The Ultimate Guide to Washing Block Printed Fabric: Tips and Techniques

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on washing block printed fabric. Block printed fabrics are cherished for their intricate designs and rich cultural heritage. To ensure the longevity and beauty of these fabrics, it's essential to follow proper washing techniques. In this article, we will provide you with valuable tips and techniques to help you care for your block printed fabrics. So, let's dive in and discover the ultimate guide to washing block printed fabric.

 Understanding Block Printed Fabrics

Block printed fabrics are created using the age-old technique of hand block printing. Skilled artisans carve intricate designs onto wooden blocks, which are then dipped in natural dyes and stamped onto the fabric. This labor-intensive process results in unique and beautifully patterned textiles. Dabu block print fabric, Sanganeri block print fabric, Ajrakh block print fabric, and Shibori block print fabric are just a few examples of the diverse range of block printed fabrics available today.

 Pre-Washing Preparations:

Before washing your block-printed cloth for the first time, there are certain factors to consider that can ensure your fabric remains in good condition. These factors include:

  • Color Fastness:A block-printed fabric may need color fixation to avoid bleeding or fading. To maintain its color, soak the fabric in a blend of cold water and salt for approximately half an hour before washing. This simple step helps to fortify the colors of the fabric and minimize the possibility of color transfer during subsequent washes.
  • Separation:To prevent the possibility of color bleeding, it is advisable to wash block-printed items with similar colors or separately. Certain natural dyes used in block printing may release a small amount of color during the initial washes, which can stain light-colored or delicate clothes. To avoid this, it's best to opt for washing with identical or darker shades.
  • Gentle Handling:Block-printed fabrics are delicate and need careful treatment. Avoid doing rigorous rubbing, wringing, or twisting as these actions can jeopardize the intricate prints and cause deformation. It is best to use a gentle washing method that preserves the fabric's design and beauty.

 Hand Washing Techniques

For most block printed fabrics, hand washing is the preferred method. Fill a basin or sink with lukewarm water and add a gentle, pH-neutral detergent. Gently agitate the water to create suds. Place the fabric in the soapy water and gently swirl it around. Avoid scrubbing or wringing the fabric, as this can damage the delicate block prints. Rinse the fabric thoroughly with cool water until all the detergent is removed.

  • Drying Block Printed Fabrics : After washing, it's essential to dry block printed fabrics carefully. Avoid wringing or twisting the fabric to remove excess water, as this can distort the block prints. Instead, gently press the fabric between two clean towels to absorb the moisture. Then, lay the fabric flat on a clean, dry towel or hang it on a clothesline in a shaded area away from direct sunlight. Avoid using a dryer, as the heat can cause shrinkage and fading.
  • Ironing and Storing : Ironing block printed fabrics requires some extra care. Set your iron to a low or medium heat setting and iron the fabric on the reverse side. Place a thin cotton cloth between the iron and the fabric to protect the delicate prints. Avoid using steam, as it can cause the colors to bleed. Once the fabric is dry and ironed, store it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to prevent fading.
  • Caring for Specific Block Prints : Different block prints may have specific care requirements. For Dabu block print fabric, it's important to avoid soaking the fabric for extended periods, as it can loosen the mud resist. Sanganeri block print fabric should be washed separately for the first few washes to prevent color bleeding. Ajrakh block print fabric may benefit from a mild vinegar rinse before the first wash to help set the colors. Shibori block print fabric should be treated with extra care to preserve the intricacies of the tied and dyed patterns.

General Tips for Washing Block Printed Fabric

  • Temperature: It's imperative to utilize chilly water while cleansing block-printed textiles. Exposing your material to heated water can trigger the shades to spread or fade away, which may lead to a reduction of its vibrancy.
  • Detergent: It's essential to apply a mild cleanser specifically designed for tender or hand-wash fabrics. Rough detergents can strip the material of its innate oils and leave lasting harm to the prints.
  • Soft Agitation: Refrain from using harsh scouring, twisting or squeezing on block-printed textiles. Instead, delicately stir the material by swishing it in the cold water or by applying a mild, circular motion using your hands.


Proper washing and care techniques are vital to maintain the beauty and longevity of block printed fabrics like Dabu block print fabric, Sanganeri block print fabric, Ajrakh block print fabric, and Shibori block print fabric. By following the tips and techniques outlined in this guide, you can ensure that your block printed fabrics retain their vibrant colors and intricate designs for years to come. Treat these textiles with care, and they will continue to bring joy and cultural richness to your wardrobe and home.