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The Beauty of Kalamkari

Kalamkari Red Kimono Robes

Our collaborative journey with the talented artisans who make our Kalamkari block printed textiles is like stepping through a portal to another era, where our shared passion for this ancient craft intertwines with rich cultural traditions of environmental stewardship and sustainability. Originating from the southern states of India, particularly Andhra Pradesh, Kalamkari's roots run deep, finding mentions in the ancient epics of the Ramayana and Mahabharata.

blockprinting 3

Sevya's collection of Kalamkari home linens and fair trade clothing showcase this incredible art form in a wide range of designs and colors. The Kalamkari craft process begins with the meticulous preparation of fine cotton fabrics—cleaning, treating, and priming the textiles using herbs, rather than bleach.

The artisans then wield the kalam, a bamboo pen, to outline intricate designs that tell stories of nature, everyday life, and the heritage of the region. Wooden blocks, each meticulously carved with precision, are then dipped in vibrant natural dyes extracted from plants and minerals, and pressed onto the fabric, creating a harmonious dance of colors and patterns.

After each stage of printing, the fabric is dipped in a mixture of herbal dyes, which adds a rich background layer of color. The repeated steps of dyeing and drying the material in the sun also enhances the beauty of the natural dyes, and helps to fix the color into the cotton fibers.

wooden blocks

Sevya is deeply committed to preserving India's rich cultural heritage, and supporting the artisans of rural India who uphold this great heritage. We work closely with these artisan groups to ensure fair compensation, ethical sourcing of materials, and a nurturing environment for their craft to thrive. The collaborative approach not only sustains the authenticity of Kalamkari, but also empowers the artisans so that they can continue with their sustainable craft traditions and pass it on to the next generations.

Wearing and using kalamkari products is good for the planet and for its people. The plant-based dyes that are used have medicinal effects, and are healthier for the environment and for the person wearing or using the product.

Rose Kalamkari Table Runner

This collaborative journey leads to the creation of the beautiful products we offer at Sevya. Each piece is a unique work of art, and conveys a profound story of connection with the sacred through reverence for nature. As you explore our fair trade collection, you are not just acquiring a product; you are becoming part of a narrative, connecting with a deep and ancient culture that is an integral part of every piece. Every purchase of fair trade products helps to ensure that these revered art forms can continue to flourish, and that the people and cultures which sustain them can guide us towards a better, more sustainable future.