Kalamkari is a traditional art form of India which is noted for its beautiful hand paintings on fabrics. The word ‘kalam’ means pen and ‘kari’ means work. The art of Kalamkari which saw its peak during the periods of the Mughals & Golconda Nizams involves both hand & block printing mainly done on cotton fabrics. Sri Kalahasti and Machilipatnam in AP are the main centers for kalamkari work.
The artists use special pen made from the bamboo tree which is crafted for this work. Once the textile is ready after the weaving process ,then the fabric is mixed in a blend of milk and natural dyes & then the required design is done with the help of special pen. The outcome of the paintings of kalamkari has very fine details. The patterns & designs done on the fabric are colourful and only natural vegetable dyes are used. Hues like reds, blues, green, orange, violet and yellows are very common and are used in varying tones, along with black outlines. The kalamkari paintings are widely distributed in various products like kurtis, sarees, drapes, hand towels, wall paintings, prayer rugs, wrappers, bed covers, door covers and dress materials.