Kalamkari: Handmade Designs On Fabric

“If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, will answer you: I am here to live out loud.” ― Émile Zola

Kalamkari is an exquisite ancient craft of painted and printed fabrics. 

'Kalam' means the pen and 'kari' means the worker. This art has evolved over the last three thousand years, owing to experimentation, trial and error of the local artisans. The Kalamkari prints mostly have pictures from the epics such as Ramayana and Mahabharata. Other Hindu gods and goddesses also find a place in this art. Today sarees, salwar suits, fabrics, dupattas and other dress materials on Kalamkari prints are easily available in online stores.

One essential part of this art is the availability of water for washing of the fabric. So the presence of a river aides the business around Kalamkari. The hand painted fabrics take over days or months to become finished final products. The colors used are natural dyes, made from charcoal, vegetables and plants.

Kalamkari Krishna Printed Fabric (WikiCommons)

Process involves the natural fibers being washed and dried in the sun. The cloth is treated with milk before being dried. The outlines of the designs is then first drawn with a dark color dye, using a tamarind stick. Mostly black alum solution is used for the purpose. Washing and drying is done after every step. The cloth is boiled with red coloring materials to give it a basic background color. Then other colors like yellow, indigo and green are used for filling in the designs. It is boiled in water and eventually soaked in the river water for hours for the final wash.

Block printing is also used for intricate designs.

Kalamkari saree and salwar suits are a must for your wardrobe.

I am participating in the #AToZChallenge with #BlogchatterA2Z and I am sharing posts themed around Art for this entire month of April. Share and connect with me on social media.
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  2. Very informative article. Thank you for sharing this video and useful content about Kalamkari Sarees.

  3. Excellent Post. This blog ideas are very nice. & useful information about block printing tradition. OJARIYA offers the online Hand Block Printed Curtains with best price. Check it out our collection.


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Queeristan by Parmesh Sahani

  Queeristan (Amazon Link) Thanks to Audible Free Trial I listened to this amazing non-fiction on LGBTQ inclusion in Indian workplaces. Author Parmesh Sahani identifies as gay Indian, working closely with Godrej higher management and employees for years to create an inclusive workplace, both legally and in spirit. This book is a result of those years of experience, research, collaboration with individuals from difference spectrum of the society and organizations who has successfully transitioned into a queer friendly one.   Indian history is inclusive. From the Khajuraho temple architectures, to Konark to the Rig Veda, there is existing proofs even 2000 years ago of Indian inclusiveness of queer. It’s the draconian British law that criminalised it, which was scraped in 2009, came into effect once again following a sad judgement in 2013 and eventually was scraped off for good in 2018. I am in awe of the lawyers who fought this legal battle- colleagues and partners – Arundhati Katju

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