Print Preview – 💃 Sway the Indian-Way 💃

Hi you guys! I am back (about time!) with yet another post about Prints!! Back when I did my first post – I dint think this theme through and chose florals as an individual post and went ahead with it. But then the very obvious struck me! Taking prints as a theme just brings in almost an entire genre of fashion into its purview and here I am trying to talk about prints in like four to five posts. Which is impossible. Which is not doing justice to the theme. Which is why I decided on this elaborate plan of choosing groups of prints per post and what better way to start than closest to home. So presenting to you – (cue music 😂) my take on INDIAN PRINTS! 😀

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The fashion scene in India is pretty competitive (Indians – ‘nuf said) and growing. While designers love experimenting with colors and cuts there is something common across the country’s fashion industry- Embroidery!! Embroidery is so South Asian and specific to us that I bet its not even a considered as an option for the designers of the West. While prints have been prevelant from before embroidery came into the picture, the sheer workmanship and creativity one can display (and hence charge a bomb for,) through embroidery makes it a luxury and preferred favourite of the runway. So while embroidered-wear can sit snootily in the throne I am today going to embrace its less glamourous cousin Indian Prints because hey prints are here to stay!! 😀 They have been around for ages, they are at times handmade, they fit our purse strings and they are fun to work with and sport. For this post I have chosen four basic prints every Indian girl knows or should know!

Kalamkari

While I have yapped enough and more about Kalamkari on this blog to you before, heres what you need to know of what Kalamkari is all about !!

Kalamkari is a type of hand-painted or block-printed cotton textile, produced in parts of India and in Iran. The word is derived from the Persian words ghalam (Pen) and kari (craftsmanship), meaning drawing with a pen (Ghalamkar). The “kalam” or pen is used for free hand drawing of the subject and filling in the colours, is entirely hand worked. Only natural dyes are used in Kalamkari and it involves seventeen painstaking steps.”

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While in modern times, on the kalamkari dresses we wear, the parts about natural dyes and the “pain staking process” part might not be true, it is said that artisans still use their pens to touch up the lines and pictures created mechanically! So you say its handmade or nothing? Haha good for you bro, I am happy with a “fully machine made but thoda handmade bhi” tag too!

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Chennaites looking for Kalamkari, the place you gotta be is Shilpi! (Nungambakkam or CP Ramasamy Road)

I have had a love affair with this Print and material right here on this blog several times before! See for yourself! 😀

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Meanwhile, here’s how my favorite cousin styles kalamkari palazzo pants while vacationing in Thailand

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Gosh! This chic knows to holiday in style!

Block Prints
Another traditional form of prints are block prints. This is another form of Kalamkari but its quicker and easier to make because they are block printed!

Anyone can try block printing because it works on a simple concept! You’ll know what I mean when you see this!!

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Yes! We all, each one of us, could have become artisans had we had the vision mission and purpose when we were taught the highly messy, satisfying art of vegetable printing. Lel.

So blocks which basically look like this are available on etsy and amazon! Wet paint on them and plop them really hard on a fabric of your choice and you get your block print!

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Block printing is widely used in India. It works really well on cotton and hence we Indians embrace it with two hands and two feet because a thing called winter is nonexistent here.

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This Kurta – my all time favorite, is a really old block printed piece I have!

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Also here’s how my school mate and friend Anusha loves her block prints

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Anusha is giving western outfits and retail brands a run for their money by rocking New York in this block printed beautiful salwar kameez.

Nailing looks since 1990 can be a tagline for this cute fashionista friend of mine 💝😊 thanks Anusha for the contribution

Bhandhani

Bandhani is a type of tie and dye practiced mainly in the states of Rajasthan and Gujarat, India. The term bandhani is derived from the Sanskrit word banda (“to tie”). Bhandhini is tough process whereby a piece of cloth is tied up and covered in small loops at various places and then dyed. On drying these tied up portions are opened up and since they weren’t exposed to the dye they remain in the original shade.

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Bhandhini is again a work of art special to Gujarat and Rajasthan (honestly how skilled and creative are these people?)

My friend Nandhini readily agreed to help me out with showing my readers how she styled her beautiful bhandhini saree. I love the way she has accessoried so perfectly for this saree!

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How Nandhini? How do you manage to find the perfect accessories every single time 😍!

Bhandhini apart from being styled as sarees is really popular as dhupattas and skirts

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Ikat

I must say I knew nothing about ikat until very recently. I call it the aztec of Asia. I saw this video about how ikat is done and it is such hard work!! Check out the video here :

Giving you the link because a) seeing it is so much better than reading about it and b) even describing the process seems like hard work for me 😐

I recently bought an AMAZING ikat short skirt and I’m surely posting about it soon. But for now lemme show you how some of the lovely girls I know styled and nailed this pattern!

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Niveditha does Ikat in style with this boho type blouse. She has pulled it off with such grace and elan and she gets brownie points for such a fabulous backdrop 😍

My style crazy shopping crazy bestie preeti does Ikat in this party wear shirt and she sure has moved out of comfort zone and is rocking the look!!

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While these are not all the prints that there are in India I have tried covering the main ones. Hope you enjoyed this long and long due post. Have a happy rest of the weekend peeps. Love y’all 😘

Keep kalm and wear kalamkari!

Happy Sunday folks 🙂 Hope your weekend plans are up and on in full swing! So my tacky title says it all about my next staple fable. Its my undying love for this light, breezy and oh-so-comfy material which has made me an ardent worshipper of the beautiful kalamkari. For people living in tropical climates such as myself this material is such a relief.
Wear it as a kurta with a plain single colored bottom, or as a pyjama/palazzo (check them out here) or you can even decide to go kalamkari krazy like me and go in for kalamkari jackets like these :

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You get these cool jackets and lots of other pretty awesome stuff at hands of india. (Pst…pst.. There is a sale going on on that website currently…hurry 😛 )
Hope you enjoyed this kalamkari segment. Let the heat not get to you, keep kalm with kalamkari! 😀