The history of printing starts as early as BCE, when the Persian and Mesopotamian civilizations used cylinder seals to certify documents written in clay. Other early forms include block seals, pottery imprints and cloth printing. Woodblock printing on paper originated in China around CE. It led to the development of movable type in the eleventh century and the spread of book production in East Asia. Woodblock printing was also used in Europe, but it was in the fifteenth century that European printers developed a process for mass-producing metal type to support an economical book publishing industry.
History of printing in East Asia
Woodblock printing - Wikipedia
While the Chinese used only clay and wood movable type at first, use of metal movable type was pioneered in Korea by the 13th century. Traditionally, there have been two main printing techniques in East Asia: woodblock printing xylography and moveable type printing. In the woodblock technique, ink is applied to letters carved upon a wooden board, which is then pressed onto paper. With moveable type, the board is assembled using different lettertypes, according to the page being printed. Wooden printing was used in the East from the 8th century onwards, and moveable metal type came into use during the 12th century. The earliest specimen of woodblock printing on paper, whereby individual sheets of paper were pressed into wooden blocks with the text and illustrations carved into them, was discovered in in an excavation of Xi'an then called Chang'an , the capital of Tang China , Shaanxi , China. In Korea , an example of woodblock printing from the eighth century was discovered in
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Woodblock printing or block printing is a technique for printing text, images or patterns used widely throughout East Asia and originating in China in antiquity as a method of printing on textiles and later paper. As a method of printing on cloth , the earliest surviving examples from China date to before AD. Woodblock printing existed in Tang China during the 7th century AD and remained the most common East Asian method of printing books and other texts, as well as images, until the 19th century. Ukiyo-e is the best known type of Japanese woodblock art print.