The word Kalamkari is derived from a Persian word where 'kalam' means pen and 'kari' refers to craftsmanship. Initially Kalamkari fabrics were hand painted but today wooden carved blocks are used. Kalamkari textiles were a prized trading commodity throughout Asia and Europe for hundreds of years. This traditional art has survived among dedicated artisans in southern India who follow the age–old techniques and natural dye recipes of this painstaking process. The process can involve 23 steps each requiring precision and an eye for detailing.