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used from original hand-blocked printing – lending the papers a texture and ‘hand-printed’ look. And I would like to resume hand printing one-off commissions and hope to create new designs in the future.”

The flourishing Philadelphia-based company Galbraith & Paul, established by Liz Galbraith and Ephraim Paul in 1986 to produce block-printed textiles and wallpapers, (recently however, they have switched to digital printing for their wallpapers) suggests that there is a gap in the UK market for an enterprising small firm specializing in this area. “Block printing is the earliest, simplest and slowest of all hand printing methods, yet it’s capable of producing fabrics of great subtlety and elegance,” state the American duo. “We are dedicated to traditional craftsmanship and inspired by modern design. Bringing the two together is what gives our fabrics a spirit of their own.”

Perhaps a recent graduate from Leeds College of Art, India Rose Bird, provides hope for the future. Her African-inspired block-printed patterns featuring creatures reminiscent of Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are aroused a flurry of interest when they were shown at Texprint last year. “My design work focuses on the beauty of laborious hand drawings and the timeless quality of traditional print methods,” she says. It may never make a designer a vast fortune but block printing is in some ways the gold standard. Hugh Dunford Wood, Katherine Morris, Marthe Armitage, India Rose Bird, Galbraith & Paul,

Right: reverse monarch in cobalt blue wallpaper by Galbraith and Paul, Philadelphia

Left: Liz Galbraith printing


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