This kalamkari fragment was made in India in the 19th century out of cotton. The word “kalamkari” is a compound Persian-Indian word that means “pen-work,” and refers to the way this style of textile is decorated. Cotton is treated with a mordant, and then artists draw the desired imagery onto the cloth with dye-dipped pens. These pens were made out of bamboo or date-palm sticks, sharpened to a nib to draw the line-work, and rounded to fill in sections of color. The strict definition of this technique only includes hand-drawn color-work, but some block-printed textiles are often referred to under this name as well.
Circa: 19th century
Condition: repaired holes, good
Dimensions: 19" x 13"
Inventory number: TX4629