Kalamkari Paintings, the Ancient art of India

Kalamkari Paintings Introduction:

Kalamkari Paintings are the famous hand painting style and the pictures in Kalamkari style passionate the art lovers. The pictures drawn on cotton or silk fabric with tamarind pen or natural dyes. The word ‘Kalamkari’ is a Persian word, here Kalam means pen and Kari mean craftsmanship. The painting style and the process of painting the pictures very

kalamkari paintings

difficult. To bring the full form of the painting the artist follow 23 tedious steps of dyeing, bleaching, block printing, starching and more processes should follow. The pictures on the clothes mostly adopted from the themes of Hindu epics Mahabharata and Ramayana and also the flowers, peacocks and other divine characters also painted on cloth in Kalamkari process.

History of Kalamkari Paintings:

Kalamkari Paintings has more than 5000 years history, the first Kalamkari art 3000 years before the birth of Jesus Christ. In those days people especially folk singers and painters had been traveling one village to another village and perform their skills before the village people. Especially they narrating the stories of Hindu mythologies and those telling stories transformed into canvas paintings. The archaeologists found the evidence of Kalamkari paintings at the sites of Mohenjodaro.

Kalamkari During Mughal Rule:

In later years the Kalamkari Paintings lost its glory. Again during the Mughal emperor the art of Kalamkari gains its glory. Hence the Mughal emperors encourage the artists and promoted this art in the Golconda and Coromandel provinces. The Golconda sultanate encourages the craftsmen in a wide range and this art flourished at Machilipatnam in Krishna district of A.P. Still many families are continuing this art and earning their prime source of livelihood.

kalamkari paintings

Preparing the Kalamkari Art Forms:

Usually, Cotton fabric used for Kalamkari. First, the artists keep the fabric in the liquid of cow dung and bleach for hours, then the fabric gets the white color. After this, the cotton fabric immersed in a mixture of buffalo milk and Myrobalans. After some time the fabric washed in the running water to remove the smell of buffalo milk and cow dung. This process continues for many times and dried it under the sun. Then the artist sketches the designs and applies the natural colors within the drawings.

Natural Colours for Kalamkari Paintings:

The artists prepare the colors with natural sources not used the chemicals to get colors for Kalamkari Paintings. The prime colors are indigo, mustard, rust, black and green. The artists prepare the black color from jaggery, yellow is derived by boiling pomegranate peels, red from algirin, blue obtain from indigo and the green color get by mixing yellow and blue colors together.

kalamkari paintings

Kalamkari Paintings in Andhra Pradesh:

There are two types of Kalamkari paintings in India. One Srikalahasti style and another one Machilipatnam style. Srikalahasti style of painting is very attractive and inspiration. The art themes are adopted from the Hindu mythology describing scenes from the epics and folklore. The city Srikalahasti is a religious place and famous temples also situated, so the themes of the Kalamkari Paint has a strong connection with Hindu religion.
In Machilipatnam style of Kalamkari, the fabric and motifs printed with hand-carved traditional blocks. Now two different pattern of designs is following by the Artists. The Andhra artists preparing the themes from the observation of forts, palaces, and temples of India. The Gujarat Kalamkari artists are adopting the mythological character from Mahabharata and Hindu deities.