Traditional Indian block printing with Jenney Kelly

Ref: S1D33559

Location: West Dean
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Places available

About this course

Using traditional techniques and Indian wooden blocks, you will be introduced to the endangered craft of block printing: you will learn how to design and print a linen table runner and stationery items with a festive theme.

Course Description

Learn the age-old process of block printing. Using traditional Indian hand carved wooden printing blocks and techniques, you will immerse yourself into a creative day of experimenting with a variety of blocks and colours, including ‘festive’ themed designs.

We will begin discussing the history of block printing and the challenges faced today for this endangered craft.

Following a demonstration you will have ample time to practice, first on paper and then calico, which can then be used for other craft projects or wrapping paper.

Then you will print a set of Khadi cards and gift tags, along with a little drawstring pouch to store them in.

We will then start to plan your design on a cotton sample piece, before moving onto to produce a beautiful block printed, hand finished, white linen table runner.

You will be guided gently through the process, learning how to handle and position the blocks, applying the correct amount of printing ink/paint and explore various pattern placement and alignment techniques.

You will learn how to prepare fabrics for printing, plus the important aspect of ‘fixing’ the colours to make them colourfast.

You will have the opportunity to look at a number of hand printed textile samples, demonstrating the wide variety of techniques including dabu and discharge printing. There will be examples of more complex and intricate blocks to look at, including those designed to be used with repeat patterns, multiple colours and particularly fine pattern blocks made from brass. You’ll also learn how to distinguish authentic block prints from mass-produced imitations.

By the end of the day, you will have an understanding of choosing and preparing suitable fabrics, producing simple block printed designs and how to fix your products for longevity.


Timetable for one day courses

Students should arrive by 9am for registration.

Classes are from 9.15 - 5pm

Lunch is included.

Course Materials


On this course the tutor will supply all of the materials including printing blocks, inks/paints, linen table runner, calico, paper and stationery items.

What students need to bring

Apron to protect your clothes

Additional information

Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear (no sandals or open toes).


Jenney Kelly

Jenney Kelly is a block printer, bespoke textile maker and eco-dyer. Studying Art & Design, she followed this with a career as a 3D modeller & Visual Engineer. Jenney has studied textiles, printing & natural dyeing, furthering her skills with textile artisans in India, UK and Europe. 

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Further study options

Take the next step in your creative practice, with foundation level to Masters in Fine Art study. 

Depending on your experience, start with an Online Foundation Certificate in Art and Design (one year, part-time), a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design made up of 10 short courses taken over two years (part-time) or advance your learning with our BA (Hons) Art and Contemporary Craft: Materials, Making, and Place (six years part-time). All will help you develop core skills, find direction in your practice and build an impressive portfolio in preparation for artist opportunities or higher-level study. See all degree and diploma courses.