Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Kalamkari- An Ancient Form of Hand Painting on Fabric.


What Is Kalamkari?

Kalamkari, Qalamkari or Kalam Kari is an Ancient Indian Form of Hand Painting on Fabric. It is a form of Fabric Printing Techniques in which ‘Kalam’ that is a special purpose pen is used to print on a fabric. The fabric pen used by these artists is usually made of bamboo to create mesmerizing designs on fabric. In fact, the word, ‘Kalamkari’ itself means Pen Craft.

What Is Kalamkari Fabric?

Kalamkari Fabric designs or prints are different from Indian Block Printing Technique. In Block Printing, wooden carved block prints are used to print the fabric. In Kalamkari, too, the artisans use block print after the design is first drawn on paper. However, the contemporary artists prefer to use pens instead of the block print. Since the entire Kalamkari work is handmade, you will find subtle irregularities in designs on the fabric.

Where Is Kalamkari Fabric Made?

This type of unique art is practiced mostly in southern parts of India. Only natural vegetable dyes and colors such as seeds, plants, crushed flowers, tree bark, cow dung, etc are used to make this amazing handmade fabric.

Hand Printed Fabric Indian Kalamkari

Hand Printed Fabric Indian Kalamkari

How Is Kalamkari Fabric Made?

The entire process of making a Kalamkari fabric is labor intensive. It involves more than 15 levels and takes about 3 to 6 weeks to complete it. The end result emerges into an original artwork which is cherished by those who love organic cotton fabric.

In Kalamkari designs, you will usually find primary colors like red, green, blue, black and white in the painting. The background shade is mostly in beige or reddish color. The most common kalamkari prints are which depicts mythological characters, temples, animals or vintage floral designs. Sometimes, you may find abstract painting designs.

Why Use Kalamkari Fabric?

The colors imprinted on Kalamkari fabric are permanent and do not fade easily. The material becomes softer and the designs get shiner after each wash. This fabric is organic in nature and beneficial for the skin.

Who Uses Kalamkari?

People who love organic fabric and clothing will love this kind of fabric. Hand made fabric gives you a feeling of satisfaction and knowing that it was made by human hands and not a machine.

Recommended Uses of Kalamkari Fabric:

Kalamkari fabric serves different purpose and uses. It can be used as wall hangings, wall paintings, decorative art, curtains, sarees, bedsheets, artwork, etc.

Bright Floral Fabric Kalamkari Beige Vines Print Organic

Kalamkari Fabric Beige Organic

How  To Test Authencity of Kalamkari Fabric?

Genuine Kalamkari Fabric have a subtle smell of cow’s milk which is used during the process. However, you can make that go away by washing it with diluted vinegar.

Check out some unique fabrics in my shop.

My Style, My Way..

Mamta Motiyani
Mamta Motiyani

I have a quest for knowledge and often find what I want to know- but after much struggle and reading encyclopedias! Not everybody wants a thesis! In my blog, you will find quick and easy information without any jargon, technical details or detailed history of that craft. You can always find that data all over the Internet, Wikipedia, etc.

My objective is to give you a starting point and quick reference for you to move ahead. If you have still have quench for further knowledge, then you probably know where to look for.

If you found this post a little useful and informative, then all you have to do is click Share button of Facebook, Pinterest and/or Google+. It really inspires me to write more about such crafts. Thank you for your time.

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