If you’re a fan of fun colors, cool patterns and artisanal goods, you’ll love block print fabric. Steeped in history, block printing has survived nearly 2,000 years — if not more. It originated in Asia; however, today most pieces come from India where they’re made by hand using a technique that’s been passed down from generation to generation.
To start, an artisan hand carves a pattern — which is often extremely detailed — into a block of wood. The block is then covered in ink and pressed into the fabric over and over again to create the design. Each color in the design must be applied with a different block. As a result, each piece of fabric is stamped anywhere from 500 to 3,000 times — or more.
Given the insane number of times each piece must be stamped and the pinpoint accuracy needed to do so, no two pieces are exactly alike. The mark of the artisan is left in the subtle variations from piece to piece, which is one of the most endearing qualities of block print fabric.
That, and the insane number of colors and patterns in which it’s offered. Blues. Greens. Pinks. Beige. You can find block print in nearly every color of the rainbow, and the patterns vary from extremely intricate — such as paisley and medallions — to simple geometrics.
There’s only one problem. Block print fabric and bedding can be somewhat hard to find, which is why I’ve rounded up a list of the 15 best places to get it. Some offer traditional textiles still printed in India, others offer a more modern take on the art and all are worth taking a look at.
- Allem Studio: Offers block print quilts and pillow cases.
- Bungalow: Offers block print quilts, pillows, tablecloths, napkins, kitchen towels and toiletry bags. Based in Denmark.
- Darjeeling Cotton: Offers block print quilts and pillow shams.
- Galbraith and Paul: Offers block print fabric, wallpaper, pillows and pendants.
- Indus Decor: Offers block print duvets, shams, bedspreads and curtains.
- John Robshaw: Offers block print fabric, duvets, quilts, coverlets, sheets, pillow cases, bedskirts and decorative pillows.
- Les Indiennes: Offers block print fabric, bedding, pillows, curtains, tablecloths and napkins.
- Madeline Weinrib: Offers block print pillows and fabric.
- Mela & Roam: Offers block print blankets for babies and adults.
- Plover Organic: Offers organic block print fabric, duvets, shams, quilts, sheets, table linens and baby bedding.
- Raksha Bella: Offers organic block print clothing and bedding, including: duvets, quilts, pillowcases, sheets and baby bedding.
- Rikshaw Design: Offers block print clothing and children’s bedding, including: duvets, quilts, pillowcases, blankets and pillows.
- Saffron Marigold: Offers block print bedspreads, pillow shams, duvets, shower curtains and table linens.
- Shilpa Rathi: Offers block print duvets, quilts, sheets and pillows.
- Tilonia: Offers block print duvets, quilts and pillows.