The art of Kalamkari originated in Andhra Pradesh in South India is the originator of this exquisite artwork that got flourished under the patronage of the Mughals and the Golconda Nizams. Kalamkari is a form of hand printing or block printing normally done on cotton eco friendly fabric using only vegetable dyes or natural colours. Apart from printing, painting is another main component of producing eco friendly fabrics using Kalamkari art.
The art of Kalamkari can be classified into two major forms - Masulipatnam Style and Sri Kalahasti Style. The foundation for both schools of Kalamkari painting is more or less the same Masulipatnam style uses block-printing procedures, whereas the hand painting process is more complex and pain staking. In this temple town of Sri Kalahasti, these handful of artisans use a pen for creating patterns and free hand drawings, the filling of color is entirely done by hand. The beauty of this Kalamkari hand painting is the usage of only natural(Vegetable) dyes and colors, the entire process requires 17 complex steps to complete. The cotton fabric gets its sheen when soaked in a mixture of resin and cow milk for about an hour. To obtain different effects cow dung, seeds, crushed flowers and different plants are used. After the application of every color, the cloth has to be washed, and the quality of the cloth used is generally so good that they can take up to 20 washings without any mitigation. Iron fillings and molasses are used to draw the outlines of the designs.
People all over the world have started realizing the harmful effects of dangerous chemical dyes and hence started developing the taste for naturally dyed eco friendly fabrics. Kalamkari painting is the best example of natural colour artwork. Its time we switched to Eco Friendly fabrics