Ghalamkari or Kalamkari is a type of block-printed or hand-painted cotton textile, produced in parts of Iran and India. Its name originates in the Persian,قلمکار which is derived from the words qalam (pen) and kari (craftmanship), meaning drawing with a pen. Only natural dyes are used in kalamkari and it involves seventeen steps.
Textile printing is the process of applying colour to fabric in definite patterns or designs. In properly printed fabrics the colour is bonded with the fibre, so as to resist washing and friction. Textile printing is related to dyeing but in dyeing properly the whole fabric is uniformly covered with one colour, whereas in printing one or more colours are applied to it in certain parts only, and in sharply defined patterns.
In printing, wooden blocks, stencils, engraved plates, rollers, or silkscreens can be used to place colours on the fabric. Colourants used in printing contain dyes thickened to prevent the colour from spreading by capillary attraction beyond the limits of the pattern or design.