Sonnets on Fabric

Art is when you hear a knocking from your soul and you answer.
-Terri Guillemets

A quotation anthologist from Phoenix, said this and it made me wonder, Isn’t it true?

What we lack in words to express our innermost thoughts, flow through other forms. Painting those thoughts is one of the many forms of expression.

Let’s talk about fabric painting here in particular.

The technique of fabric painting, especially Kalamkari, has roots dating back to 3000 B.C. This claim has been supported by the fact painting block has been discovered that date back to this era. Some historians also believe that the art form has been found in archaeological digs on the sights of Mohenjo-Daro on fabric samples. Amazing, isn’t it?

It would not be wrong to say that this art has been around since the beginning of our civilization.

By 327 BC when Alexander the Great invaded India, colorfully printed and painted fabrics were commonly found. As trade routes began to develop, these beautifully patterned Indian fabrics were traded throughout Asia, Egypt, and Greece.

What’s your preference, block or pen work?

There are primarily two distinctive styles of Kalamkari – the Srikalahasti style and the Machilipatnam style. The Machilipatam style involves block painting on the fabric whereas the Srikalahasti style is a detailed pen work that involves filling in and designing through the special “kalam”. Since the Mughal period and during the time of Golconda Nizams, a new type involving both hand and block painting was also used.

Fabric painting has come a long way indeed!

Rajasthan has made a name for itself in the field of block printing as well. Jaipur and Sanganer are famous for their beautiful block prints. The tie and dye technique of Gujrat, though not traditional fabric painting, can be considered so because the cloth is hand-tied with threads and dipped in colors to create fascinating patterns.

Our artists here at Goldenstrokesart have expressed their innermost expressions through fabric painting. Do check them out….

I truly think that paintings are a form of poetry. They are the sonnets sung by the painter expressing   Instead of words, the artists’ creativity flows through the paint onto the fabric creating a rich tapestry of art and elegance.


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