Kalamkari Salwar Kameez

It is safe to say, 2018-2020 years are the years for handcrafted products in clothing , bags, footwear. There are wide range hand-painted, handwoven, hand block printed fabrics that are in vogue this season. And one such popular hand painted textile from South India is the mesmerising and soothing Kalamkari.

A product born in Andhra Pradesh and Telungana , its not just a comfortable wear, it represents a culture, a traditions. The designs are rich in culture and depicts the ethnicity. Kalamkari is known to be a healing fabric, as the colors, motifs and the narration of magical forms create an aura that heals an individual physically and spiritually. Only natural dyes are used in Kalamkari, which is an ancient style of hand painting done on cotton or silk fabric with a tamarind pen. The word Kalamkari is derived from a Persian word where ‘kalam‘ means pen and ‘Kari‘ refers to craftsmanship. While Pedana and Machilipatnam are the hubs for hand block-printed Kalamkari, Kalamkari has been around for nearly 2000 years in India. Vegetable dyes by free hand painting and block printing. In places where the fabric is block printed the kalam (pen) is used to draw finer details and for application of some colors.

In modern times, this has become completely digital. New types and new techniques are introduced and the digital files of kalamkari prints are totally introduced widely all over the regions of India for easier access and large productivity.

Kalamkari painting by Sylvie Darmer

Kalamkari is one of the traditional art for of India noted for its extraordinarily beautiful hand paintings on fabrics. This is very popularly used as handspring in fabrics for dress material, sarees and ready-made salwar kameez, kurtas, etc. The most common theme followed is exhibiting magnificent paintings of sun chariots, famous deities, and scenes from the epics Mahabharata and Ramayana.

Kalamkari fabric showcase the fine craftsmanship of Indian artists. It is a perfect blend of elegance and heritage followed by the latest trendy designs. The wide range of Kalamkari salwar kameez are available with different styles and fabric. They don’t get faded away with the wash, since natural dyes and colors are used. Kalamkari salwar kameez are perfect for ladies who are looking for class and elegance. As the Kalamkari prints come in cotton and silk material, it gives a comfortable and elegant look barring all sizes and age. Kalamkari silk salwar suits with block prints are easy to wear for parties and functions , also makes a comfy wear. As normal hand washing can shrink the fabric, make sure to dry wash or petrol wash to get better results.

The designs done using Kalamkari bring out the best in you. Even though they are traditional material, for the past years kalamkari salwar kameez or kurtas or suits or dupattas have not lost their worth in the modern fashion industry. The mix and match of Kalamkari’s works give the fabric a rich look. Kalamkari printed salwar kameez are widely used come in Cotton, Crepe, Designer wear, Printed salwar suit, Silk salwar kameez, Georgette, Chiffon, Patch work, Chanderi, Kerala Kasavu fabrics. There are basically two ways original Kalamkari fabrics are made – using natural dyes with multiple rounds of soaking and dyeing – Machilipatanam style that involves printing using blocks – and the rarer, more arduous of the two – Srikalahasti style that involves pen or kalam made using bamboo sticks.

Pen kalamkari painting

As we have given an extensive introduction for this culturally rich craft, let’s go through through the salwar kameez designs that kalamkari looks best on,

Kalamkari Anarkali Salwars suits

The timeless beauty anarkali salwar kameez and the heritage beauty kalamkari combines gives us a classic pool of smashing anarkali suits designs that are richer and elegant. It gives a runway worthy look when made with pure silk materials. Lakme fashion week 2017 saw designer Gaurang shah this cultural heritage designed in unique anarkali Salwars and kalamkari sarees bringing a phenomenol success to the show. Compliment your Kalamkari Anarkali salwar kameez with equally ethnic chandbali earrings for that timeless festive look. Or wear simple cotton anarkali with matching leggings and silver earrings for that breezy casual look.

Lakme Fashion Week Designer Gaurang Shah Kalamkari Anarkali
Lakme Fashion Week 2017 Designer Gaurang Shah Kalamkari Anarkali

Kalamkari long or short Kurtas (kameez)

Come summer and our indian women dive into their cool in look, light weight, unoppressive clothing. You can wear your Kalamkari kurta or kameez with jeans or leggings to make it look like a salwar kameez and add a dupatta to it. Choose a soft silk or pure handloom cotton kalamkari kurta in host of colours and unique motifs. The human hand in different mudras, hand or face portion of the deities are some of the famous and interesting choices that comes under plethora of shades.

Kalamkari Kurta

Kalamkari Dupattas

Wear a plain white kurta and legging, or any pastes hues of salwar kameez, with full on kalamkari dupatta designs that depicts ancient lores, stories of yores like motifs of flowers, paisleys and animals or tales of Mahabharata and Ramayana on Mangalagiri cotton or cotton silk with Vibrant colours. The floral Kalamkari print dupattas is a break away from traditional Kalamkari – and yet looks very pretty.

Kalamkari Dupattas
Kalamkari Chanderi Dupatta

Kalamkari Patiala salwar suits

Cotton kalamkari Patiala pants and matching Dupattas are much in trend for all the working ladies who prefer a cosy and elegant wear on the hot days. There are wide shades of kalamkari Patiala pants and matching Dupattas as a set or individual Patiala pants and dupattas are also wide in the market. You can simply pair them with a plain black or white kurta. Same goes with a kalamkari palazzo pants.

Handloom cotton kalamkari Patiala pant and dupatta

Kalamkari Indo Western Salwar Kameez

Though kalamkari is a craft that has been in making since the Mughal Era , the current generation has a way of making anything modern. There are umpteen kalamkari Indo western salwar kameez styles like the high low kalamkari kameez and pencil pants, or plain salwar and kameez with a full on kalamkari print long jacket or short jacket with mirror work or embroidery, or kalamkari cowl type kurta pair it up with kalamkari dupatta and contrast leggings. You can create your own fashion regardless of the fabric.

Kalamkari Indo Western Jacket cum Salwar
High low indo western Kalamkari salwar suit

Kalamkari untitched salwar kameez materials are also widely sold in India. You can buy unstitched kalamkari salwar materials and stitch to your salwar kameez design liking and taste that will compliment your own style and body.

Kalamkari cotton unstitched material

Kalamkari art continues to be the favourite with designers as they reinterpret to suit the contemporary fashion styles in kalamkari ethnic wear with its gorgeous detailing. Nowadays kalamkari comes not only with its prints but you can add charm and grandeur to them by adding embroidery or applique work or gold patti borders that compliments the kalamkari really work. And also make your Kalamkari salwar kameez and dupattas more presentable and grand.

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