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The Kalamkari Saree- Globally Recognized Art Of India

By Expert Author: Lakshmi

Kalamkari is, an art that makes fabrics come alive, with life like hand paintings on them. It is a work of love and passion from traditional artisans in the country.

India has a rich history of innovation and excellence in art & crafts. Since decades we have seen various forms of art adorning Indian sarees. Every day, we are upgrading with new arrivals, but Kalamkari Sarees with their unique and exquisite designs, have become dear to the fashion world.

Kalamkari is a beautiful ancient art of dedication and patience. Kalamkari sarees are always considered as rich and elegant choices by women.

While it is a challenge to designers, its a painstaking process for the traditional practitioners of the art since they must use their concentration and skill to make the design look beautiful.

The name Kalamkari is arrived at from the Persian Qualamkari, which means an art of working with a pen. The 300 decade old traditional craft Kalamkari has some of its roots in Srikalahasti and Machilipatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India.

Machilipatnam and Srikalahasti follow two different styles of the Kalamkari art. Srikalahasti style is entirely done by hand, where as in the Machilipatnam Style, pen as well as engraved wooded blocks are used.

With dedication, patience after 17 painstaking steps, the artisans made Kalamkari look akin to nature.

Kalamkari painting is an intricate and tedious process of hand-printing and resist dyeing. The artisan treats cotton fabrics in several stages. After completing each step, the cloth is washed to get the shine.

For designing with kalamkari, the traditional designers mostly prefer Cotton clothes. They dip the cloth into resin and cow milk mixture about an hour to get its glossiness. After that, they draw the desired pattern on the cloth with pen; and later use pure vegetable dyes to fill the colours.

The main designs involved in Kalamkari are Islamic styles and scenes from Hindu epics. Islamic influence uses more of flora and fauna as themes in its work. The motifs like flowing lines, flowers, birds, animals and human figures look very much alive.

Kalamkari is not limited to paintings and drawings. Now days, fashion designers are introducing modern touches to the kalamkari art and sometimes modern western outfits of teenagers include rudiments of the art.

Kalamkari Sarees with block prints having special motifs are suitable for weddings, festivals and grand occasions. Kalamkari sarees of cotton, silk, crepe and georgette clothes are preferred for both normal and party wear.

With love and passion towards the art, the ethnic designers of the art have made Kalamkari famous in the fabric world.

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