Kalamkari is an art form found in India. The authenticity and elegance of this craft makes it stand out among other handicrafts. The name Kalamkari is given to a form of hand-painting floral designs right onto the fabric. The process is slow, intricate and requires considerable skill and effort.
Kalamkari means 'kalam' - pen and 'kari' - craftmanship. It is a form of hand-painting on fabrics classically performed using a tamarind pen and natural dyes. The craft was developed in the state of Andhra Pradesh ,India. Musicians and painters used this art form to convey the stories of Hindu mythology in ancient times which then evolved into fashion.
What makes Kalamkari special ?
There are two styles of Kalamkari - The Machilipatinam style and Sri Kalahasti style. The designs are completely hand drawn and hand-painted using vegetable dyes traditionally in Sri Kalahasti style whereas the Machilipatinam style uses block printing technique for coloring the fabric.
Sri Kalahasti style :
This religious and narrative style has unique meaning and a distinct story to express in each painting. The stories are from Hindu mythology, stories of flora and fauna are most commonly seen on Kalamkari fabrics. It is highly complicated and requires skilled craftmanship. This form is mostly done on silks because of its grandeur and lavishness.
Machilipatinam style :
This form of Kalamkari is most commonly seen in cotton fabrics and has wider application in garments. This is less time consuming method than the other style since it uses hand-blocks to print the designs.
Kalamkari today :
Traditional Kalamkari sarees are hard to come by today. At Parisera, we hold the classic methods to very high standards and love the Kalamkari styles that use authentic hand-painting.
Here's an exclusive collection of Kalamkari silks from the House of Parisera. The fabric used here is Tussar silk.