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Kalamkari painting on a cotton cloth

In the recent past, Kalamkari has suddenly gained prominence in the wardrobes of Indian women. Commercial hubs in the city are filled with mannequins posing in kalamkari blouses, or sarees stretching out for yards on hangers.

As the name suggests, 'kalamkari' means 'craft from a pen'. Artisans draw on cloth with a pen, and colour it in with paints. This art form originated from the Mughal era and many of the scenes that artists choose to draw are scenes from Mughal gardens or palaces.

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Kanjeevaram sarees for sale at Kanchipuram

South India is a land full of heritage and culture that is unique to the peninsula. It is impossible to have any craft that is entirely separate the culture of the people. Kanjeevaram sarees are such an example. They are a heritage and a historical document of Southern culture.

Kanjeevaram sarees are woven in a small town in Tamil Nadu, Kanchipuram. This town is known for an immense number of temples and cultural architecture. The sarees bear the mark or symbols of these motifs. Elaborate temple designs, floral brocade, and bold colors are woven into these sarees. They are made of pure mulberry silk but the gold zari in the border is from Gujarat.

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Mysore silk saree brocade done with pure gold threads

Tipu Sultan was a man who patronized many things in this lifetime, and silk is one of them. He ordered 32 power looms from Switzerland and set up the largest silk manufacturing unit in India. Based in Mysore, Karnataka, Mysore silk manufacturers produce nearly 9,000 metric tons of silk, which come to around 45% of India's mulberry silk production.

Mysore silk sarees are unique for their smooth fabric. They are woven from the silk of a single cocoon, and are dyed in bold colors. The extracted silk yarn is checked for quality, soaked, and then stamped for its purity. It is one of the most expensive and thriving indigenous arts in South India.

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Silk Embroidery on display in China

Considered a symbol of wealth and status across many world populations, this luxurious fabric was China's best kept secret for many years. After many years of reigning supreme in trade exchange value on the silk road, silk was adopted into neighboring cultures that could afford to cultivate and grow the silkworms needed for it. Now it is branded and sold across the world in differing textures, qualities, and colors, long having left china silk fabric characteristics to itself in the silk business.

Sericulture began in 3000 B.C Tussar silk is a darker shade and coarserwikimedia

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