Kalamkari Hanging with Figures in an Architectural Setting

Object Name: Hanging

Date: ca. 1640–50

Geography: Attributed to India, Deccan

Medium: Cotton; plain weave, mordant-painted and dyed, resist-dyed

Dimensions: Textile: L. 100 in. (254 cm)
W. 78 in. (198.1 cm)
L. 107 1/8 in. (272.1 cm)
W. 85 in. (215.9 cm)
D. 2 1/2 inches (6.4 kg)
Weight: 208 lbs (94.3 kg)

Classification: Textiles-Painted and/or Printed

Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Albert Blum, 1920

Accession Number: 20.79


Kalamkari, a multistep process for dying textiles by applying each color with a stylus (kalam) or by using resists, is a specialty of the Deccan region of India. Although the region produced many types of dyed textiles for export to Europe and Southeast Asia between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries, this hanging is one of a small group decorated with multiple figures, made only in the early 1600s. This particular hanging was once attached to several other similar panels, and was probably used as a backdrop for royal ceremonies. Later the hanging was cut down and borders were added from two other textiles.