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Block printing later went out of use in Islamic Central Asia after movable type printing introduced from China.Block printing first came to Europe as a method for printing on cloth, where it was common by 1300.

It originated in China in antiquity as a method of printing on textiles and later on paper.As a method of printing on cloth, the earliest surviving examples from China date to before 220 A. The earliest surviving woodblock printed fragments are from China.They are of silk printed with flowers in three colours from the Han Dynasty (before 220 A. They are the earliest example of woodblock printing on paper appeared in the mid-seventh century in China.By the ninth century, printing on paper had taken off, and the first extant complete printed book containing its date is the Diamond Sutra (British Library) of 868.Printing spread early to Korea and Japan, which also used Chinese logograms, but the technique was also used in Turpan and Vietnam using a number of other scripts. Block printing, called tarsh in Arabic developed in Arabic Egypt during the ninth-tenth centuries, mostly for prayers and amulets.

There is some evidence to suggest that these print blocks made from non-wood materials, possibly tin, lead, or clay.

The techniques employed are uncertain, however, and they appear to have had very little influence outside of the Muslim world.

Though Europe adopted woodblock printing from the Muslim world, initially for fabric, the technique of metal block printing remained unknown in Europe.

Printing is a process for reproducing text and images using a master form or template.

The earliest examples include Cylinder seals and other objects such as the Cyrus Cylinder and the Cylinders of Nabonidus.

The earliest known form of woodblock printing came from China dating to before 220 A. Johannes Gutenberg introduced mechanical movable type printing to Europe in the 15th century.