Kalamkari Design - Raj Dharma Silk

Kalamkari Design

Kalamkari is a traditional Indian textile art that has been practiced for over 3000 years. It is a form of hand painting that involves using a kalam, or pen, to draw intricate designs on fabric. Kalamkari designs are known for their intricate patterns, vibrant colors, and unique style, which draws inspiration from nature, mythology, and local customs.

Kalamkari is a combination of two words, “kalam,” which means pen, and “Kari,” which means craftsmanship. The craft is practiced in two different styles – the Srikalahasti style, which involves hand-painting the fabric with natural dyes, and the Machilipatnam style.

Kalamkari designs have been used to create a variety of textile products, including sarees, dupattas, bedspreads, curtains, and more. Each design is carefully handcrafted, making every piece of Kalamkari textile unique and one-of-a-kind.

There has been a renewed interest in Kalamkari designs, both in India and around the world. Kalamkari textiles are seen as a sustainable and ethical alternative to mass-produced textiles, as they support local artisans and help to preserve traditional hand-painting and block-printing techniques.

There are various types of Kalamkari designs, each with its own unique style and pattern. Here are some of the most popular types of Kalamkari designs

BEST Kalamkari Design

Kalamkari Design types

These are just a few of the many types of Kalamkari designs that are available. Each type has its own unique style and history, and all of them are highly valued for their intricate designs and vibrant colors.

Srikalahasti style

This is one of the most popular types of Kalamkari designs, which originated in the town of Srikalahasti in Andhra Pradesh, India. It involves freehand drawing using a pen, which is made from bamboo and soaked in natural dyes. The designs are usually inspired by Hindu mythology and include intricate depictions of gods, goddesses, and epic tales.

Machilipatnam style

This type of Kalamkari design involves block printing, where the designs are carved onto wooden blocks. The blocks are then dipped in natural dyes and pressed onto the fabric to create the design. Machilipatnam designs typically feature floral patterns and motifs inspired by nature.

Multani style

This type of Kalamkari design originated in the city of Multan in Pakistan. It involves using vegetable dyes to create intricate patterns on cotton and silk fabrics. The designs are typically inspired by Persian art and include geometric patterns and motifs.

Kalahasti style

This is a variation of the Srikalahasti style, which involves painting the design on a cotton or silk cloth using a bamboo pen. The colors used in this style are usually lighter than those used in the Srikalahasti style.

Orissa style

This type of Kalamkari design originated in the state of Orissa in eastern India. It involves creating the design by dipping a bamboo pen in black ink made from charcoal and then filling in the design with natural dyes. Orissa's designs usually feature depictions of gods and goddesses, as well as floral and animal motifs.


A Kalamkari saree is a traditional Indian saree that is made using the Kalamkari hand-painting or block printing technique. The designs are typically intricate and feature vibrant colors, and the sarees are made from natural fabrics such as cotton or silk.

Kalamkari sarees are made using traditional hand-painting or block-printing techniques. The designs are usually drawn or stamped onto the fabric using natural dyes made from flowers, leaves, and other organic materials. The process is time-consuming and labor-intensive, with each saree taking several hours to create.

Kalamkari sarees feature a variety of designs, ranging from intricate depictions of Hindu mythology to floral and animal motifs. The designs can be created using a combination of hand-painting and block printing techniques, and they often feature vibrant colors and intricate patterns.

Kalamkari sarees should be washed gently by hand using mild detergent and cold water. They should not be wrung out or tumble-dried, as this can damage the delicate fabric and the natural dyes used in the design. It is also important to store Kalamkari sarees carefully, away from direct sunlight and in a dry place.

Kalamkari sarees can be purchased at traditional Indian markets and shops, as well as online from a variety of retailers. It is important to do your research and make sure that you are buying from a reputable seller who uses authentic materials and techniques.

Kalamkari sarees are often seen as a sustainable and ethical alternative to mass-produced textiles, as they are made using natural materials and traditional techniques that support local artisans. By purchasing a Kalamkari saree, you are supporting a rich cultural legacy and helping to preserve traditional hand-painting and block-printing techniques.

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