The history of printing is a long and fascinating one. While today’s printing can now print things like an entire house in less than a day, things weren’t always that fast. It is said that printing first started in East Asia, or what is now known as modern day China. Before 220AD the technique of printing involved taking blocks of wood, expertly cutting them into shapes, or text if they were really skilled, and then applying paint and printing them onto pieces of parchment, which was an early form of paper. Today, things have gotten more with better print ads e.g. like on this site, and you can have different qualities of paper supplied all by one printer.
The earliest surviving example of such work are of pieces of silk printed with flowers in three colours, and date back to this time. It was from here that printing began to spread north and westwards, towards modern day Korea and the Middle East. When it arrived in the Arabic world, they began experimenting with other materials such as tin, lead and clay. The use of these materials didn’t travel into Europe where printing found its natural home. Printing was first used on cloth, especially fabrics used for religious purposes. From there, printing went in to the card game, as the prints were easy to make and replicate. Printing owes a great deal of its success to the spread and widespread adoption of cards.