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What Makes Hand Block Printing So Special?

What Makes Hand Block Printing So Special?

The magic of Hand block printing


As a technique, hand block printing is spectacular. It can look so antique, so real, and at the same time so mesmerising. The story of hand block printing is far more complex and specific than you would imagine. (this image below is showing our brand new Golden Fern design click, here to view the collection)


hand block printing of the Fern Collection


When you hold one of our handmade Dohar blankets in your hands, you might look at the hand block printing and wonder to yourself how it was made. There is something about the hand block printing technique that doesnt show itself by just looking at it. Its something you need to hear. 

If you listen closely enough, the hand block printing technique whispers the secret stories of artisans, of their struggle, generation after generation, to keep alive a way of manufacturing their fabrics. 


Choosing Hand Block Printing


collection of woodblocks for printing


When we had to decide how to design our cotton Dohars and our quilted cushions, we were forced to make a decision. Do we want to follow the example of many other companies and mass produce our products in a factory, or do we want to make our products by hand? check out our Dohar selection here. or read our blog  What is a Dohar? here 

Mass production would be fast, and it would be easy. Many do it, and there would be no problem with it, we would just sacrifice a bit of quality for extra quantity.Then we looked at hand block printing, and we were immediately fascinated. We knew instantly it was the right direction. Hand block printing is an old Indian art.

 The design that the artisans print on the cotton is first carved into a wooden block. There are many parts to our initial drawing that is then carved into several blocks, and these blocks are then meticulously printed one by one, layer by layer onto the fabric. Once finished, the fabric is washed and left to dry in the sun.


You can imagine why this technique looked so fascinating to us. We were amazed, and we wanted our customers who decided to buy a piece of our sustainable bedlinen to feel what we were feeling right there and then.


Slow Fashion

The Fern collection Quilt details

The decision was made to create slow fashion”, a fashion that is conscious about the social environment it was born in, one that respects it and takes care of it. This was our promise when we decided to use only the hand block printing technique for our sustainably produced cotton products. 

Hand block printing is traditional because it follows the rules of an old art without trying to change it, but its innovative as well, as it is something new in the manufacturing production of this kind of product. Our ethically sourced Dohars are writing and respecting history at the same time.


Every Item Is Unique 



Fern Dohars two different colour edging

When you work with the hand block printing technique, every item is unique. Small imperfections occur but somehow enhance the end result. The production relies on variables such as changes in weather – for example, the humidity of the Monsoons can stop the whole process. 

Religious ceremonies are another reason to stop working, and Diwali, when we always stop working, is a great example of that. But what we care about the most is the health and the wellbeing of our artisans. This is so important to us.


Our whole process relies so much on tour artisans expertise, and we know how valuable their work is. In short, the hand block printing technique requires ultimate skill. We have the utmost respect for that.


Hand Block Printing



Fern wood block


This is what makes hand block printing technique so special – its the perfect balance between tradition and innovation. Hand block printed cotton has many special qualities that other designs find difficult to recreate. The technique has grown over centuries of innovation, while still keeping the original hand block printing methods.



The future of hand block printing is very bright, too. The current position of block printed fabrics on the markets shows that experimenting with block prints will never go out of fashion. You can see that these types of prints are remaining popular with chic, modern, and young people.


We love it for our products here at Shades of Cool London, and well continue to use hand block printing on pure cotton only for all products. Shop the collection here.


Get in touch 

If you have any questions about hand block printing or our products, dont hesitate to ask us. We consider ourselves experts on hand block printing, and were certainly experts about our own products. Were a small friendly team, and were always looking forward to helping you in any way possible.


We care a lot about our customers’ satisfaction, and we hope to receive positive feedback from you in the future. get in touch here 



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