Have you ever thought of painting your own art on your favourite fabric and wearing them. Now, the latest trend in fashion is Hand Painting on fabrics of different designs. It might newest in fashion now, but Hand Painting is a craftsmanship that began thousand years ago in Asia. When something becomes this popular it spreads worldwide. Eventually, the craft expanded to Europe and Africa through trading. As it is recognised on global level, it is safe to say Hand Painting is used on daily basis as a hobby and for business.


So basically Hand Painting became into existence when humans started using techniques to decorate their body to cover themselves earlier times . Two basic method emerged in earlier days were Colouring and Patterning. So it is said that Hand painting became into existence around 3000BC, when Alexander the Great invaded India, colourfully patterned and painted fabrics were commonly found. And then the trading began when the routes were found and this beautiful craft spread worldwide around Asia, Egypt, China, Japan and Greece. Similar techniques were developed in unique forms in these countries. And evolved into what we know today as Batik, Tye Dye and Shibori. But we are the proud owners of KALAMKARI ART.

Kalamkari History

Originated in India around, 1000B.C. Kalamkari is an ancient Indian art that got its name from Kalam meaning “pen” and Kari meaning “work”. The name meant “Pen Work”. Kalamkari artists would use a Bamboo stick or a Date palm stick as the brush for painting. A bundle of hair will be attached to the pointed end to spread the paint.

Kalamkari ancient art

Kalamkari Styles

Mainly used with organic colours and dyes, the majority colours were prepared by using the roots and leaves of plants. This using of organic colours started in Kalahsti, 80miles of North of Chennai . Aren’t we the proud creators of the Technique Kalamkari !, And it was also from Masulipatnam near Hyderabad. As Kalahsti people painted Hindu mythological stories on the fabric and Masulipatnam artists were involved in Block printing of the different designs.

Kalamkari Art

Other Techniques

Now if you think, hand painting is an ancient art which cannot be performed by new age artisans, I would like to bring into notice 10 different techniques you could try with Hand painting.

1. Free Hand Painting

Take liberal amount of paint in your brush and paint away and experiment with your artistic skills. It is a great way to design borders.

Free hand painting

2. Dot Painting

The back end of pencil when dipped in paint can give you good dots. And you can create your own master piece mandala.

Dot Painting

3. Outlined Painting

Taking a thin liner brush and you can create an outline of a design then just fill in with colours later. Something like glass painting.

Outline Painting

4. Spray Painting

Now, this is a fun way to do painting on fabrics, take a spray bottle and splash paint on fabric or take a straw and blow designs on fabric.

Spray Painting

5. Block Painting

Block painting is done with stamps similar to kalamkari. Your painted art can be applied on stamps and this stamp is imprinted on the fabrics.

Block Painting

6. Wet Painting

It is something like water colour. Liberal amount of water is used on the fabric or soaking the fabric itself is a technique.

Wet paint

7. Stencil Painting

This is the most prefered method of hand painting, simply place ready made stencils on the fabric and jeena brush or a sponge to fill in the colours.

Stencil Painting

8. Finger Painting

Ok, you do not have brushes and you like to mess with paint. Your fingers can create beautiful art work.

Finger Painting

9. Tye Dye Paint

It is a wet on wet technique. A very thin cotton fabric is used . Soak the fabric, squeeze to remove water, it should still be wet, fold it two times by centre. Start applying on the corner use your fingers to press the paint to the bottom layers, open the fabric immediately and spread to dry. Do not wash for a week. Voila! Your Tye dye saree is ready.

Tye Dye Painting

10. One Stroke Painting

A beautiful technique to create floral art. Loading different colours on a flat brush and use it one Stroke to paint petals and other designs.

One Stroke Painting

Materials Used

The best material to work Hand painting on is Cotton fabric and cotton sarees are still the most used and prefered material for its lightweight. Earlier days any given techniques of hand painting was done only on Cotton fabric and the outcome has been great. In recent times the art of hand painting is used on even heavy fabric like Tussar, Crepe. Organza and Silk are one such beautiful fabrics hand painting would look gorgeous on. Tye dye hand painting technique is used mostly on Linen fabric and the sarees are modern and stylish to wear on.

Crepe abstract painting
Organza Saree

Silk Hand Paint Saree


Fabric painting can be used to decorate everything from clothing to home furnishings like curtains and tablecloths. It opens all sorts of possibilities for creative expression, allows you to create unique one-of-a-kind works of art, and it isn’t hard to do.

Hand Painted Table cloth
Hand Painted Rose silk suit
Punjabi hand painted suit

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