Kalamkari \u2013 literally meaning \u2018pen craft\u2019 [ Kalam = pen in Urdu]\u00a0 involving painting and printing on cloth with natural dyes.\n\nStyles of Kalamkari Art\nThe art is an ancient one.\u00a0 A piece of resist dyed cloth was found at Harappa and a piece from Akbar\u2019s time has also been recorded. The Mughals patronised this craft and it flourished int he Golconda region of Southern India.\u00a0 Therefore Islamic motifs and Persian influences are seen in one group of Kalamkari paintings.\u00a0 The center was these is Masulipatnam.\n\n\n\nIn the neighbouring region governed by Hindu rulers, the craft enjoyed the patronage of temples and so, mythological figures and religious scenes from the Puaranas, the Mahabharat and Ramayan became the subject of these paintings.\u00a0 The center for these is Srikalahasti.\n\u00a0 \n\nKalamkari is an art form practiced not only in Southern India but also in Gujarat.\u00a0 The Mata-ni-Pachedi, written about earlier is also Kalamakari.\nThe difference visually is that in the art of Gujarat the motifs are small and a square metre of cloth will be covered with a large number of scenes and figures.\n\nKalamkari Craft Process:\n\nA cotton cloth is first prepared as a base for the artwork.\n\nUse of Iron Acetate to create outlines with a pen or block or to fill in a section of solid spaces\n\n\n\nAll the areas meant to be red (or any given color) are painted over with Alum solution that acts as a mordant to fix the dye onto the material. The yellowish sections are the mordant covered cloth.\n\n\nThe cloth is now boiled with natural dye \u2013 usually from bark, flowers, roots or minerals\n\n\n\n\n\n\nThe cloth is washed for the colors to emerge\n\n\nTh yellow is painted on over it. Then, it is prepared for the next stage. Wax is applied on all the parts that will not be blue as a dye-resistant medium. Blue dye is then applied and is absorbed only by the sections of the cloth that are not covered in wax.\n\n\nAfter the cloth has been boiled in Indigo dye, the wax is removed.\n\n\u00a0 \u00a0 Sounds easy & simple!\nThis art is practiced as decorative work now, with patronage only from individuals as the organisational sponsors no longer exist.\nThe artists \u2013 as is the case with almost all the textile arts of India belong to the relatively poorer sections of society. It is therefore not hard to see why migrations occur away from their traditional-ancestral careers.\n\n\u00a0 \u00a0 \nLet us hope the art thrives & survives into the next century!\njm\nMarch 2014\nThe post The Craft of the Kalamkari of South India appeared first on The Art Blog by WOVENSOULS.COM.