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Sarees have always been an essential part of any Indian woman’s wardrobe. This need and popularity have led to many different fabrics, designs and styles popping up from various parts of India. The diversity of India plays a huge role in this. One unique and beautiful style of decorating fabrics for saree is the art of Kalamkari. The original art form originated in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana states. ‘kalam’ means pen, while ‘kari’ means art or work. Thus, using this beautiful art, elaborate designs are created on saree fabrics using a pen. A tamarind pen and natural dyes create intricate and decorated designs.
Beauty of Kalamkari Sarees
Cow dung, seeds, crushed flowers, and many plant species are used to produce various effects on the Kalamkari fabric. For best results, the Kalamkari cloth must be coloured after each and every dyeing procedure. Many people work to create handloom sarees in India, and Kalamkari sarees are one such handloom product that calls for creativity, devotion, and a love of painting. Kalamkari sarees are regarded as a luxurious and stylish option. The stories told on these sarees provide a healing and refreshing aura. Hence, this is one of the most preferred types of sarees by Indian women.
Popular Designs and Motifs
Originally, scenes from the Indian epics Mahabharata and Ramayana were depicted beautifully on various fabrics. Nowadays, it also includes many floral and natural patterns. Flowers, peacocks, trees, leaves and other nature-inspired designs are elaborated elegantly onto fabrics. Most of the drawing and art is done freehand using a pen. The filling, later on, is also entirely done by hand. Earthy and rusty colors like mustard, indigo, black, green, etc., are used to design these pieces, to showcase the beauty of nature.
Types of Kalamkari Designs
Initially, this beautiful craft was restricted to the use of cotton only. But now, the art has been extended to a variety of silks, crepe, chiffon, georgette, Chanderi, etc. Based on the methods and motifs employed, there are three different categories of Kalamkari artwork:
This has Persian-inspired motifs and designs because Golconda, a center for Kalamkars, was dominated by the Mughals. Blocks are used for the broad strokes and primary elements, and the pen is employed for the more minor details.
The Kalahasti tradition originated in the temples and was primarily focused on the themes found in Hindu epics like the Ramayana and on gods and heroes.
This is a Kalamkari art form that originated in the Thanjavur district under the Maratha dominion. The gold brocade work in the woven fabric, which the royal family wore as sarees and dhotis, was further embellished by this technique.
Styling The Kalamkari Sarees
The Kalamkari saree is an excellent pick for any woman who wants a classy and sophisticated look. The designs utilized on the saree's body must be considered while wearing this saree since the shoes or accessories used should ideally fit the overall style and theme of the print to avoid clashing or looking awful. As a result, it's critical to ensure that everything complements each other beautifully and creates a stunning ensemble.
High-heeled shoes are the most excellent choice for wearing a kalamkari saree since they greatly enhance the fall of the pallu. While older ladies choose classic high-heeled sandals that are more comfortable and simpler to walk in, younger women prefer to wear trendier shoes like platform shoes with their clothing.
Given that the kalamkari style is primarily associated with south India, it is significant to notice that this garment can benefit significantly from regional aesthetics. Gold sets and other South Indian jewelry can appear gorgeous and genuinely highlight the overall natural luster of the outfit.
The detailed techniques of the kalamkari art have been accepted from generation to generation for over 3000 years similar to many other traditional textile arts of India. The kalamkari was originated in Andhra Pradesh in the bygone city of Machilipatnam. These sarees are considered to be the most delicate ancient art which involves hand drawing or block printing.
It is believed that dry cleaning is much safer for Kalamkari saree. It’s a process of cleaning by using the solvent more than water. Kalamkari sarees tend to degrade in water as it is one of the most delicate fabrics. This solvent can be also altered with Petroleum Spirit. It is believed that petrol acts as a solvent for many fabrics. Therefore dry cleaning or petrol wash is safe and at the same time good for Kalamkari sarees.
Fabric that is used for kalamkari saree is cotton and silk material. It is an antique chic of hand canvas done with a tamarind pen. Natural dye colors are used on the fabric for the beautification of the saree. The work includes hand-painting or block printing, dyeing the material, bleaching and cleaning, stitching and more. In this type of saree, one could find motivation stories, lives of flora and fauna, etc
Madhubani is an ancient art that originated from a small village in Bihar. In Madhubani saree, one can see a detailed picture of all types of gods and goddesses, animals and birds. The paintings are done with bamboo sticks, cotton fabric, twigs and other types of natural brushes.
Kalamkari is an antique art from Andra Pradesh. The art is performed on cotton fabric and follows 23 steps to achieve the real beauty of the art. It gained its popularity from the Mughal times. The art replicates the beauty of nature and Hindu epics.
Oxidized jewelry is in fashion now and calming to be one of the finest craftsmanship. The oxidized jewelry gel with all types of sarees and Kalamkari is one of them. Along with these sarees, the oxidized set makes an amazing match for women in her every special occasion.