Kalamkari is a type of hand printed or hand block printed cotton textile. Kalamkari refers to the ancient style of hand painting that is done with a tamarind pen, using natural dyes. Literal meaning of Kalamkari is kalam, which means pen and kari which refers to craftsmanship; which is derived from a Persian word. Motifs drawn in this ancient art of Kalamkari, include flowers, peacock, paisleys and also divine characters from Ramayana and Mahabharata. Kalamkari was born out of an art of storytelling.
Kalamkari designs and colors are very vibrant and bright. These artisans came up with innovative ideas highly influenced by Persian motifs, Hindu mythology and religious symbols; that gave an identification to Kalamkari designs. Kalamkari designs are drawn generally by free hand using a pen and further the filling is also completely done with hand. Kalamkari art is generally done using earthy colors like mustard, indigo, rust, green and black.