Welcome to the era of hand-made, hand-painted, handwoven products!!
One such hand-painted textile product from South India is now in vogue and Khinkhwab is one of the staunch supporter and lover of this beautiful Kalamkari…
We are trying to unfold some facts about Kalamkari which are less known, or rarely heard and then forgotten long back!
Know about Kalamkari
Kalamkari is a type of hand-painted or block-printed cotton textile, produced in Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. It is more than just being a fabric used for clothing or home. It is more than textiles to an experience that culture has witnessed over centuries. This textile is supposed to be a multi-colored fabric in one of its rarest forms.
Kalamkari is known to be a healing fabric, as the colors, motifs and the narration of magical forms create an aura that heals an individual physically and spiritually. Only natural dyes are used in Kalamkari, which is an ancient style of hand painting done on cotton or silk fabric with a tamarind pen. The word Kalamkari is derived from a Persian word where ‘kalam‘ means pen and ‘Kari‘ refers to craftsmanship. While Pedana and Machilipatnam are the hubs for hand block-printed Kalamkari, Srikalahasti in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh is known for the pen-drawn format. Kalamkari has been around for nearly 2000 years in India.
Kalamkari over the years…
Kalamkari art has been practiced by many families in Andhra Pradesh, some villages in Tamil Nadu by migrants from Telugu speaking families and over the generations have constituted their livelihood.
As an art form, it found its peak in the wealthy middle Ages. The Mughals who patronized this craft in the Coromandel called the practitioners of this craft “qualamkars“, from which the term “kalamkari” evolved. In this era, term refers to the making of any cotton fabric patterned through
Vegetable dyes by free hand painting and block printing.In places where the fabric is block printed the kalam (pen) is used to draw finer details and for application of some colors.
In modern times, this has become completely digital. New types and new techniques are introduced and the digital files of kalamkari (pen work) are totally introduced widely all over the regions of India.
According to sources, Hand block-printed Kalamkari is a tedious and time-consuming process involving a minimum of 10 steps.
Cotton cloth pieces are bought from mills and cut into pieces. These pieces are soaked in water mixed with cow-dung. Once soaked well, the water is loosely squeezed out and the cloth is laid on the floor overnight.
The next morning, these pieces are washed on a stone in a pond and spread on grass and water till evening. This process is repeated the next day and then all the cloth pieces are washed and dried.
The next step involves treating the cloth with Myrobalan seeds and buffalo milk to prevent smudging of dyes when painted. After this process, the cloth is printed using natural colors as per the required design and then washed in flowing, fresh water.
Kalamkari is one of the traditional art for of India noted for its extraordinary beautiful hand paintings on fabrics. This is very popularly used as handspring in fabrics for dress material, sarees and ready-made salwar kameez, kurtas, etc. The most common theme followed is exhibiting magnificent paintings of sun chariots, famous deities, and scenes from the epics Mahabharata and Ramayana.
Kalamkari sarees showcase the fine craftsmanship of Indian artists. Ir is a perfect blend of elegance and heritage followed by the latest trends. The wide range of Kalamkari sarees is available with different styles and fabric. They don’t get faded away with the wash, since natural dyes and colors are used.
Kalamkari sarees are perfect for ladies who are looking for class and elegance. As the Kalamkari prints come in cotton and silk sarees, it gives a unique style. Kalamkari silk sarees with block prints are easy to wear and provides comfy to the user. As normal hand washing can shrink the fabric, make sure to dry wash or petrol wash to get better results.
The designs done using Kalamkari bring out the best in you. Even though they are traditional sarees, even today, these sarees have not lost their worth in the modern fashion industry. The mix and match of Kalamkari’s works give the fabric a rich look.
Kalamkari printed sarees are widely used come in Cotton, Crepe, Designer wear, Printed sarees, Silk Sarees, Georgette, Chiffon, Patch work, Chanderi, Kerala Kasavu sarees
Khinkhwab admires Kalamkari
As a brand, Khinkhwab always in the fore front supporting all handmade and handwoven traditions of India. Kalamkari one such hand-printed textile form that we have been admiring and supporting over the years
When talking about Kalamkari, one cannot miss the contribution and the passion of this well-known Kalamkari artist Niranjan Jonnalgadda who is the grandson of Lakshmaiyya, the last surviving artists of Andhra Pradesh and one of the few Kalamkari practitioners of his generation. Niranjan is a recipient of the State Award during the event to celebrate 50 years of All India Handicrafts Board. He is the fourth generation Kalamkari artist and learned this work by observing his father closely.
Niranjan has extensively traveled both internationally and nationally trying to promote Kalamkari and conduct workshops. He had conducted workshop in Singapore, early this year, which was organized by Ms. Sushita Paidi of the brand Antara. Khinhwab, being a supporter of handloom and hand-painted products, our founder Ruchi Agarwal had a wonderful opportunity to attend the Kalamkari workshop by Niranjan and she still cherishes this amazing experience