Very few would be able to reply if they were asked what xylography was. In fact, it is the technique of printing using wood finely carved for the purpose, commonly known as woodblock printing or simply block printing. Known to exist in China since 600 AD and soon after in Japan, it was originally used to print text or images on silk cloth.
The art travelled to Egypt and Syria during the second wave of the Great Migrations west from Asia between 700 – 900 AD, then to Anatolia with the Turks, and passed on to Byzantium. By then the technique had found its way to paper with the art of carving getting finer and finer.
It was already the 15th Century when the Europeans started to use block printing to print books (religious texts) whereas "Diamond Sutra," the earliest dated printed book known was printed in China in 868 AD.
Block printing on cloth or other soft materials such as soap is a traditional art form in Turkey with fine examples dating back to the 16th Century.
We as Verna Artisan Works offer handmade block printed clutches and also lavender soaps for our valued customers.