blockprinting supplies: plexiglas and printing brayers

Block printing supplies for DIY fabric

Block printing supplies continued: Carving tools

Speedball Lino Cutters

Speedball lino cutters for blockprinting supplies

Speedball Lino Cutters (*affiliate) are my favorite carving tools and the ones I reach for the most. The plastic handles have a bottom than unscrews to hold different blades. The blades have different shapes that’ll help you carve details depending on what you need.

Unscrew the top of the tool and pop in a different blade kind of like how you would to change an Xacto knife blade. The plastic handles are really comfortable too in my small hands.

Xacto knives

All-purpose and great for any fine details. They won’t cut as smoothly as the lino cutters, but if you need precision, this is another good choice.

Miscellaneous block printing supplies

Transfer paper

transfer paper for blockprinting supplies

Transfer paper (*affiliate) is great for getting your designs onto the block to start carving. Slip it between the block and whatever you drew your design on, trace over it with a ballpoint pen and you’re ready to carve.

Optional, but awesome: Thin wood + wood glue

I alluded to this earlier, but I like to mount my blocks with a piece of wood. It helps keep bigger blocks from breaking, and it’ll make pressing the block down a little easier on your hands. Whatever 1/8″ craft plywood I find at a craft store works well.

Cut it to size with a small saw, and sand the edges if you like. Use a brush and some wood glue to glue a carved block to the wood. Dry overnight.

The last thing we need to talk about with block printing supplies are ink choices and tools.

next page graphic with spool of thread

1 thought on “Block printing supplies for DIY fabric”

  1. Hi Elizabeth – Thanks for this great round-up of supplies! I’ve been wondering about printing on fabric and you answered some of my questions. I’ve done some linoleum block printing on paper and I learned a trick from someone who took a printing class to make it easier: Iron your lino! Seriously! Warm it up with a hot iron, using a pressing cloth. Don’t leave the iron in one place, keep it moving or you’ll see the texture of your fabric show up on the surface of the lino. Reheat it as necessary while you’re carving. When you notice it getting a little harder to cut, it’s time to hit it with the iron again. It really does soften up the linoleum. That said, it’s not very deep so you can’t always get the definition you may need for printing on fabric. But if people find that they like the printing process, they shouldn’t be afraid of lino. Just get out your iron! and if you’re serious about printing, consider making or buying a bench hook, which is a handy “frame” for holding your block for you while you carve. It’ll help a lot with any printing block material, actually. (Google “lino bench hook” and you’ll see what I mean. Happy printing, and thanks for the scoop on materials for printing on fabric!

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