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Kalamkari Sarees - Hand Worked and Beautiful Sarees

History of Kalamkari Sarees

A lot goes into making the traditional Kalamkari sarees. The word Kalamkari is derived from a Persian word where ‘kalam‘ means pen and ‘kari‘ refers to craftsmanship. Using an art that involves 23 steps of dyeing, hand painting, block printing, starching and more, it flourished in Andhra Pradesh and further was promoted by Britishers in the 18th century in India owing to its decorative designs and extreme craftsmanship. Though this art dates backs to 3000 BC, it has been used since centuries for the art of story telling. People who used to travel from village to village would use canvas paintings to depict stories and that's how kalamkari art came into existence.

Kalamkari - The Art of Story Telling

Travellers would often tell stories from Ramayana, Mahabharata, Panch Tantra and used hand paintings to depict tales. This eventually got recognition in the Mughal era and various craftmen used to practice this. Today also, the art is followed with same dedication and manual techniques, with Andhra Pradesh being the largest producer of Kalamkari Sarees. A noticable fact is, that only natural dyes are used in kalamkari and it involves seventeen steps. They are beautiful sarees.

The art of kalamkari is the bread winner for a number of families in the state of Andhra Pradesh. This art has been passed on generation to generaion and we don't know what challenges exactly, do they face while making these beautiful kalamkari sarees.