Thursday, March 24, 2011

Applied -Dyed and Printed Textiles

Kalamkari of kalahasti
  • Kalamkari (from the Persian words kalam - pen, kari - work) refers to the art of drawing free-hand pictures on a fabric using vegetable dyes.
  • Typical features of Kalamkari
  • Like all hand-crafted items, no two kalamkari paintings will look the same. They differ in style, expression, the way limbs are painted, etc.
  • Some of the notable characteristics of a traditional Kalamkari painting are as follows:
  •  The panel will always have border on all 4 sides, done in traditional designs.
  •  Theme is depicted in the center with the story painted in compartment strips all around. The theme in the center is composed in a circular, rectangular or squarish form.
  • The first division will mostly depict the artist praying to Lord Ganesha before beginning his work.  Figures are very artistic with round faces with large eyes, tilted at an angle of 45 degrees.
  •  Outlines are done in a prominent fashion, thus making it easy to understand the complicated design. Contemporary kalamkari paintings may not adhere to these specifications, as artists are exploring new ways of expression.
Raw materials used
  • Kalamkari painting uses only natural products. The cotton cloth used for painting is usually of 60s or 80s count. The cloth is washed, bleached and treated with mordants so that the colors will penetrate well and will be permanently insoluble. It is then painted with required colors using raw materials from the bark, root, leaf and stem of different plants.  The list of raw materials would look something like this:-  1)Cotton cloth  2)Cow/buffalo dung - a natural bleaching agent  3)Myrobalan nuts - mordant for black color  4)Iron pieces and jaggery - for preparing black color  5)Alum - mordant for red color  7)Surulpattu - bark of a tree, added with chavalkudi to enhance the red shade  8)Jaji leaves - leveling agents during developing of red color  9)Myrobalan Flowers - for producing yellow color  10)Indigo Blue Cake - extracted from leaves of Indigo plant, for creating blue color  11)Buffalo Milk - added to avoid spreading of color  12)Tamarind Twigs - for making outlines  Since the palette is based on natural colors, the range of shades are limited. The basic colors created are black, red, yellow, blue and green. 15 other hues are created by mixing these basic colors.
Block printing
  • It is the oldest method of printing designs on fabric using blocks manually.
  • It is too slow which is not commercially well doing today.
  • It is done in countries where labor is less costly.
  • Today block print is done only on certain areas of a product where decoration is needed.
  • It is majorly used for home furnishing products these days.
  • To make block print the design must be carved on a wooden or metal block
  • The dye stuff is applied in a paste form to the design on the face of the block.
  • The block is pressed down firmly by hand on selected area on the surface of the fabric.
  • For more colours additional blocks must be made.
  • The portion in which the print has to be done must be marked or trace before the printing is done.
  • The more colours printed the more valuable the fabric will be because of the number of hours and no. of labors involved.
  • Hand block print can be identified by its irregular printing and uneven design detail formation.
  • These things are rectified in machine printing. They give machine prints the characteristic appearance of expensive hand block print.
Techniques of Block Printing in India
  • Direct Printing : In this technique, the cotton or silk cloth is first bleached. Then the fabric is dyed, unless a light background is desired. Thereafter, the fabric is printed using carved blocks, first the outline blocks, then the ones to fill color.
  • Resist Printing : In the resist technique, areas that are to be protected from the dye are covered with a mixture of clay and resin. The dyed fabric is then washed. The dye spreads into the protected areas through cracks, producing a rippled effect. Block prints are then used to create further designs.
  • Discharge Printing : In this technique, the fabric is dyed. Then, a chemical is used to remove the dye from the portions that are to have designs in a different color. These portions are then treated, so they may be re-colored.
  • Process of Block Printing in India
  • The fabric to be printed is first washed free of starch..
  • The fabric is then stretched over the printing table and secured with pins.
  • Color is mixed separately and kept ready. So are the blocks. The blocks are made of teak wood and hand-carved. They are soaked in oil for 10-15 days to soften the timber.
  • The block is pressed down hard on the fabric, to make a clear impression. Thereafter, other blocks are used to fill in color.
  • Once the fabric is printed, it is dried in the sun. It is then rolled in newspaper to prevent the fabric layers from sticking to each other.
  • The fabric is then steamed.
  • Ironing is the last stage.
  • Block Printing in Punjab
  • The block printing from Punjab is not as famous as its Rajasthani. The designs were usually floral and geometrical. The colors are light and pastel.
  • Block Printing in Andhra Pradesh
  • In Andhra Pradesh, the block printing method is applied in the creation of the exquisite Kalamkari Painting. Kalamkari, as the name suggests, is artwork ( kari ) created with a pen ( kalam ). It is a combination of hand painting and block printing.
  • The two major centers of Kalamkari art are Sri Kalahasti and Masulipatnam.
  • The Masulipatnam designs are Iranian in character; the most popular motifs are Persian motifs like trees, creepers, flowers and leaf designs. In Masulipatnam, Kalamkari work is mainly done on bed covers, curtains and garments, using a combination of wooden block printing and hand painting.
  • In Sri Kalahasti Kalamkari work, temples are a major source of inspiration. It was because of the demand for scrolls and wall hangings with Hindu mythological stories, that Kalamkari flourished in this village. These themes are painted in the panels, and there is a script painted along the border. The popular motifs are Hindu gods and goddesses . The work is done entirely with a brush-like pen.
  • Block Printing in India is also practiced in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra.
  • Kalamkari Painting is a widely practised craft form in Srikalahasti (Sri-spider, Kala-serpent and Hasti- elephant, three devotees of Lord Shiva)
                       Pen – work (kalahasthi)                               Machlipattnam

Madhubani paintings
  • Madhubani art is a form of traditional Indian art form.
  • Madhubani paintings or Mithila Paintings is a style of Indian painting, practiced in the Mithila region of Bihar state, India.
  • The Madhubani painting or Mithila Painting are originated at the time of the Ramayana, when King Janak commissioned artists to do paintings at the time of marriage of his daughter, Sita, to Hindu god Lord Ram.
  • Madhubani means forests of honey
  • Here the women of the village maintain a dominance over the craft.
  • They paint figures from nature and myth on household and village walls to mark the seasonal festivals for special events.
  • The painting was traditionally done on freshly plastered mud wall of huts, but now it is also done on cloth, hand-made paper and canvas.
  • For colours they use vegetable extracts.
Themes of Madhubani Paintings:
  • Madhubani paintings mostly depict nature and Hindu devotional events, and the themes generally revolve around Hindu gods like Krishna, Ram, Shiva, Durga, Lakshmi, and Saraswati.
  • Natural objects like the sun, the moon, and the religious plants like tulsi are also widely painted, along side scenes from the royal courts and social events like weddings.
  • Generally no empty space is left the gaps are filled by paintings of flowers, animals, birds, and even geometric designs
  • Step 1: Choose a design
  • Step 2: First draw the required pattern on the trace paper and copy the design into the cloth/paper using carbon sheet.
  • Step3: If using Cloth Paint using fabric colours and let it dry well. Use Poster colours for paper. The colours are applied flat with no shading. There is normally a double line drawn for the outlines, with the gap between the lines filled by cross or straight tiny lines. In the some painting, no colours are applied. Only the outlines are drawn.
  • Step4: Draw outlines using the black colour and again leave it to dry for 24 hours. If applying on cloth iron on the back side of the cloth.

Warli painting

  • Warli Painting is an ancient tradition of Indian folk art form of painting of a tribes known as Warli belonging to Maharashtra.
  • The Warli painting derives its name from a small tribe which inhabits the remote areas of Maharashtra. The Warlis are mainly a tribe which depend mainly on agriculture and they live in mud-huts.
  • Which are built is such a way that they all encircle a central cell. During the time of harvest, happy moments like births and wedding, the houses of Warlis are decorated with a vocabulary of patterns. This practice encouraged to what it is presently called the Warli Paintings.
  • Warli paintings largely demonstrate the basic components of life which are the primary themes or basis of any tribe.
Style of Warli Paintings 
  • Warli Paintings are characterized by the simple style.
  • Colour use in the Warli paintings is limited to stark white opposite to earthen backgrounds.
  • Most of the paintings are dominated by geometrical design like lines and dots.
  • The monochromatic tribal paintings express different types of folk imaginations, customs and beliefs.
  •  Symbolism in Warli Paintings  Birds, trees, women and men together.
  • Even spiral formations of men and women and concentric circular designs in Warli Paintings are symbolic of the circle of life.
  • There are several paintings which look very simple but are symbol. The Warli Paintings do not take the help of religious images.(N0)
  • The most frequent theme of Warli paintings is marriage. Several paintings portray the marriage god called Palghat, attended by a horse and the groom and the bride.
  • In recent times, these paintings also include a few modern elements like bicycles or transistors tucked in corners of the paintings. 
  • Great epics or mythology are not narrated in the Warli paintings. Painted on mud, surface based on charcoal along with rice paste in order to get the white colour,.
  • Typically Warlis are simply painted on mud, charcoal and cow dung treated surfaces with rice
  • paste for the colour white.
  • The colours used were not permanent .
  • Typical Warli Paintings Background colours
  • Warlis typically use:
  • Henna
  • Indigo
  • Black
  • Earthy mud
  • Brick red
  • But you can always Experiment with background colour. As contrast to typical Warli background try and experiment with vibrant colours.Can even combine two colours to make the background...Just like half red and half black in the Warli above.

Different Dyeing Techniques

Tie and dye
  • The technique of resist dyeing by knotting individual areas of a fabric is usually known in India as bandhani or bandhej.
  • This technique is also referred by the south east asians as plangi, and in Japan it is known as shibori.
  • There is no evidence to say when bandhini cloths were first made in india.
  • Our early evidence for the use of these cloths in india is depicted on the walls of the ajanta caves.
  • Before the process the fabric needs to be bleached.
  • To achieve the symmetry and to save time the cloth will be folded in to two or as many folds wil be given if it is a fine fabric.
  • The method more often used nowadays is for the designer to draw the design or block print it on the fabric using charcoal or chalk powder.
  • The fabric will be pinched in a series of dots along the line.
  • The most widely used element in bandhini are the simple dots called bindi which is formed by pinching and tying the fabric.
  • Square and round motifs are common which is usually called laddu and dabbi.
  • The cloth can be dyed before tying which gives a variety of colored dots.
  • Another method of colouring dots is to dye the thread and wrap it around the cloth while it is wet.
  • Usually thin cotton or malmal can be used for this process as the dye must penetrate the whole tightly roed fabric.
  • The dye used today for all type of bandhini work are amost synthetic 
                                     Different types of tie and dye
Traditional Indian Bandhani

Ikat textiles
History of Ikat Textiles
  • The term ikat is from the Malay- Indonesian word called “Mangikat”. Which means bind or knot around.
  • Ikat or resist dyeing involves the sequence of tying and dyeing sections of bundled yarns prior to weaving.
The three basic forms of ikat are single, combined and double ikat.
  • Single ikat: Either warp or weft threads are tied and dyed prior to weaving.
  • Combined ikat: Both warp and weft ikat exist in different parts of the fabric occasionally overlapping.
  • Double ikat: It is the most complex form in which both the warp and weft yarns are tied and dyed before weaving where both axis mesh exactly to form a compete motif or a pattern.
  • Many of the world’s ancient culture practiced single ikat but the most complex double ikat exist only in India(patola).
  • The famous Patola weaving is known for its colorful geometrical pattern
  • These patterns were discovered in the 16th and 17th century paintings in the south indian temples and places like Tiruchirapalli.
  • Rare musical instruments are wrapped only with patola fabric.
  • In India specially in Gujarat patola have been worn in the form of saree by women of high social standings.
  • It symbolized wealth, and culture which is worn during marriage or festivals.
  • They are also used as coverings for royal elephants and horses or hangings in temples.
  • Patola fabrics are considered to be pure and auspicious was worn by the king every morning for his visit to the temple.
  • The time taken to compete one patolu from pre-loom to post-loom stage takes six months.
Ikat textiles of Andhra Pradesh
  • In 1900s it was fashionable for ladies from wealthy families of Hyderabad to wear ikat dupattas to cover themselves.
  • Dark areas on these fabrics were embellished with intricate motifs embroidered with cotton, silk, silver and gold thread.
  • Ikat mashru textiles were also believed to have been woven in Hyderabad during the Nizam period.
  • During the 1950s the ikat technique spread to pochampalli which is one of the leading producer of double ikat today.
  • Pochampalli specializes in silk saris of both single and double ikat for the urban and semi urban market.
  • Today Andhra Pradesh is the largest exporter of ikat fabrics from India.
  • Ikat technique
  • Ikat or yarn resist dyeing involves the sequence of tie and dyeing sections of bundled yarns to form some colour scheme or pattern prior to weaving.
  • The beauty of the fabric is its blurred fuzzy appearance .
  • Ikat patterns are also done by pulling sections of dyed yarns and the most common patterns are diagonals, chevrons.
  • The vegetable dyes are now changed to chemical dyes.
  • The process of degumming and bleaching will be done before starting with dyeing.
  • Thw warping will be for 19 mts which is equal to 3 saris.
  • For design formation they maintain a graph sheet.
  • The dye pattern starts with red, yellow, green, blue and black will be achieved by over dyeing.
  • Two persons will be involved in the process and only 4 to 6 inch of fabric will be woven per day.

                                                                          Ikat Sarees

Ikat Mashru textiles
  • This textile developed after the Muslim conquest of north India.
  • The specialty of ikat mashru textile is its silk warp and cotton weft.
  • These shimmering semi precious fabrics was woven in Patna and Surat.
  • Mashru means “ permitted” were worn by orthodox Muslim men who were forbidden to wear pure silk for some reasons.
  • To simulate the silken effect mashru fabrics are woven in satin weave where the cotton yarns will be inside and silk yarns outside.
  • The most striking features of this fabrics are the bright colorful stripped band.
  • It became rare to find ikat mashru fabric these days.
  • At present there are 400 looms in Patna and according to Indian census 35,000 meters is produced in Patna annually 

                                                              Ikat Mashru Textiles

Symbolic Motifs

Symbolic Motifs
  • These motifs always symbolize some thing or there is always a reason behind it.
  • These motifs are always present in the traditional motifs list
  • Paisley is a droplet-shaped motif of Indian and Persian origin.
  • It also resembles a mango so its called mangai motif
  • In Persian the design is known as ""boteh jegheh“
  • The modern French words for paisley are boteh.
  • In Pakistan, paisley designs are widely termed the carrey design. Carrey in Urdu means mango seed
  • In Punjab, this pattern is referred to as an "Ambi". Ambi is derived from the word Amb which means mango in Punjab

                            Traditional paisley motif
                                           Chikankari Paisley embroidery from Lucknow

                                          Kalka of kantha embroidery from Bengal

Creeping Vine
  • It is again a Persian origin which came to India through Mughal.
  • It is mostly preferred by the designers or the craftsmen for filling the empty area with free flow designs.
  • They look harmonious and rhythmic which gives the viewer a pleasant feeling.
  • It is majorly used in block prints from Machlipattnam and other embroideries.
  • Creepers with flowers, leaves, buds, and fruits makes a heavy creeping wine pattern and fruitful.
                                                     Creeping Vine

  • Lotus has been a very popular motif almost all over the world
  • The lotus has a lot of relevance in the Hindu religion, goddess Laxmi the goddess of financial well holds a lotus in her hand. so the flower symbolize her. also lord Krishna's feet is compared to lotus.
  • People believe that the products which is designed with lotus motifs are considered to be blessed by the goddess with better status in life.
  • Other than all this lotus is considered to be a good flower to offer to the god which symbolize purity and peace.
  • It is also a symbol of cosmic harmony and essential womanhood.
  • This flower is always considered to be auspicious.
  • the flower is also used by other countries as it is considered to be one  of the beautiful flowers.                                                 
                                               Goddess Laxmi

                                          Indian lotus motifs (Print and Embroidery)
                                            Egyptian lotus
                                                  Chinese Lotus 

Tree of life
  • The concept of a Tree of life as a many-branched tree illustrating the idea that all life on earth is related and considered to be one according to science, religion, philosophy, mythology and other areas.
  • The tree being a living thing with so many other life from the bottom to the top gives a lively feeling to the viewer which explains the humanity in a very simple way.
  • The image shows one style of tree of life in Kalamkari.
                                            Tree of Life 

                          Tree of  life in Kalamkari

    Fish, Tortoise, Conch
    • All these motifs are related to sea and water bodies so people who live in the coastal areas use it most of the times. (For eg: Kantha of Bengal)
    • These are some of the symbolic motifs which is always used by the traditional craftsmen and artisans especially Hindus.
    • It is believed that these motifs symbolize lord Vishnu in his Dashaavatharam.
    • Fish for Matsya avatharam,
    • Tortoise for Kurma avatharam.
    • Conch which is nothing but the Shank that lord Vishnu holds in his hand.
    • Some of these motifs are also used by some other countries like China and Japan but the reason is different .
    • Fish for its beauty and free flow body and tortoise due to their long lifespan, slow movement, sturdiness, and wrinkled appearance which is an emblem of long life and stability in many cultures around the world.
                                Matsya avatharam,                                    Kurma avatharam.

      Tuesday, March 22, 2011

      Traditional textile art

      History of Textiles
      The term 'Textile' is a Latin word originating from the word 'texere' which means 'to weave‘.
      Textiles are an important part of our lives.
      It can be any kind of woven, knitted, knotted, non woven, felted.
      Yarn, weaving tools, spinning of yarns where been used by the early human habitation.
      Linen fabric are found in Egypt around 5000 bc.
      Wool fibers where found in Scandinavia and Switzerland over centuries.
      Cotton have been spun and woven in India since 3000 bc.
      Silk has been woven in china since 1000 bc
      Possible sewing needles have been dated to around 40,000 years ago.
      Traditional textile art
      Textiles have occupied a prominent place in the world, in different geographic regions and in all climatic conditions, with available resources since ancient times.
      People naturally utilized whatever material was conveniently available when they learnt weaving, garments were made and after that they started developing textile designing to make it more interesting with the help of artisans and craftsmen.

      Wednesday, January 26, 2011

      Basic sketching and rendering

      Basic rendering techniques
      1. Stippling
      2. Scribbling
      3. Criss-cross
      4. Cross hatching
      5. Free hand vertical lines
      6. Free hand horizontal lines
      7. Free hand diagonal lines
      8. Free hand circles
      9. Curved lines

      Sketches using basic rendering

      Rendering with other medium like

      1. Charcoal pencil
      2. Colour pencil
      3. Oil pastel
      4. Dry pastel

      Warm colour and cool colour scheme

      One point perspective  

      Two point perspective

      Colour wheel

      Colour scheme

      Monochromatic colours

      Complimentary Colours

      Analogous Colours

      Any shape including one or all elements of design with minimal shape is called a motif.
      Combination of many motifs is called a pattern.
      Types of motif
      Natural, Geometrical, Stylized, Abstract, Ornamental, Simplified, Materialized.
      Natural: representing nature.

      Geometric: every lines and details are measured.

      Stylized: deforming the existing shape.

      Abstract: it does not have any defined shape.

      Ornamental: they are more detailed.

      Simplified: minimal lines and design features

      Materialized: every line should have a connection with each other forming a material.

      Design types
      Traditional, historical, oriental, contemporary, regional.
      Traditional: design follow from generation to generation.
      Historical: primitive textile design.
      Oriental: design from the eastern part of the world (China, Japan)
      Contemporary: designers perspective in modification of historical and traditional designs according to latest trends.
      Regional: design ideas of a particular region.

      Elements of design 

      • Line
      • Colour
      • Texture (Visual)

      • Texture (Tactile)

      • Shape

      • Form
      Principles of design
      • Balance

      • Harmony
      • Emphasis
      • Proportion
      • Rhythm