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Kalamkari Art of Andhra Pradesh

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ॐ श्री गुरुभ्यो नमः ॐ श्री शिवानन्दाय नमः ॐ श्री चिदानन्दाय नमःॐ श्री दुर्गायै नमः 

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Kalamkari, which literally means ‘pen work’, are paintings done on textile with vegetable or natural dyes. The Kalakmari tradition flourished throughout India from the 14th century onwards, but gained popularity and acquired its name during Muslim rule.

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The technique began to die out with the introduction of machine-printed textiles, and now only a small number of artisans practice the craft in centres in the southern states of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

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Bhagavadgita / Geetopadesham Kalamkari Painting

Chief among these are Srikalahasti and Masulipatinam.

Bhagavadgita / Geetopadesham Kalamkari Painting

The Kalamkari Unit in Kalakshetra that imparts training in Kalamkari Art uses methods based on extensive research in both of these areas.

Kalamkari Art Painting, Modern Art, आधुनिक कला चित्र in Mansarovar, Jaipur  , The Golden Beetle | ID: 9507827762
Kalamkari Painting
Kalamkari painting of Goddess sitting on elephant, India, Stock Photo,  Picture And Rights Managed Image. Pic. A52-500927 | agefotostock
Kalamkari Painting

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A devotional strain of the craft developed in Srikalahasti which was a centre of pilgrimage. The temple Kalamkaris are narrative, and based on themes from Hindu mythology, describing anything from a single episode to the whole sweep of an epic.

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Dashavatara (Ten Incarnations of Lord Vishnu) - Matshya, Kurma, Varaha,  Narasimha, Vaman, Parashurama, Rama, Balarama, Krishna and Kalki | Kalamkari  painting, Ganesh art paintings, Indian folk art
Dasavatara Kalamkari Painting
Dashavatara | Kalamkari painting, Painting, Indian art paintings
Dasavatara Kalamkari Painting

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The only tool used for these intricate works was the Kalam, a thin bamboo stick sharpened to a point like the nib of a pen. Above this nib is a compact ball of hair which holds the liquid dye used as ink.

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Multicolour HandPainted Kalamkari Cotton Dupatta
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In time, the Srikalahasti tradition incorporated perforated stencils and still later, hand carved wooden blocks used for patterns.

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In the Masulipatinam tradition, the outlines and main features of all the designs are printed with hand-carved blocks and only the details are painted by hand. Old traditional blocks, many with Persian motifs, have been used for many years.

Indigo Kalamkari Dress – Gulaal
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The dyes used in Kalamkari are colors extracted from plants, roots, leaves and similar vegetable matter, combined with minerals like iron, and mordants like alum. These colors are fast, but are not harsh and gaudy, and they acquire a certain clarity wash by wash.

Cotton Kalamkari Dress, महिलाओं की डिजाइनर ड्रेस, लेडीज डिजाइनर ड्रेस in  Okhla Phase Ii,, New Delhi , Fabindia Overseas Private Limited | ID:  13877435273
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Harsh chemicals are never used, and the traditional methods followed for bleaching and printing impart a mellow beauty and durability to the fabric which is characteristic of Kalamkari.

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Kalamkari work is a time-consuming process, involving as many as fifteen steps.

This includes bleaching, the application of myrobalam, painting and printing, washing, dyeing, bleaching, starching, waxing, indigo vat dyeing, wax removing, bleaching, starching, the application of yellow and green colors, the application of alum and bleaching.

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Sunlight is the main bleaching agent. Not being photo – sensitive like chemical dyes, vegetable dye printed fabrics do not fade in unsightly patches, even with repeated washing and exposure to sunlight.

KALAMKARI DRESS FLARED
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Spread India's Glorious Cultural & Spiritual Heritage

By Mala Chandrashekhar

Though academically trained in modern Western Sciences, Blogger Mala Chandrashekhar is a crazy maniac of India's ageless, timeless ethnic arts, crafts & textiles. The rich & glorious cultural & spiritual heritage of India is a subject extremely dear to her heart, and the whole of this Blog has been dedicated to spreading the immortal glories of ancient India worldwide, to every nook & corner of the globe, through these simple Blog-posts. Any constructive criticisms & suggestions in this regard for improvement of the Blog 'MOST WELCOME'. Also, High-Quality Guest Blog-posts 'MOST WELCOME". LinkedIn Profile : https://in.linkedin.com/in/mala-chandrashekhar-04095917a

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