The Craft of the Kalamkari of South India

%月 %日, %年

Kalamkari – literally meaning ‘pen craft’ [ Kalam = pen in Urdu]  involving painting and printing on cloth with natural dyes.


Styles of Kalamkari Art

The art is an ancient one.  A piece of resist dyed cloth was found at Harappa and a piece from Akbar’s time has also been recorded. The Mughals patronised this craft and it flourished int he Golconda region of Southern India.  Therefore Islamic motifs and Persian influences are seen in one group of Kalamkari paintings.  The center was these is Masulipatnam.




In 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.  The center for these is Srikalahasti.

IMG_5943  IMG_5950


Kalamkari is an art form practiced not only in Southern India but also in Gujarat.  The Mata-ni-Pachedi, written about earlier is also Kalamakari.

The 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.

Gujarat Kalamkari

Kalamkari Craft Process:

A cotton cloth is first prepared as a base for the artwork.

Wovensouls - Technique of Kalamkari art

Use of Iron Acetate to create outlines with a pen or block or to fill in a section of solid spaces


Wovensouls - Technique of Kalamkari art - Use of Mordant

All 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.

Wovensouls - Technique of Kalamkari art - Dye

The cloth is now boiled with natural dye – usually from bark, flowers, roots or minerals


The cloth is washed for the colors to emerge


Th 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.


After the cloth has been boiled in Indigo dye, the wax is removed.

    Sounds easy & simple!

This art is practiced as decorative work now, with patronage only from individuals as the organisational sponsors no longer exist.

The artists – 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.


  IMG_5964-2  IMG_5966-2

Let us hope the art thrives & survives into the next century!


March 2014

The post The Craft of the Kalamkari of South India appeared first on The Art Blog by WOVENSOULS.COM.



%月 %日, %年

起源这个轻轻的,但是严格强制执行规则,在所有亚洲传统的家园可能是很多的。 但我认为,真正的原因是技术上显示发言。... ... 继续读

没有鞋子在室内 第一次出现在 艺术博客WOVENSOULS.COM.



%月 %日, %年


注意Phulkari分类 第一次出现在 艺术博客WOVENSOULS.COM.



%月 %日, %年

青铜技术弗朗茨*伯格曼在互联网上看到:可爱吧? 我们得出结论,他喜欢的地毯呢? 这些都是冷的-画的青铜器,这是第一个放在... 继续读

青铜技术用于地毯的情人 第一次出现在 艺术博客WOVENSOULS.COM.