Basic tool used in Kalamkari painting is undoubtedly the Kalamkari pen and then comes natural dyes, burnt tamarind stick and kalamkari magam. Kalamkari pen is made out of bamboo reed, sharpened at one end and a cloth rolled on the stick in a particular pattern and a thread is tied around the cotton cloth to secure the cloth at the required place. Cotton cloth acts as filler when dipped in dye and then used on to the fabric. The pen is first dipped in required dye and it is gently squeezed for the colour to flow on the area, which needs to be painted. The pen which is used in the outlines are sharp compared to the one used to fill in large areas. Burnt tamarind sticks are also used to draw the outlines. Kalamkari maggam, a wooden frame is used while painting which, secures the cloth on both ends.
Different colours of vegetable dyes used are:
1. Mayrabolan (Karakha Pindhi mixed with cow milk) forms light yellow.
2. Kassim kaaram (Jaggery + Rusted iron filings + water) black outlines for the fabric.
3. Natural Indigo produces Blue.
4. Pomegranate produces Golden yellow.
5. Catechu (Suryadu chakka) produces Rosemary.
6. Algerian produces Red.
7. Alum mixed with water gives out Gray.
8. Cow Milk (Highlights the colour on the fabric).