About the craft:
Ikat, or Ikkat, is a dyeing technique used to pattern textiles that employs a resist dyeing process on the yarns prior to dyeing and weaving the fabric. In other resist-dyeing techniques such as tie-dye and batik the resist is applied to the woven cloth, whereas in ikat the resist is applied to the yarns before they are woven into cloth. A characteristic of ikat textiles is an apparent "blurriness" to the design. Ikat is produced in many traditional textile centers around the world, from India to Central Asia, Southeast Asia, Japan (where it's called "kasuri"), Africa and Latin America.
Kalamkari or Qalamkari is a type of hand-painted or block-printed cotton textile, produced in parts of India and in Iran. The word is derived from the Persian words ghalam (pen) and kari (craftmanship), meaning drawing with a pen (Ghalamkar).
There are two distinctive styles of kalamkari art in India - one, the Srikalahasti style which is entirely handworked and the other, the Machilipatnam style of art which uses a combination of block prints and hand painting.
Kalamkari block print is the one of the earliest and more complex techniques of block-printing on cloth using vegetable dyes. The blocks used are made by specialist artisans and have very detailed and elaborate designs carved on them. The fastness of the colours is ensured by washing, bleaching, and sunning. Persian influence on the designs is visible: ornamental birds, flowers, creepers, and mehrabs or archways found chiefly in Mughal architecture are common.