Kalam pen - ROM2019_17235_9


Kalam pen

Geography: Coastal southeast India
Date: c. 2019
4.8 × 12 cm
Object number: 2019.55.2
Credit Line: [Anonymous]
On view
Gallery Location:The Patricia Harris Gallery of Textiles & Costume
DescriptionKalams, with a bamboo shaft and yarn reservoir. Chintz painters use bamboo pens (kalams) to apply solutions and create colours and patterns: soak the cloth in buffalo milk to create an oily surface that prevents colour bleed; squeeze the yarn bulb of the kalam pen to release liquid dye agents (mordants), dyes, or wax; soak the cloth in a series of dye baths to build up coloured pattern. Kalams are made in a variety of sizes and shapes. Drawing with wax requires a metal tip.
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