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Angikam - a design house of Kalamkari designer wear, is the result of Banasri (Vanashree) Rao’s fascination of the Andhra art form of Kalamkari. A Banasri Rao, a renowned Kuchipudi dancer and Sangeet Natak Akademi Awardee, is the wife of Padmasri Guru Jayarama Rao.

Her visits to Tirupati and Srikalahasti made her aware of the beautiful kalamkari motifs on fabric, inspiring her to start her own wardrobe collection. Unfortunately her collection soon came to an end when she realised that most of the patterns and designs were being repeated with no innovation or variation – motivating her to make pencil design scribbles of her vision of Kalamkari Saree and Blouse designs.

Her chance meeting with Kalamkari artist - Srinivasulu Reddy of Srikalahasti brought her pen sketches to life. Srinivasulu recreated her sketches on fabric with stunning results. Banasri’s sense of aesthetics and colour using Kalamkari motifs, created complete new designs . Her designer blouses – with no two blouses being similar could be worn with different sarees.

Her winter collection of jackets, stoles, and woolen blouses is also truly stunning. It is designed with brocade and kalamkari patterns & stiched by Master tailor Akram Ansari. Her concept blouses and dupattas are being sold at Kamala (Crafts Council of India’s store), Kolkata and Paddakam, at Santusti, Delhi.
Kalamkari is an exquisite art. It literally means pen work. This art form is hand painted with the use of vegetable dyes on fabrics. This KIndian art has evolved over the last 3000 years; its legacy has been handed down from generation to generation.

The Kalamkari technique goes through a vigorous process of resist dyeing and hand painting. A lot of treatment is done before and after the painting is done on the fabric. The colours change depending on the treatment of cloth and quality of the mordant. Every step in the process is painstakingly done with perfection. While the whole world is talking about going green, kalamkari artistes traditionally use only organic colours extracted from flowers, barks, roots and other natural sources. Your patronage in supporting this ancient art form will help it to survive the present era of mass production.

Apparel Designer, Banasri Rao
wearing one of her own creations (kalamkari applique work on hand loomed cotton weave)
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