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Indigo Block-Printed Linens

Block-printed linens are costly to buy but surprisingly simple to make. With little more than textile paint, muslin fabric, and woodblock stamps, a personalized setting is close at hand.

stamped linens

Photography: Johnny Miller

Source: Martha Stewart

materials

  • Paper towels
  • Textile paint (transparent textile paints, in Colonial Gold, Indigo, and Blue, $3.25 for 2 oz., artisticartifacts.com)
  • Paper plate
  • Sponge
  • Iron and ironing board

steps

  1. Lay a paper towel on top of foam sheet (it will give a little when you print). Lay muslin on top; smooth out any wrinkles.
  2. Pour some paint on plate. Dab sponge in paint; smooth evenly onto block. Practice pressing block onto a scrap piece of fabric, until you feel comfortable with the pressure you need to apply and the amount of paint you need to use.
  3. Press block straight down and evenly onto fabric without wiggling or moving it, then lift straight up.
  4. Add more paint; continue printing until fabric is covered with a pattern. (Don't worry about making it perfectly uniform.)
    block printing linens
  5. Let fabric dry completely, then iron other side to set. To clean blocks, scrub under running water with a brush.

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