The ancient art of Kalamkari derives its name from the word ‘kalam’ meaning pen. Traditionally, the vividly drawn panels of Kalamakari visually narrated stories from epics in temples. In the time of the Sultans of Golconda, interaction with Persia resulted in a synthesis of the Hindu and Muslim cultures with the art absorbing motifs from the Persian design directory.
The cloth is treated by washing and soaking in special mixture of milk and Myrobalan paste to give it the mellow, earthy feel. The entire process of Kalamkari is extremely tedious and for intricate pieces it may even take upto 30-35 days. All colours are naturally derived from various media and filled in one after the other, each involving a laborious process of application and washing.
Concentrated now primarily in the temple town Srikalahasti, the intricate design elements and the fineness of the ancient craft make it a valuable paragon of our cultural heritage.