Kalamkari or Qalamkari is reputed amongst aficionados of Handcrafted Textiles. Kalamkari is a combination of 2 words – ‘Kalam’ meaning pen in Persian and ‘Kari’ derived from the word Karigar. So Kalamkari means “Pen work”. There are 2 types of Kalamkari – the Machilipatnam Style & the Srikalahasti Style.
The Sri Kalahasti Style of Kalamkari involves using a pen to draw the subject freehand and then filling the colours. This style is very time & labour intensive and flourished because of the patronage of the temples in the neighbourhood. So the Srikalahasti Syle of Kalamkari has an almost religious identity
The Machilipatnam Style of Kalamkari evolved under the Islamic Rulers of Golconda. So it is more influenced by Persian Motifs & Designs that were created to suit their taste. The outlines of the designs & main features were done using hand carved blocks. The finer details where then hand painted using the pen.
Irrespective of the style Kalamkari is done using Vegetable Dyes. Myroblan & Buffalo Milk are then used to fix the dyes
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