Kalamkari: The Craft of Storytelling

Kalamkari Art

Once Pablo Picasso said, "Painting is just another way of keeping a diary".

You paint to express yourself. You paint to relive a precious moment or belief. We all have heard that a painting can convey in a way that words can only imagine. The most beautiful thing about painting is that it reveals the stories in a universal manner. In this blog, we are going to look at a craft that is 3000 yrs old and yet amazes us with its intricacy and beauty. The art of storytelling through painting, a craft that takes enormous time and almost involves 23 steps to reach its final form, Kalamkari.

 Kalamkari is an ancient art of painting on cloth, and this art dates way back in time. Archaeologists have discovered the pieces of cloth, replicating kalamkari artistry from archeological sites of Mohenjo-Daro. But the Mughal period was the era when the kalamkari art flourished the most. The portraits in kalamkari were often used as embellishing scenes in temples, portraying the stories of gods. Today, with the constantly changing contemporary fashion world, this scene still has reflections on Kalamkari, but it is adapting to new changes and giving it new meanings and symbols.

types of kalamkari painting

Kalamkari is a very exquisite craft that involves up to 23 detailed steps. Kalamkari art mainly uses earthy colors like indigo, mustard, rust, black and green. Natural paints used to paint colors in Kalamkari art are extracted from natural sources without chemicals or artificial matter. 

There are two types of Kalamkari paintings, Srikalahasti of Chittoor district and Machilipatnam of Krishna district. Srikalahasti style is a freehand drawing technique, while Machilipatnam is a block-printing technique. Both the styles are unique in their own way and curate gorgeous patterns on the saree. 

Explore the Everlasting Allure of Kalamkari Artistry

less charm that enthralls collectors around the world.  Two prominent styles within this domain are Masulipatnam Kalamkari and Srikalahasti. Both exhibit distinct qualities and stories, even though they both honor the complexity of hand-painted textiles.

Originating in the Andhra Pradesh temple town of Srikalahasti, Srikalahasti Kalamkari embodies a long heritage of storytelling via vivid hues and elaborate designs. Srikalahasti Kalamkari painting are renowned for their religious themes and mythological images. They are typically used as saree adornments, demonstrating exquisite craftsmanship and a profound sense of spiritual reverence.

The seaside village of Machilipatnam is home to Masulipatnam Kalamkari, who takes a more secular approach and incorporates historical narratives, Persian influences, and floral designs. Because of its beautiful craftsmanship and use of natural dyes, Masulipatnam has a unique charm. Each piece is a masterwork of elegance and tradition.

Singhania, a stronghold of traditional artistry, is steadfastly committed to upholding the heritage of Kalamkari sarees. Singhania honors the talented artists who give life to each creation while also preserving the integrity of this age-old art form with their gorgeous assortment of Kalamkari sarees.

Every Kalamkari saree weaves together stories of mythology, history, and artistic skill to convey a story. Explore the magnificent stories that are portrayed on the canvas of a Kalamkari masterpiece as you wrap yourself in its radiant folds. Set out on a voyage through time where every move is weighted with heritage and has the promise of timeless elegance.

Accept the charm of Kalamkari craftsmanship, where tradition meets high fashion, and allow the classic elegance of hand-painted sarees to elegantly and sophisticatedly enhance your wardrobe.

Adorn Yourself with Machilipatnam Kalamkari Sarees

The fun fact about the Machilipatnam Kalamkari is that Srikalahasti Kalamkari originated for religious purposes, while Masulipatnam Kalamkari developed from the necessity to trade with other nations. 

The Machilipatnam Kalamkari is recognized as adorned with motifs, hand-printed using blocks. These blocks are hand-carved with intricate designs in wood, and the carved woods were filled in with vegetable dyes. The Machilipatnam kalamkari sarees are now world-renowned for their block-printed patterns, displaying their flawless prints and intricate patterns.

Captivating Artistry of Srikalahasti Kalamkari Paintings

Srikalahasti kalamkari sarees are one of Singhania's specialties. We are in love with Srikalahasti kalamkari sarees, the hand-painted sceneries and patterns with eye-catching details seize everyone's attention. 

As we all know, the name 'Kalamkari' originates from the Persian words Qalam (pen) and Kari (craftsmanship). The Kalam used in kalamkari painting is a pen made of bamboo reed, with a piece of cloth rolled over it and secured with cotton thread. Typically, there are 2 types of kalams, one for drawing outlines and the other for filling colors.

A handpainted kalamkari saree carries stunningly intricate and breathtaking scenery on it. It is believed that Kalamkari was first used to depict scenes from holy books such as the Mahabharata, Ramayana, and Bhagavatam. With earthy colors of natural dyes, an artisan can display all his imagination in a 6-yard long canvas which we all know as kalamkari saree. And we are going to show you some of our Singhania’s kalamkari online sarees with stunning paintwork and scenery.

srikalahasti kalamkari

In this beautiful kalamkari saree, the hand-painted scenery portraying the beauty of Femina is inspired by the Ajanta Ellora caves. The earthy colors and elaborate artwork bring life to this painting. These kalamkari hand-painted motifs and patterns depict the life of the Gautam Buddha period. 

machilipatnam style

Exquisitely hand-painted beautiful earthy yellow Kalamkari saree with an ornately painted earthy grey pallu. The intricate floral jaal pattern across this kalamkari beauty enriches and defines the Srikalahasti kalamkari artistry.

srikalahasti kalamkari painting

A hand-painted scenery of a rural livelihood, this online kalamkari saree displays the daily chores of village life. How people with interlinked interests come together and create a wholesome community. This saree is on the pinnacle of hand-painted kalamkari sarees. 


machilipatnam style

An elaborate earthy blue kalamkari hand-painted saree with intricate painted floral patterns with animal motifs.

In Singhania's, we offer you multiple combinations of kalamkari sarees. with different hues, patterns, and paintings, we also offer you kalamkari sarees in varieties of fabrics. From raw silk to Banarasi and Kanjivaram

An elaborate earthy blue kalamkari hand-painted saree with intricate painted floral patterns with animal motifs., we have a lot of unique kalamkari drapes for you. 

know the types of kalamkari painting

Singhania's is the household name for authentic hand-painted kalamkari sarees. With each day passing by, our artisans and we are working hard to keep the legacy of Kalamkari sarees alive. We believe, Kalamkari painting is a generational art that is unique in its ability to bind us with our humanity and antiquity. Join us on this voyage of elegance and rich heritage to explore the glorious tales of the handpainted online kalamkari sarees. 

Differentiating between Machilipatnam and Srikalahasti Kalamkari styles

Two well-known centers of Kalamkari are Srikalahasti and Machilipatnam, each of which has a unique aesthetic that enthralls with its own allure.

Srikalahasti Kalamkari: This work of art is a celebration of freehand creativity and is well-known for its captivating hand-drawn themes. This is a very traditional form in which expert craftspeople carefully draw complex designs straight onto fabric. Srikalahasti Kalamkari, which is frequently used to adorn sarees and paintings, has a timeless elegance and displays a rich tapestry of themes inspired by nature, mythology, and folklore.

Machilipatnam Kalamkari: On the other hand, this community values the accuracy of block-printing methods. This design, which has its roots in the seaside town of Machilipatnam, captivates with its deliberate detailing and organized patterns. Craftspeople use finely carved wooden blocks to transfer complex patterns onto cloth, creating a symphony of motifs that tell historical and cultural tales. Machilipatnam Kalamkari is frequently used to adorn clothing, home furniture, and artistic projects because of its distinctive style and vivid hues.

Important distinctions:

  1. Method: Srikalahasti Kalamkari uses freehand sketching, which enables artists to add a distinct artistic touch to each piece. On the other hand, Machilipatnam Kalamkari utilizes block-printing methods to guarantee accuracy and consistency in pattern implementation.
  2. Aesthetic Appeal: Srikalahasti Kalamkari's designs evoke a sense of fluidity and spontaneity thanks to their use of organic forms and flowing lines. However, Machilipatnam Kalamkari, which offers a more geometric and structured style, enthralls with its exquisite craftsmanship and structural designs.
  3.  Usage: Although both styles are used on a wide range of products, from clothing to home décor, Srikalahasti Kalamkari is most known for its elaborate sarees and

paintings, whereas Machilipatnam Kalamkari is used on a wide range of products, such as clothing, accessories, and decorative pieces.

Although the Kalamkari styles of Machilipatnam and Srikalahasti have similar historical roots, their unique artistic qualities and techniques provide an intriguing window into the rich tapestry of Indian textile creation.

Discover the world of Kalamkari and indulge in its beauty and skill.

Enter the colorful world of Kalamkari, where creativity and tradition collide. Investigate the subtle difference between Srikalahasti and Masulipatnam Kalamkari traditions as you delve into the minute elements of this age-old trade.

Come experience the classic style of Srikalahasti Kalamkari sarees at Singhania's. Admire the exquisite craftsmanship and deep tradition that are intertwined throughout every stitch. Explore the tales portrayed in the paintings by Srikalahasti Kalamkari, each of which is a masterwork in the Machilipatnam style.

Discover the fascination of Kalamkari sarees. Our selection provides a symphony of options, whether you are drawn to the elaborate patterns of Masulipatnam or the bold designs of Srikalahasti.

With our customization choices, you may start a path of self-expression and make each saree a reflection of your own style. Savor our current promotions and learn about exclusive advantages that are only available to our esteemed clients.

Come celebrate the history of Kalamkari art with us. Visit Singhania's website right now to peruse our magnificent assortment and get a personal look at Kalamkari's natural beauty.













Questions and Answers

  • Srikalahasti Kalamkari and Machilipatnam Kalamkari are traditional Indian textile art forms, involving hand-painted or block-printed designs on fabric. Srikalahasti Kalamkari uses freehand drawing and penwork, often depicting mythological themes, while Machilipatnam Kalamkari uses vibrant colors and floral, geometric, or narrative motifs.