Wee Blue Press


Linocut printing tshirts and bags

Getting messy with block printing ink

Getting messy with block printing ink

I did a wee bit of research before I started printing my designs on bags and tshirts after seeing some fine examples on etsy.


I love the hand made, not quite so perfect look, that block printing gives me. Yes there may be the odd stray ink splodge but that generally adds to the effect! The result is a genuinely unique product. It is really difficult to achieve multiple colour prints on fabric, but that adds a challenge to the design. After much trial and error and many mistakes (all of my family are wearing the rejects ) here is the process I follow...

  1. Sketch and sketch again it's really important to get this right as mistakes in the design and composition can be corrected easily at this stage. Once you've started carving it's much harder. 
  2. Transfer design onto Lino block- I use tracing paper to trace my sketch then transfer it onto Lino backwards so it prints the right way.
  3. Carve design onto the Lino. This often takes quite a while to get right which means the next few steps are often repeated. 
  4. Test on paper - roll ink onto the block and print on cheap paper.
  5. Carve some more.
  6. Repeat step 4 and 5 - this can take a while. 
  7. Meanwhile wash and iron tshirts and wet and dry bags to prepare for printing. 
  8. When I'm happy with the design I print my tshirt or bag by taping it to a board and using my wee blue press.  
  9. Dry for 7 days or so. 

That sounds like quite a lot of work and it probably is, but it is a little easier if things can be printed in bulk as the cleaning up process can take a while. I have my stuff setup at home and the kitchen, walls, door handles etc can get quite messy!!! 

I'm planning another post on the inks and tools ...,, 



Rolling the ink out to cover the Lino block  


tshirt ready for printing  

Emma Jones