The name kalamkari itself speaks volumes as it hints it's a ‘work’ of art done with a ‘pen’. The pen kalamkari fabric is adorned with a painting done by a special kind of pen made of bamboo using organic colours made of vegetable dyes, extracted from plants, roots, leaves and other such vegetable matters. These dyes are then mixed with minerals like iron and alum to make them a fast colour. The base of the kalamkari fabric is generally off-white so that each colour gets a distinctive identity. It is generally seen that the painting on kalamkari fabric keeps getting clearer with every wash. Synthetic dyes or harsh chemicals are strictly forbidden in this kind of craft.
The hand-painted kalamkari fabric follows a certain pattern in colours as well as the design. Mostly earthly tones of reds, blues, greens, yellows and browns are used. The design generally depicts flowers or figures of women, God or demons. Women are portrayed in shades of yellow, demons in red and green and Gods are painted in blues. There are also figures of animals and birds mostly in yellows and greens. When you look at a kalamkari painting; you will be surprised to notice that each one narrates a story or a part of it. Each painting is thus planned properly ahead.
The traces of mention of this intricate art can be dated back to as early as the 14th century, it is believed to have stemmed from the lands of southern India, modern India’s Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu to be more specific. Known on the names of the places where artisans precise them most, there are two types of kalamkari painting: Srikalahasti and Machilipatnam. While Srikalahasti uses the freehand style of drawing; Machilipatnam uses the more popular block printing technique.
Involving as many as twenty-three detailed steps, the process of making the kalamkari material truly a piece of art depicts a love for art, tradition and culture.
How to Identify Real Kalamkari
The arduous amount of labour involved in creating a kalamkari has paved the way to the fake screen-printed ones which are fast and come quite cheap. Modern times have seen a shift towards the cheaper variety not knowing that this may prove to be the death knell of this famous form of our ancient art. Saddened to see the popularity of the fake ones, it becomes essential to know how to differentiate between the real and the fake ones. Just the touch of the fabric gives you an idea as the kalamkari fabric is washed many times before it is ready to be painted on; thus, it gives a raw, soft and earthly touch.
If we buy pen kalamkari fabric online, we must look for flaws and imperfections which speak for its authenticity. As its hand-painted, there are bound irregularities in each design. Who knew that the defects of any art can speak aloud for its originality!! The original hand-painted kalamkari will have an equal amount of seepage of colours in the inner side of the fabric also to maintain its originality. This is not to be seen in the screen-printed one as there is no need to ensure the fastness of the colour.
Also Read- The Royal Touch of Chikankari
The original kalamkari material is also never cheap. Any custom-made kalamkari fabric takes almost twenty days to a month to prepare the finished product. One can well imagine that the fabric has to be washed many times before it is ready to be used as a kalamkari fabric. Each step involved goes a long way toward the perseverance of the art. The price of real kalamkari fabric online justifies the talent and effort the artisans put into preparing the masterpieces.
Why Buy Kalamkari
Well, it goes without saying that when you buy a kalamkari fabric online, you take a step towards protecting the age-old Indian culture and art and give a boost to those rare few artisans who still practise this time-taking art in order to keep it alive. Nevertheless, the motifs and narration are depicted such that it creates an aura and has a healing effect on one’s physical as well as spiritual mind. It wouldn’t be wrong to term the kalamkari fabric as the ‘healing fabric.’
The kalamkari silk fabric or that cotton is ideal for women who are looking for elegant yet comfortable wear.
Buy Kalamkari at Luxurion World
We at Luxurion World stand by our motto of keeping Indian art alive. We have painters right from the land of South India who has been practising this for generations. When you shop for silk or cotton kalamkari fabric online; Luxurion World is a one-stop for authentic ones in great variety. You may choose from Kalamkari fabric, kalamkari sarees, kalamkari lehengas, and kalamkari suits in different kinds of materials. Isn’t this enough to make you click on Luxurion World and shop for kalamkari fabric online.