Kalamkari or qalamkari is a type of hand-painted or block-printed cotton textile, produced in parts of India and Iran. Its name originates in the Persian ,Kalamkari which is derived from the words qalam (pen) and kari (craftmanship), meaning drawing with a pen.
Kalamkari designs, motifs and painting forms have emerged from inspirations from palaces, monuments and temples found in India, along with designs of wildlife. Kalamkari handmade painting are done on various fabrics like Pure Cotton, Pure Silk, Chiffon, georgette and chanderi. Pure cotton and chanderi is are the most popular fabrics used in Srikalahasti because of its unique quality making it easier for the kalamkari artist to draw and paint. It is available in Chennai, Bangalore and Maharashtra.
There are two identifiable styles of Kalamkari art in India – Srikalahasti style and Machilipatnam style. In the Machilipatnam style of Kalamkari, motifs are essentially printed with hand-carved traditional blocks with intricate detailing painted by hands. On the other hand, Srikalahasti style of painting draws inspiration from the Hindu mythology describing scenes from the epics and folklore. This style holds a strong religious connect because of its origin in the temples.
In recent times, two other types of Kalamkari patterns have also emerged, based on the states where it is created. Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh are two prime states in India, where two different types of Kalamkari patterns are done. The Andhra Kalamkari borrows design inspiration from forts, palaces and temples of India, along with motifs of animals and birds. While the Gujarat Kalamkari depict motifs of mythological characters like Krishna-Arjuna from Mahabharata, lord Krishna, lord Ganesha, lord Buddha etc.
KALAMKARI CLASSES - ART CARNIVAL - JAYANAGAR