May 9, 2016 · 3 min read

Kalamkari: Everything You Ought To Know About The Hand Block Printing

Kalamkari art, the word derived from the Persian language, is the art of hand painting drawn on different sorts of fabrics with the use of a pen. It depicts the scenes of Indian culture and tradition. Keep reading to know more about the mesmerizing Indian art form.

What Does Kalamkari Word Means

Segregating the word kalamkari as Kalam meaning pen and Kari meaning work, it can be defined as the art of designing with the use of a pen. The work involves hand painted or blocks printed designs on the cotton textile from different parts of India.

Origin of Kalamkari Sarees

The origin of Kalamkari sarees dates back to 16th and 17th century. It is a famous art form in the states of Andhra Pradesh covering it is two most important places one adjacent to Tirupathi and other to Vijayawada. However, the styles are completely different from each other that have evolved independently. Talking about its birth, it started from the act of storytelling. In the earlier times, people in the villages used to visit different places and interacted with each other by means of creating pictures on canvas. The pictures drawn featured the stories of Ramayana, Mahabharata and other distinct characters from the Indian mythology. From there, the Kalamkari art came into being depicting the stories through pictures and diagrams.

The work done on designer silk sarees is an exquisite amalgamation of painting and hand drawing that later on spread to different parts of Tamil Nadu. The textile has earned its name across various places within the country.

Specialty of Kalamkari Sarees

The beauty of Kalamkari work is well depicted in a variety of fabrics like cotton, silk, georgette, crepe and chiffon. In this art form, the use of vegetable dyes makes the effect last for a longer time. The depiction of motifs like trees, flowers, leaves and birds make it all the more special and eye-catching. In the fabric, you will find a glossy appearance which is because of the use of substances like myrobalan, seeds, plants and even cow dung. It actually defines the immense talent our nation has. The designs and lines are etched on the fabric with the use of a short bamboo piece implying the use of organic colors. If all these features attract you, then buy Kalamakari silk saree online and enjoy the beauty of Indian tradition. Despite limited resources and no availability of advanced technology, the Indian craftsmen still deliver the best designs. This reflects their devotion and amazing talent they are born with.

Two Forms of Kalamkari Art

In India, there are two forms of Kalamkari art prevalent. They are:

  • Srikalahasti Style: Srikalahasti is the Indian art form that takes its inspiration from Hindu mythology. It depicts various pictures and scenes from the various epics of Indian culture and tradition.
  • Machillipatnam Style: In this style form, the designs are carved with handmade traditional blocks. It also has the very detailed hand painting designs.

Apart from this, the styles are also inspired from two different Indian states, Gujarat, and Andhra Pradesh. These states have earned a name for beautiful Kalamkari patterns. The Kalamkari art depicts the beauty of forts, palaces, temples and also many mythological characters like Krishna-Arjun, Lord Ganesha etc. While shopping for Kalamkari silk sarees , you will find such detailed and mesmerizing work.

Kalamkari ethnic outfits can never go out of fashion owing to beautifully detailed work. It has been prevalent for many centuries and still the designs capture the heart of millions.


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    Avaranaa is an ethnic silk saree and salwar storee with exclusive products such as teracotta jewellery and much more. Visit today @

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