Europe.
Over time regional variations developed – Ahmedabad and Baroda