Product: Kalamkari Silk Scarf
Region of Production: Andhra Pradesh
Craft Process: Kalamkari translates as hand painting on fabric and was originally developed to embellish temple cloth and and hangings with figurative and narrative motifs. Kalamkari craft is thought to have been produced in India since the middle ages orginiating from the wealthy Golconda sultanate of Hyderabad. The intricate, complex hand crafted process consists of almost eighteen stages. The pattern is created using a kalam or pen made from wood and fibre The fibre holds the ink and release it when the artisan applies pressure, and the lines of the design are drawn with a mixture of iron fillings and molasses. Vegetable dyes are used to give the fabric its rich color.
Producer Organization:DWARAKA or Development of Weavers and Rural Artisans in Kalamkari Art preserves and promotes the work of Kalamkari artisans based around Sri Kalahasti, and the surrounding villages of V.M. Palli and Enguluru in Andra Pradesh. There are now approxiamtely 100 artisans regularly producing the complex and highly skilled paintings. The DWARAKA product range includes stoles, scarves, sarees, bags, wall panels, gift boxes, corporate gifts and home furnishings. www.dwarakaonline.org
Regional Snapshot: Sri Kalahasti is the centre for Kalamkari production, and is located in the Chittor District of southern Andhra Pradesh. The name is closely associated with an important Hindu legend, a story that is a popular subject matter for artisans in the region. The famous sacred Saivite shrine is here. This temple is considered to be a Navagrahastalam where Rahu and Ketu of the nine celestial bodies in Indian astrology worshipped the female goddess Shiva. For more information visit: www.kalamkariart.org