Did you ever carve the smooth-cut face of a raw potato, ink it up and stamp prints with it? Same idea as block printing, only in my experience, the potato is a sorry mess before you can say French Fry. Block printing, using durable stamp surfaces, still must take incredible patience and skill. 
Block printing 
Hand-printing method, using carved wooden or linoleum blocks.
From Fabric Sewing Guide by Claire Schaeffer. Krause Publications, Cincinnati, 2008. Used by permission.

Hand block printing in process, courtesy of Rubina Magazine

Block printed cotton gauze from India ¬©Vintage Fashion Guild, photo by Margaret Wilds/denisebrain


Right now in my Etsy shop you can see the fabric from which I shot the close up, in its finished form. 

1970s dress by Anokhi - Jaipur India

This Treacy Lowe - London dress was also made in India in the 1970s, this time in block-printed silk.



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