Kalamkari sarees are from Andhra Pradesh. A craft that originated over 3000 years ago, kalamkari designs art is full of life. Naturally dyed and exclusively hand painted, the Kalamkari silk sarees and kalamkari cotton sarees are unique and colorful. The complexity of the art, the motifs and the colors used and the way they are all placed so busily close to each other and yet making it look very beautiful and lively, women tend to take an instant liking towards handpainted kalamkari sarees, one of the reasons why they are also very popular among current generation designers. The two main regions where pen Kalamkari sarees are made in Andhra Pradesh are Machalipatnam and Srikalahasti. While on first glance, the sarees made in both these places look similar, their design concepts and techniques vary. While handloom kalamkari sarees made in Machalipatnam host designs inspired by nature like the trees, flowers, leaves animals and birds, the sarees from Srikalahasti portray fragments from the epics of Ramanaya and Mahabharata. Kalamkari sarees price ranges from Rs 3000/- to Rs 16,000/-.
It is said that when artists and musicians in olden days started illustrating stories as opposed to narrating them, Kalamkari took birth. From village to village canvas paintings of tales from Hindu mythology were created, employing locally grown plants and minerals. Kalamkari paintings were used as a form of currency world over! Interestingly, spices, oils, nuts and special woods like chandan were exchanged in lieu of these paintings in various pockets of Southeast Asia. In India, woman loved flaunting this rich art in their six yard drape and that’s how Kalamkari sarees came into being. Originally onto the cotton weave, the silk variant of Kalamkari sarees is a more recent addition.
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