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02 January, 2018

Kalamkari saree

Kalamkari cotton saree consists of gorgeous designs that depict folklore, epics, gods and other artefacts either hand painted or block printed.
Kalamkari or qalamkari is a type of hand-painted or block-printed cotton textile, produced in Iran and India. Its name originates in the Persian, which is derived from the words qalam (pen) and kari (craftsmanship), meaning drawing with a pen. Only natural dyes are used in kalamkari and it involves seventeen steps.
Started originally in the Sasani era in Iran (almost 2500 years ago), there are two distinctive styles of kalamkari art in India - the Srikalahasti style and the Machilipatnam style. The Srikalahasti style of kalamkari (Kalankari), wherein the "kalam" or pen is used for freehand drawing of the subject and filling in the colours, is entirely hand worked. This style flowered around temples and their patronage and so had an almost religious identity - scrolls, temple hangings, chariot banners and the like, depicted deities and scenes taken from the Hindu epics - Ramayana, Mahabharata, Puranas and the mythological classics. This style owes its present status to Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay who popularized the art as the first Chairperson of the All India Handicrafts Board.
The Machilipatnam Kalamkari craft made at Pedana nearby Machilipatnam in Krishna district, Andhra Pradesh, evolved with the patronage of the Mughals and the Golconda sultanate. Owing to the said patronage, this school was influenced by Persian art.

Modern forms

In modern times the term is also used to refer, incorrectly, to the making of any cotton fabric patterned through the medium of vegetable dyes by free-hand painting and block-printing, produced in many different regions of India. In places where the fabric is block printed the kalam (pen) is used to draw finer details and for application of some colours.

Themes

Kalamkari specifically depicts epics such as the Ramayana or Mahabharata. However, there are recent applications of the kalamkari technique to depict Buddha and Buddhist art forms, mukhota, mudras, etc.

I am wearing a Mukhota print with dancing ladies on pallu and border. The mukhota necklace that I am wearing, is handmade by me.









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