Kalamkari or qalamkari is a type of hand-painted or block-printed cotton textile, produced in parts of India, The Srikalahasti style of kalamkari, wherein the "kalam" or pen is used for free hand drawing of the subject and filling in the colors, is entirely hand worked. This style flowered around temples and their patronage and so had an almost religious identity - scrolls, temple hangings, chariot banners and the like, depicted deities and scenes taken from the Hindu epics - Ramayana, Mahabarata, Puranas and the mythological classics. This style owes its present status to Kamaladevi Chattopadhayay who popularized the art as the first Chairperson of the All India Handicrafts Board. Only natural dyes are used in kalamkari and it involves seventeen steps.
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