Kalamkari being one of the earliest and most complex techniques of textile painting uses natural vegetable dyes for colours, different sarees can take up to 2 to 3 months for completion and a simple one may complete in 10 days also, however many artists involve themselves in a single saree while painting. The outline is drawn by the experienced craftsmen and the areas inside are drawn by the less experienced. Making of Kalamkari can be classified into 3 different steps,
Preparation of Chanderi / cotton cloth
Chanderi fabric costs around ₹125 per meter usually bought from the local market, it is then washed with plain water to remove the starch and dried. After drying the fabric is then treated with a solution of mayrabolan fruit and cow milk. Mayrabolan fruit (karakha pindhi) is grinded and squeezed to obtain milk which is mixed with pure cow milk. The cloth is evenly soaked in this solution for 15 to 20 minutes, squeezed to remove excess solution and dried again in natural sunlight for 6 to 8 hours and stored in room temperature for one day, then finally the fabric is ready to be painted. Weather conditions are also prioritized, because a single drop of rainwater can sabotage the process. Rainwater mixed in this solution can make the fabric vulnerable while sketching there is a danger of colour spreading in the fabric. This process is done because in turn smoothens the cloth and makes sure that the outline colour (black) doesn’t spread while drawing.
|For Ten Metres of Chanderi or Cotton cloth||Myrobolan Myrobolan = 150 Grams|
|Cow Milk = 2 litres|