About the craft:
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.