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The Machilipatnam Kalamkari

It is the other style of Kalamkari art evolved during the rule of Mughal Dynasty and practiced by Golconda Sultanate. Different textile products produced from this style of work include, wall hangings and clothing like, bedsheets, curtains, saris etc. It mainly uses vegetable dyes which are applied onto the fabric with the help of wooden blocks.

Though the name suggests it as Machilipatnam Kalamkari, it is produced at the nearby town of Pedana in Krishna district of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. The Machilipatnam Kalamkari craft made at Pedana near by Machilipatnam in Krishna district, Andhra Pradesh, evolved with patronage of the Mughals and the Golconda sultanate. It was registered as one of the geographical indication from Andhra Pradesh under handicraft goods by Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999.

The Machilipatnam technique

- The first step is to stiffen the cloth by seeping it in astringents and buffalo milk and then drying it under the sun.

- Afterwards, the red, black, brown, and violet portions of the designs are outlined with a mordant and cloth is then placed in a bath of alizarin. The cloth is immersed in indigo dye. The wax is then scraped off and remaining areas are painted by hand, similar to Indonesian batik.

- To create design contours, artists use a bamboo or date palm pointed at one end with a bundle of fine hair attached to this pointed end to ser veas the brush or pen.This pen is soaked in a mixture of

- The next step is to cover the cloth, except for the parts to be dyed blue, in wax,

- Fermented jaggery and water; one by one these are applied, then the vegetable dyes.

- In Iran, the fabric is printed using patterned wooden stamps.

Color fixing

Dyes for the cloth are obtained by extracting colors from various roots, leaves, and mineral salts of iron, tin, copper, and alum. Various effects are obtained by using cow dung, seeds, plants and crushed flowers to obtain natural dye. Along with buffalo milk, myrobalan is used in kalamkari. Myrobalan is also able to remove the odd smell of buffalo milk. The fixing agents available in the myrobolan can easily fix the dye or color of the textile while treating the fabric. Alum is used in making natural dyes and also while treating the fabric. Alum ensures the stability of the color in kalamkari fabric.