Printing block, 1976.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
This printing block for silk cloth was specially made as an exhibition piece for the Science Museum in London by Mrs J A Noble. It is intended to show the finenes of detail that can be achieved with block printing. Printing blocks consisted of a mahogany or oak base with a thin face of more expensive boxwood. The pattern is drawn on reverse on the boxwood and then cut out by hand. By about 1900 block printing had been superceded by rotary printing.