This craft form refers to the mordant painted and dyeing traditions done with a kalam (pen). An inimitable form of resist painting, Kalamkari is a part of a tradition of figurative, and narrative paintings used in temples for centuries.
“The procedure of creating Kalamkari is long drawn, and consists of 18 stages finished over a period of 60 days. Complementary climatic conditions, and flowing water are necessary to the process.”
Traditionally, themes from the epics, or puranas are depicted in the craft. The entire epic is portrayed through several stories; each episode is shown in horizontal panels with a narrative script around a middle panel, featuring the principal divine being, or episode.
Explaining the underlying meaning of the different colors used, blue is associated with deities, red with demons, green with Lord Hanuman, and yellow with the female body and gold ornamentation. Besides these, animals and geometrical patterns are traced as a black outline against a white background.