Vibrance of Kalamkari Painting!
Kalamkari painting, which means or translates into “pen craft”; as when the word is broken down into two parts, it means, ‘kalam’ meaning pen and ‘kari’ meaning art.
It is typically done on the pieces of cotton fabrics, and it is one of the most traditional Indian art form, which involves block printing or hand printing. And the most unique feature of the Kalamkari painting is that it majorly uses natural colours or vegetable dyes.
The pen referred to a tool used in Kalamkari painting is made of a short piece of bamboo or date-palm stick, and this piece is shaped and pointed at the end so that it forms a nib.
And this art doesn’t use any sort of chemical and it’s entirely on handicraft and some of the metallic salts called mordants are used so that the dye on the cotton fibres can be fixed.
And the dye is used for the colouring of cloth and is obtained by extracting the colours from different and various roots, leaves and mineral salts of iron, tin, copper and alum.
Origin of Kalamkari Painting and Art:
Kalamkari, which is a textile painting, is famous in the states of Andhra Pradesh. The Kalamkari Painting, which is very much prevalent in India.
It is majorly of two distinctive styles named or known by the places in which they are prevalent. The two styles are the Machilipatnam style and the Srikalahasti style.
The Srikalahasti style of kalamkari painting is the kind of painting that is done by using a special pen and done entirely by hand. And the Srikalahasti style has the main focus on the paintings of different Gods and Goddesses and various scenes from the Hindu mythology, like Puranas, Mahabharata and Ramayana.
The other style of Kalamkari painting, that is, Machilipatnam style uses block prints for painting. Machilipatnam style is also known as Pedana Kalamkari, as it was very much prevalent in Pedana, a small town near Machilipatnam.
The Machilipatnam paintings are Persian as it has major patronage and proximity to the Mughal era and the Golcunda Sultanate.
The chief production of the Machilipatnam paintings is in the field of dress material, scarfs, curtain lengths, table and bed linen, wall hangings and cushion covers. And this block print largely uses Persian motifs.
Kalamkari painting art in Modern times:
The Kalamkari painting emerges from the confine of temples and villages and now in today’s world, it occupies a place in the Haute Couture of our country as well as internationally.
Now, the modern designs can also be seen as the ancient Kalamkari painting has undergone many changes in the modern era.
As when Kalamkari painting is done using traditional and authentic methods, then it would take between 3-4 days to complete one saree, which in the modern era as modern methods are introduced which include digitization, screen printing and chemical dyes are used, a saree can be made within an hour or so.
Why Kalamkari painting is becoming increasingly popular:
There is a discouragement for the use of harmful chemicals in production and manufacturing from an increasing number of people all across the globe.
And in such an artificial, Kalamkari is the one that uses natural colours and avoids the use of artificial chemicals and still produce beautifully coloured fabrics and hence, it becomes a perfect craft.
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Artwork Credit: Artist Kavitha Jetti