Twenty of them, from Kannur in Kerala, learn block-making and applying colour

Students of the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), Kannur in Kerala, on Tuesday, began their two-day study on Kalamkari art here. It was solely to conserve and spread the traditional art form by applying the same techniques involved in the Kalamkari art.

A total of 20 students, most of them girls, who are pursuing second year of the four-year undergraduate course with specialisation in traditional textiles designs, observed every aspect of the Kalamkari printing. From block-making to applying colour, the students were briefed by the Kalamkari experts such as renowned Gangadhar brothers.

The students came up with their own projects, for which they have selected suitable blocks to complete the projects with Kalamkari art when they return to NIFT. “We have studied how to create Pochampalli design on traditional saree.

Doubts clarified

However, Kalamkari is what really seems possible for application on different styles of attire created by our students,” NIFT-Kannuru Assistant Professor Susha Suresh told The Hindu.

“We want to experiment on the traditional designs and arts that can be used in textile industry,” she added. The students clarified their doubts on stages of the printing in order to bring their design out perfectly with Kalamkari art and they also purchased a huge number of blocks with different designs.

Many of the students expressed their strong wish to take up serious research on Kalamkari art and industry.

Natural colours

Attracted by the quality of the natural colours being applied by the Kalamkari artisans, the NIFT students have promised to test the art form on their designs with natural colours instead of preferring chemical colours or screening printing.