How to take care of your Palm-leaf Painting


Taking care of your Art or Home décor: Palmleaf Paintings

Owning a palm-leaf painting is like owning a priceless piece of your ancient heritage. The materials used for the painting are completely natural. Here are the instruction for taking right care of your palm-leaf painting.


Simple ways to clean or maintain your Palm-leaf Painting:

Palm-leaf Painting or Tala Pattachitra is basically Pattachitra drawn on a palm leaf base rather than a canvas. The palm leaves are taken from the trees and left to dry and harden. Once dried, equal sized panels of palm leaves are sewn together to form a canvas, sometimes with multiple layers glued together for the most part but leaving small areas that open like small windows to reveal a different image underneath. These can be folded like a fan both for protection as well as for ease of transportation. The painting is done using  natural colours and most tala Pattachitra paintings also come with etchings as well. A piece of cotton cloth is stitched on to the reverse and the top and bottom panel are wood to give stability to the painting.

Usually Tala pattachitras are hung on their own (sometimes under a soft spotlight to highlight the intricate work done by the chitrakaras (painters). Therefore, they can accumulate dust over time and the etchings make reaching some of the dusty areas difficult.

Palm-leaf Paintings (Tala pattachitras) are best cared for using the following steps:

  1. Use a clean handkerchief to clean the broad surface areas, the reverse as well as the top and bottom wooden panels.
  2. Use a soft bristle brush to gently wipe away the dust from etchings and crevices.
  3. You can also use a small hair dryer on low to blow away some of the dust particles.
  4. Do not use any water or liquid in the cleaning process


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