Kalamkari with a Center Medallion
The word kalamkari is derived from “kalam” meaning pen, and “kari” meaning work. This method of block printing and hand painting has been dated back to as far as 3000 B.C., and is still practiced today in Iran and India. Kalamkari began as a way to celebrate and honor Hindu deities and stories, and expanded in style due to its popularity on trade routes.
The process takes 23 steps- naturally bleaching, washing, and softening the fabric, then drawing on the black outlines, washing again, and adding color are some of them. Traditionally, natural dyes were used, so they typically had the same color palette of rust, mustard, indigo, green, and black.
This piece was made to be a either a wall hanging or a floor spread. A center floral medallion is surrounded by a field of bouquets, and matching medallions in the corners. It is framed by a floral border. The entire textile is quilted with diagonal stitches, creating a diamond pattern.
Circa: 19th century
Condition: Very Good, some light staining and wear to the ground
Dimensions: 34.125" W x 53" L
Inventory number: TX5141