Block Printing for Beginners: Print a Tea Towel | Fernanda Franco | Skillshare

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Block Printing for Beginners: Print a Tea Towel

teacher avatar Fernanda Franco, creative capital

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

6 Lessons (21m)
    • 1. Welcome & What is block printing?

    • 2. Workspace and materials

    • 3. Design and transfer

    • 4. Carving the block

    • 5. Inking and printing

    • 6. Setting the design with an iron

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About This Class


With a simple block printing technique, a tea towel can be decorated with a single motif or a create a fun pattern. Once you learn the technique you can also print on paper!

The class includes links to sourcing materials and also a brief intro to the History of Blockprints.

Let's print something together soon!!

Meet Your Teacher

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Fernanda Franco

creative capital


I am a Mexican graphic designer and artist/printmaker based in New York City. I love textile design, patterns & color and to have fun doing D-I-Y projects.

My inspiration comes from everywhere: art, nature, beautiful motifs, travels. 

I taught blockprinting in NYC at MAKE and I love to teach people to access their creativity and apply it to making things! My artwork is also represented at ArtfullyWalls 


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1. Welcome & What is block printing?: - Hello, - I'm Fernanda. - And today I'm gonna be teaching you about block treating whether you want to start your own - sign nine or presence or gifts for your friends. - Look, - printing a very versatile skill used in many ways. - So let's get started on have from printing I would love Printing is a printing method that - can be used with different types of stamps with. - The painting was traditionally started in the Pakistan area of India and dates back from - the 18th century. - The skill was passed from generation to generation, - basically was used to do fabric designs. - You competing ward complete plastic on paper in the class. - We're going to use the T travels, - and you can truth T titles that have some detail on them. - Or you can also just you've details that are white or create. - It's important that they are 100% so there are many types of steps the traditional Indians - that card from wood and these are used to still do a contemporary fabric. - Besides, - what they do is they go into the water and they just car with this really, - really integrate. - You can also print in rubber stamps that you could have your own designs made. - I will give you reference for vendors, - but you can basically do a sign, - and it will be transferred to to a stat that you can use. - Another method is the the potato. - These you probably maybe leading like kindergarten or something that really easy to use. - They're not a durable, - but in a pinch you can always, - you know, - getting paid to trouble. - You can be like a car or radish on. - Have some to create a staff. - Today we're going to use the PC Kat Block, - which is one of my favorites, - because it's really seem to call on. - You don't need no pressure to do it, - so let's get started. 2. Workspace and materials: - let's review the materials that we need to start creating. - You will need some inks suitable for fabric printing there many types of things out in the - art store tomorrow, - like for silkscreen or block printing. - But you want to make sure that you get something that says textile on it. - You will also be needing what are called the D. - C court blocks. - They come in different sizes. - Also, - get another brand that is called people, - which also works like a rubber stamp. - Um, - we also will be needing some of the prayers. - This will be used for thinking. - Make sure that your Breyer will cover the size off. - The design that will need to make an important thing that you will be needing is these - carving tools. - This carving tools come with, - like different names. - You can buy a very basic set. - No need to go for the expensive ones. - They're really simple. - They will come with one or two names that have different weights for for when you start - carving your book. - So you will also need plexiglass plexiglas, - basically the surface that will give you a smooth surface so that you can spread the ink to - transfer into the block. - Another important thing that you will need. - A track transfer paper. - This will work a carbon paper for transferring assigning to the block. - You may also need to get a couple of like wooden spatulas to make that thinks now that you - have gathered all your materials were ready to start setting up our workspace. - You want to keep your work workspace very clean on. - Just remember that as long as you have a flat surface you're going to print anywhere you - want because we're gonna be printing a tea towel. - You wanna put like a soft fabric beneath after you put yourself fabric. - You could just put up a big sheet of Kraft paper so that you cover that the whole area - where you're gonna be using inks. - You may also want to have some some fair Kraft paper, - because when we caught the block, - you're gonna have some ways that it will be easier together if you have, - like, - something already set up that way. - So let's get started printing now 3. Design and transfer: So today we will be printing on tea towels. You come basic, basically printing any kind of fabric that you want. But the reason I like colonies because it's a very forests or fast, and it's really see I'm friendly to print with. You can just go to the Web and find any napkin distributor, and then just make sure that their 100% cotton on that you get to to do some ironing before you. You start the process. Um, one important thing to keep in mind is that the tea towel is your campus, so just make sure you plan where you won't have your design rep produced. It can be in different areas. You can also choose tea towels that have some design oni and that will embellished the tower more so for best results. You want to choose from your imagination or from patterns that are already drawn, things that are really bold when you have, like fine lines or like very intricate design. It's not releasing to carve into into the block because one of the things that you have to keep in mind that the image will have a negative on a positive state so that the positive will be the place where the ink will be will be placed on the negative will be the background, so you want to keep your Besides, like, simple and bold, you can have, like inspiration from life pattern, like designed patterns or fabric patterns. But everything that you can think off could have. Like some rhythm or also you can you can play with different shapes at the same time. One thing to keep in mind these your color palette. Your color palette can come directly from the themselves, or you can also mix and create your own colors. These are some considerations that it's good to have before you. You start you start meeting, so the next step is to transfer your design into the look. For that you will need transfer papers. These times for paper works pretty much as Chicago paper. So what I'm gonna do is fun caught a small piece that covers my design, but you will play them the transfer paper on sun reaching into the design. Then, with a ballpoint pen, you will smoothly start tracing the outline. You can lift it a little bit to make sure it's transferring and just gently goal around covering your whole decide. Make sure to not apply too much pressure because otherwise you will have a lot of carbon in your book. So this is basically what you can do for a symmetrical the sign. So you're really not caring so much about the mirror image? Pretty much you will have whatever it is when you stop it. Um, if you were to do letters, what you need to do is place them backwards so that the right reading shows once it's printed. 4. Carving the block: - So now that we transfer the image with a dress for paper, - we have to prepare ourselves to start cutting the block. - We talked before. - There's there's different kinds of needs. - Um, - one important step that will make things really easy for you will make your design - reproduce well is to have very sharp tools because otherwise, - if the toy is not sharp, - you will not get a very fine quality of life. - So usually the sets for for the carving tools include a little stone for sharpening on. - It has an indentation where you will place the name on just like slowly gave it, - like maybe 30 seconds off, - like sharpening before starting. - Why don't you really? - Sure, - you contested a little bit here, - but if you're sure that it's carving nicely, - you're ready to start going into the detail. - I always recommend to start with tracing the outline of your design on. - You want to use the finer need that you get in your city. - It's usually a V shaped one. - Um, - one very, - very important thing to remember is that you should always be carving outside. - You want to be very careful because your fingers are somewhat close on. - You don't really need to have them. - You always want to have them protected. - But first, - that is always, - always go from the inside out. - That way, - you will always be protected and take your time. - You know, - this doesn't have to be rushed. - This is actually part of the process. - That is very, - very enjoyable. - Um, - we're just gonna do right now the outline. - And once we're done doing the outlying weaken, - we can start carving the risk. - So make sure when you're carving to always be cleaning up your space, - you will be having a piece of scrap paper where all the waste will be will be gathered. - But, - um, - it's actually great when you have your block clean, - because that way you can see the lines. - Um, - and again, - you don't have to rush into these just like the slowly the slower you go, - the more control you will have with the tool and with experience, - you can start making a little more intricate designs. - But for now, - I recommend to have, - like, - just both figures that will print nicely. - So once you're finished with the outline off the shape, - you want to start carving out the background for the background. - You can use one of the needs that is a little lighter. - So you were able to cover more surface. - Just be careful to not get into the area that you have already card. - Um, - and what we're trying to create here is a race surface on a sort of like a step between the - background on the figure that you're going to think, - um, - and these you could just take your time. - You want also to be checking a little bit, - how deep you're going so that you keep the surface level. - So now that you have completed carving the popular image, - take some time to to look at the detail and go back again if there's any little areas that - need refining with finance also, - you want to make sure that the corners are already carved out. - Sometimes these are overlooked, - and you have them sort of like sticking out, - and they will print it. - They're not cleaned up. - So just take a few moments to clean up the corners before preparing to print 5. Inking and printing: - Now we're ready to start printing. - Um, - you have your ink bottle. - We're going to use the plexiglass and work on us set up on ink station again. - You want to have, - like, - some scrap paper because we want to keep your area very clean. - So just make sure you have papers where you can people that the excess of the, - um you want to give it like a good, - good mix, - and this is if you want to just use the color straight from the jar. - You can also mix colors into a different will receptacle and just create the color that you - want. - So you're gonna put a little bit off and thinking, - Well, - that is slightly larger than your rare. - This is basically the equivalent of a stamping block. - That's charge reading. - So now that you have here your legal inkwell, - you're just gonna softy site getting your ink into the prayer, - making sure that the greater is getting in all sites. - So make sure you have no thinking you're well and doing like different directions on in a - spare paper. - You could test how much in your cabinet before actually going into your stuff. - If you feel like you don't have enough. - You can always put out a little more. - Make sure this is carpet. - Okay. - He seems to be now pretty even when I tested over here. - So I am ready to bring in my bicycle and give it a little bit of pressure to apply the - color. - So just keep looking as to how much ink you will have under on the staff at one time. - This you can repeat several times until you like the amount of things that you have in - there and again. - Your spare paper is really, - really important here because you don't want to go right awaiting to stamping the fabric. - You want to just make a little test on paper, - apply some pressure and then see how it's printing. - And based on this, - you may want to add a little more, - or maybe even like at a different color. - Another way off. - Applying ink is through brush, - and this is also like a pencil in kind of technique. - You pretty much take your brush on applied directly being to it. - Just make sure everything is even and again always used scrap paper to make a test before - going into your fabric, - so this one has a little bit of more time to it. - You have to decide how much in human on your at one time before you start sending. - Make sure that your tea towel was like perfectly Iran with you. - No one like me wrinkles only until you have, - like, - a really flat surface. - So now we have our stamp that is charged, - Quitting Well, - I want to make, - like, - a line where you see that The sign on the edge. - So I'm also gonna use my block to guide me where I'm going to place the design on taking - into consideration the edge. - You place it down and then apply a little bit of pressure. - Um, - gently lifting. - So each time you're going to reproduce the design, - you want a charge, - you're stumped with ink and make sure you don't have a lot of except on your brain. - Another form way to decorate the troubles is to select a word that liking. - So remember if you're doing words to just do it. - But the backward image I'm repeating the steps of like charging the prayer with thing - and make sure you have the correct position where you wanna have it printed. - Like I'm gonna be just like looking at my center lines here apply a little bit of pressure - . 6. Setting the design with an iron: - it's not your finished painting. - You have to make sure that the peak gets that with an IRA. - Some things don't really need the IRA, - but you always want to make sure the instructions. - You always want to review the instructions on the label. - This particular in needs to set it with Iran for like 30 seconds. - So once you're surface is dry, - you're gonna do it actually from the backside, - and you don't need to much just said it to the cotton setting and you're only gonna do 30 - seconds like, - really, - really lighting, - and that should be setting for you. - So these completes the class pretty tower block printing. - As you considers many ways that you can apply, - there's many types of Santa stamps that you can use. - You can also print on paper or in different surfaces. - I hope you enjoy it. - And if there's any questions that you have, - you may also reference the project guys and also make sure that you look at the pdf with - all the resource is for buying your materials and also for inspiration for more blood - painting. - I hope you have fun and you enjoy the class