Yabba Dabu Doo!

One of my favourite forms of Hand Block printing is Dabu. This is the ancient art of using Mud as a resist to 'block out' or 'resist' the dye when printing.

wooden blocks (usually teak wood) are carved into your design which are then dipped into a bowl of the prepared mud and then placed gently onto the fabric and given a light thump to imprint the design.

The beauty of Dabu is the Mud! Its viscous nature makes the whole printing process so much more fun and the end results more fluid. 

This is repeated over the whole fabric in a pattern repeat. Sawdust is used to sprinkle on top of the mud to hold it in place when dyeing the fabric. the fabric is then placed in the sun to dry. 

Once dry the fabric is ready for its first dip into the indigo pit. This is where the magic happens as the fabric comes out of the dye a beautiful green colour and as it hits the air starts to oxidise and turn blue as the indigo bonds with the fibres. It is then left out in the sun to dry ready for the final washing stage.

Once the mud is finally washed out of the your printed fabric your Dabu resist print is revealed in all its glory....