Story Of Kalamkari

Kalamkari, which means “pen worked” is a true labor of love and a multi step process that is used to create some of the magical designs of the Cikana Kalamkari scarves from our couture collection. It is a true labor of love, 100% hand-painted and hand-woven!

Watching the magic of 'kalam' unfold is therapeutic and never fails to amaze every time.

The process starts on a 3x5 ft table made of wood with a sheet of thick and transparent glass laid on top of it. The designs sourced from our artist in San Francisco are digitized and placed under neath the glass layer. The scarf fabric is coated with glue made from rice pulp which helps it stick to the glass top.

Organic dyes made from vegetables or natural, crushed semi-precious stones are then dissolved in a small earthen pot with a little water and vinegar. We stay away from using any chemicals or acids in our paint mixtures. A thin brush is used to paint over the designs and appropriate colors and patterns are created on the gorgeous CIKANA cashmere. Once the brush work is completed, we quality check the designs and slowly take it off the table, flip it and attach it to the glass again.

The next part of the process is truly amazing and what makes us very unique. Once the scarf is turned over, our artisans painstakingly replicate the exact art work on the other side. The finished art work is a sight to behold and alllows for the scarf to be worn in a myriad of ways.

 The scarves are then soaked and washed in the pristine waters of the Himalayan river, Jhelum. This process releases any residue paint and rice starch. After the scarves are washed, they are steamed for 24 hours to seal the colors in. Another round of washing with organic softeners and pressing with heavy irons finishes up this beautiful product. This process takes weeks and is a true celebration of the phenomenal talent of our artisans.

When you see how our scarves are made, you will be blown away too... by the artisanship, detail and the love that we pour into every piece. If you own one of our Kalamkari scarfs, be assured its a piece of heritage that will last a lifetime and beyond.

Not to mention, the price is great and well worth every penny! Magic just became affordable because we want the world to experience and own this piece of Indian heritage.