Sinking heritage craft: Kalamkari

Sinking heritage craft: Kalamkari

There are various hand painting craft in India. Each of them has their own charm. Here I would like to share about Kalamkari which comes under best and reliable womens cotton clothing these days. Most of us has heard and seen Kalamkari products and fabric. Kalmkari means craft made by using pen (Kalam). It is one the pristine craft of Andhra Pradesh.

Now a days I am seeing many organisation and master artisans shifting to screen print work which look a like kalamkari. Being craft loving person,I feel an ache to see such degradation of craft. When I complaint one of the artisan regarding this thing, He told me that customers are one of the main reason behind this degradation ,They want everything in low cost. People want vibrant beautiful  kalamakari in way to handy price and at the end most of them (Artisans group) are more keen for regular work not to preserve craft.

I was thinking that why we are getting so much into only outlook not into the feel of work .If we love the look then perhaps we should understand the craft value also. It take time, creativity to develop handcrafted products. Each hand-painted kalamkari is master piece.Some time being a buyer we know the reality, still go blind folded to get things on cheap price. Before buying please ask seller regarding the authentication of craft.  Mainly there are  2 type of Kalamkari:

  • Srikalahasthi Kalamkari: Hand painting is done the fabric by using natural color. In this form of craft story telling, personification and depiction of flora and fauna is done

Kalamkari haindpaiting craft of India kalamkari craft

  • Machalipattnam Kalamkari: In this variety hand painting and resist block printing by using natural color. Generally in this variety depiction of nature, flora and fauna is done.

Kalamkari Process,Craft of India

I would like to share some brief about craft that may help you to  identify the authentic product.

  1. Hand bolck printed kalamkari textiles are natural in color with earthy tone
  2. Hand painted kalamkari textile have the feel of earthy color base
  3. Handpainted and resist printed fabric come with certain irregularities, that is beauty of hand work
  4. Chemical color are vibrant and smooth while fabric with natural color has earthiness and raw feel
  5. Now a days(year 2016) price range of hand block printed cotton fabric start with rs. 220 to 500 depends on work and fabric used while hand painted cotton fabric price start with minimum rs. 700 and goes to 1500 rs as per the intricacy of work and fabric used .
  6. Hand painted kalamkari fabric has this distinct kind of fragrance as raw milk is used in the process.

This is my naive attempt to spread some information among customers. Feedback are welcome. Our team has developed hand block printed kalamkari collection. Here is the look of same:

Printed Skirts at Bebaak:


Shrugs and Jackets online:


Here is the link of our website and social media page:


Kalamkari Skirt Link:

Kalamkari Jacket Link:

fb page:

Image source Google Image and Bebaak Studio

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