Nowadays, Kalamkari is a well-known cloth with a wide following among the general public. It is also becoming increasingly popular, a highly fashionable fabric for ethnic attire. Textile enthusiasts and fashion designers have collaborated to revive this ancient art form in recent years.
The ancient technique of hand painting on cotton or silk fabrics using natural dyes is known as Kalamkari. The term “kalam” refers to a pen, and “Kari” refers to artistry, making this art form. In total, there are 23 dyeings, bleaching, hand painting, block-printing, starching, cleaning, and more.
There are two distinct styles of kalamkari art in India, one from Srikalahasti and the other from Machilipatnam. Kalamkari art created in the Srikalahasti method is entirely hand done. The pen is utilized for freehand drawing & color filling. Fabric-dyed block painting is a typical style of Machilipatnam. Kalamkari patterns are printed with hand-carved blocks with intricate features and manually. The Srikalahasti style is based on Hindu mythology, scenes’ descriptions, and epics’ events.
Based on the areas where they are produced, Kalamkari designs are likewise divided. Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh are two of the most significant states where two distinct Kalamkari artwork is made. Forts, palaces, temples, and animal and bird themes inspire Andhra Pradesh’s architecture, whereas Gujarat’s Kalamkari style is derived from mythical figures.
A variety of fabrics with Kalamkari patterns have become popular in recent years, owing to increased demand. Because of its resurgence, many textiles incorporating Kalamkari designs have emerged. It is considerably more accessible and cost-effective to produce items than by hand. These stylish Indian women’s tops are increasingly available online, making them popular among Indian women.
Kalamkari paintings have a large market both inside and outside of India. Nowadays, it is just as simple to buy kalamkari textiles online at craft fairs, heritage shops, or mainstream fabric retail. The sale of kalamkari art is now available in prominent exhibitions worldwide that showcase and promote Indian handicrafts.
In today’s world, hand printing has mainly been supplanted by digital printing, like numerous old techniques.
Kalamkari is a complicated craft, and its production necessitates a time-consuming approach; as a result, the art of Kalamkari was fast becoming forgotten.
With the introduction of high-quality machine looms and the acceptance of printed textiles, Kalamkari art was on the verge of extinction. Printed Kalamkari, on the other hand, is a new fad among today’s youngsters because it combines old and new styles.
On the runway, several fashion designers beautifully displayed kalamkari sarees and started a resurgence. It created a revival movement by bringing attention to this neglected art form and making its development more convenient for the contemporary market.
It’s a beautiful time to be a natural fiber lover. Natural fabrics and dyes give it an eco-friendly edge in this climate when sustainability is such a big issue. It’s also part of buying local and supporting craftspeople and artisans.