Image of a hand block printed patterned paper with a botanical repeat pattern in pink and green

Hand Block Printing

There is real enjoyment when purchasing an item that has been made by hand.  Alongside the knowledge that a lot of love has been put in to making it, each piece produced is truly unique (every slight variation is the charm) it also helps support independent makers and is a sustainable method of production.

At Quince & Quill we offer a wide range of hand block printed papers by Paper Mirchi.  These stunning papers are hand block printed in India from cotton paper and therefore are tree-free.

Papermaking is an ancient skill in India and cotton rags and textile scraps are chopped, pulped and dyed and spread over a mesh screen. The cellulose-rich fibres then bind together to form the paper. The next step is for the excess water to be squeezed out and each sheet is hung out to dry.  To smooth out the creases the paper is then pressed in a calendering machine.

This handmade paper is then ready for the block printing.

image showing a piece of paper being hand block printed in India

This ancient textile printing technique is labour intensive but results in truly amazing patterned papers. Hand carved wooden blocks are used to manually stamp beautiful botanical designs onto the cotton paper.  This process requires a lot of skill.  Using only the experienced eye and dexterity of the printer the hand carved block is carefully positioned. Symmetry forms the cores of the designs and the pattern repeats must be perfectly balanced.  Once positioned the handle of the block is given a sharp tap to release the print paste onto the paper. 

A separate wooden block is used for each colour application.  The colours are stamped one at a time and a very high level of skill and precision is required to produce each sheet.

yellow and gold botanical hand block printed wrapping paper

The result is paper with a beautiful texture and rich colour, cotton paper is also strong and can be used for a range of decorative uses such as origami and bookbinding and of course for gift wrap.

Hand block printed papers by Paper Mirchi.

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