Discover the artistry of Kalamkari

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | July 09, 2024 IST

Bratati Baral

Kalamkari, an ancient textile art form steeped in history and tradition, captivates with its intricate designs and cultural significance. Originating in India, though with debated influences from Persia, Kalamkari derives its name from 'Kalam' (pen) and 'Kari' (craftsmanship), highlighting its meticulous handcrafted nature. Originally used for adorning chariots and embellishing temple walls, Kalamkari has evolved over centuries to encompass a wide range of textile applications, from sarees and kurtas to contemporary dresses and home decor.

The artistry of Kalamkari lies in its distinctive techniques: Srikalahasti style, known for its freehand drawing using natural dyes, and Machilipatnam style, which involves block printing intricate designs. These methods not only preserve ancient storytelling motifs but also adapt them to modern tastes, making Kalamkari a timeless choice for those seeking to merge heritage with contemporary fashion. Today, Kalamkari continues to inspire designers and enthusiasts alike, celebrating India's rich cultural tapestry through its vivid colors and symbolic patterns.

Mona Dey, a fashion designer from Bhubaneswar, offers stylish tips for wearing Kalamkari. Mona recommends pairing a block-printed Kalamkari kurti with a solid-colored dupatta and palazzo for comfort across all seasons. Emphasizing fall fashion, she suggests earthy tones like browns and maroons. Kalamkari prints are available in georgette, chiffon, and silk, easily accessible through online platforms. For a festive look, Mona highlights the unmatched elegance of silk combined with Kalamkari, recommending silk kurtis, sarees, or long gowns to make a statement at any event.

For a professional appearance, Mona suggests opting for a collared Kalamkari kurti in cotton or experimenting with a boat neck for a fresh twist. For a corporate vibe, pairing a Kalamkari shirt with wide-legged formal pants can elevate your ensemble.

Not to overlook boho chic, she proposes wearing long Kalamkari kurtas as dresses, complemented by silver jewelry to enhance the overall bohemian styling..

 “Carrying Kalamkari in Indian style involves embracing its rich heritage while integrating it seamlessly into contemporary fashion. Opt for Kalamkari sarees adorned with intricate motifs and vibrant colors for a traditional look that exudes elegance. Pairing a Kalamkari blouse with a solid-colored saree allows the artwork to shine through, adding a touch of sophistication to any occasion”, said young fashion designer Puja. 

For a more casual Indian style, She advises to choose Kalamkari kurtis or tops paired with contrasting bottoms like palazzos or leggings. This combination not only enhances comfort but also showcases the intricate craftsmanship of Kalamkari prints. Accessorize with traditional jewelry such as jhumkas or bangles to complete the ethnic look. To elevate your attire for festive occasions, consider opting for Kalamkari lehengas or anarkalis. These outfits blend traditional silhouettes with contemporary prints, making them perfect for weddings and cultural celebrations.

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