Kalamkari is an intricate form of art that originated during the period Sri Krishnadevaraya. It is one of the form of arts that completely relies on the use of natural vegetable dyes to color cotton fabrics. The name Kalamkari originates from Persian words qalam (pen) and kari (craftmanship). The Kalamkari art dates back to 3000 B.C. in Iran during the Sasani era.
Now, native to the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, it is either hand-painted or block-printed to create colorful patterns. There are a laborious 23 steps involved before the final patterns are created.
Srikalahasti style and the Machilipatnam style are the two distinctive forms of kalamkari. The Srikalahasti style of Kalamkari uses the pen where subjects are outlined and filled with colours, whereas the Machilipatnam style is more inclined to block printing. Some of the commonly used designs in kalamkari are designed temples and it depicts a religious identity inspired by the Indian mythology.