Block printing is believed to have originated in China towards early 3rd century. Records of its presence in Egypt and some Asian countries were also found around the 4th century, from where it spread to Europe and other places. Apart from wood, blocks were made of metals and porcelain also. But wooden block remains the most sought after apart from metal ones which has gained popularity in recent times. In hand block printing, the design is first drawn on wood using a sharp needle and then the desired design is carved using the chisel, hammer, file, nails etc. The printing involves laying the cloth/fabric, which is to be printed, on flat tables and impressions are made using the beautifully carved blocks. In case of direct printing, the block is dipped in the colored dye and impressions are made. In case of resist dyeing, impression of an impermeable material (clay, resin, wax etc) is made on the fabric which is then dyed in the desired shade. The block image remains unprinted and reappears in reverse. Traditionally natural and vegetable sources were used for dyes. The ease of usage and the availability of synthetic dyes have replaced the vegetable dye in many cases. .
Deeply influenced by the Greeks and Romans one can find brilliant examples of Historic costumes in modern manifestations. Greek women wore one large piece of wool or linen, wrapped around them and pinned in various ways to make it stay. The ways of pinning it changed over time. There were four types, which were all rectangles: the chiton (dress), Doric and Ionic over draperies, the himation and the chlamys. Moving ahead in history one can see artistic versions of these age old forms using contemporary methods . The folds and drapes maintain their poise as in the Greek era with a refinement in technique using discriminating materials.