This week I've been teaching myself how to carve lino and block print fabric. I've been using 15x15cm pseudo-lino squares for my initial trials. My local art store didn't stock lino or lino substitutes however Officeworks will allow you to order them for next day pick up. Each square costs $6.50 which isn't too bad. I've also bought a 5 pack of basic carving tools, a V, two U shapes and two different straight blades for $10 from the craft-store.
I started with flowers because a) organic shapes are easier to hide mistakes on and b) i needed a Hawaiian print viking dress and had no Hawaiian fabric.
The blue rubber is pretty easy to carve and doesn't have a grain so you can make smooth circular shapes quite easily. I've mostly used the V tool for the lines, and the U tools for carving away waste. I quickly realised that since I hadn't bought a roller and my previous sponge experiments didn't work well, I was going to have to paint the paint onto the lino before printing. It's a bit tedious and can be stripy but in a pinch, it works. I also learned to cut away as much of the waste as I could to remove the possibility of accidental printing around the edges.
More details, and early learnings on my next update!