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The art of saree painting


Hand-painted saree

The beautifully intricate artistry of a hand painted saree is like no other. Talented artists take what could be ordinary pieces of silk or cotton and transform them into wearable pieces of art with incredible value. As a reflection of culture and style the various techniques to painting sarees create different looks that are sure to inspire!


Created over 400 years ago the Pichwai style of painting is absolutely breathtaking. The detailed artwork adorned on cloth mainly depicts the tales from Lord Krishna’s life and can take up to several months to complete! Incredible skill is a must for these creations as precision is key in order to pull off the smallest of details inspired by the temples. Pichwai paintings also normally surround the subjects of Radha, gopis, cows, and lotuses and illustrate festivals and celebrations such as Diwali, Annakoot, and Raas Leela.


When the style of Madhubani comes to life on cloth it reflects the morals, values and customs of the Mithila region in an intriguing way. As one of the most well-known painting styles in the world it expresses the deep sensitivity and creative qualities of its people, and similar to all folk art, represents the psychology of the culture’s inhabitants. To create Madhubani the artists use fingers, twigs, brushes, nib-pens, and even matchsticks along with natural dyes and pigments to achieve the aesthetically pleasing geometric patterns this particular style is known for.


Using only natural dyes the Kalamkari style utilizes hand-painting techniques as well as block-printed cotton textiles, and is made in both India and Iran. This method requires about seventeen steps and is done with two different approaches- the Srikalahasti and the Machilipatnam styles. The Srikalahasti is done completely by hand with the kalam (or pen) to freehand draw and color the subject. The Machilipatnam involves using wooden blocks along with vegetable dyes to apply various patterns on the fabric in a block- like fashion.

With plenty of different styles to choose from a hand-painted saree will always be an eye-catching piece to cherish in your wardrobe. They represent hundreds of years of true craftsmanship, and bring out the beauty of all sorts of cultures and regions with true attention to detail.

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