What is Lino Printing?

What is Lino Printing?

Lino printing, or lino cutting, is a traditional printmaking method whereby a design is made from a firm but carve-able material called linoleum which then has a pattern cut into it using sharp tools. The whole block has thin paint or ink applied then the fabric or paper is laid over the top and rolled over so that the paint from the block transfers to the fabric.

A particular type of sharp 'V' shaped knife or chisel is used to cut the linoleum block. It is important to remember to cut around the shape you want transferred onto paper or fabric as it is only the raised section which will touch the surface.   

Cornwall Lino Tea Towel £5.95

History of Linocut

Linoleum was invented in the 1800's and was used as a cheap material to cover floors with. The linocut method was invented in the 1800's as it was a good method for making repeat patterns on wallpaper back in this era. This method became more popular with artists such a Pablo Picasso in the 1900's.


Slimline Calendar happy  Wanderer £1.95

Whistlefish Lino Collection

Our new collection of Lino gifts and artwork is inspired by this age old method. Due to the way these patterns are created, it means the image has a lot of contrast, no shading and a minimal colour palette.

"I love the tactile, hand-crafted quality of lino-cutting. The whole process; from the planned marks to the unexpected 'mistakes' that add to the lively character of a design. Layering up colours by multi-block printing is very like screen-printing and is really fun to see how layering these up can create additional colours. I also like it when the blocks don't quite register properly, so you get this interesting overlapping of colours. For me that's what really adds personality to a print.

The real joy of lino-cutting though is the magical reveal at the end; when you lift the paper off the inked lino and see the final print. You have an idea of how it will look, but there's something so wonderful about that final reveal." 

- Whistlefish Designer 


The bright pops of colour from flowers set against the muted palettes of the coast. The rolling waves of the South-West and it's changing seasons. Often the wintery, blustery days can make for a more inspiring and energetic print than the calm Summer days!


The Lino Collection consists of patterned wall art, tea towels, jute bags and puzzles and the images feature South West locations such as Devon, Exeter, Cornwall, Padstow and Newquay.

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