I )Kolam with Dots : dots are used as the guidelines to draw the designs.
1. Straight Dots (Naer Pulli in Tamil) Here in every line the dots are parallel to the previous line. Pattern may be same in number, ascending, descending or follow a unique pattern but all are parallel and straight. Then the kolam is drawn by connecting the dots.
2. Alternating dots (a.k.a Edai Pulli in Tamil)
Here the dots in the immediate next line are inbetween the dots of the previous line. Normally these kolams are either in diamond shape or hexagon shape. Kolams are drawn by connecting the dots.Dot pattern may be ascending, descending or follow a unique pattern but all lines have alternate dots.
3. Continuous Chain kolams
Here the dots are marked either straight or alternating. But the kolam is drawn like a chain pattern around the dots unlike connecting the dots.These kolams are very challenging and interesting. The best part about this type of kolam is that its difficult to find the beginning or ending of the kolam. Mostly the huge kolams starts and ends at the same point. It looks complicated but once you learn the pattern then its simple. To start with there are few simple kolams in this category.
II) Freehand Kolam with Lines: Here kolams are done freehand using straight and curved lines forming a lovely pattern.Sometimes even complicatedwith 2 or 4 parallel lines. These kolams are drawn on special days with cloth dipped in a paste of rice flour( soaked and ground to a paste with a pinch of turmeric). So that the kolam stays the whole day.
III) Colorful Kolam: Any type of kolam or designs - like a carpet on the floor, peacock etc. is drawn and then filled with colors.
here again there are lot of varaitions. Colors can be filled as follows
1.Colored rice flour or stone powder
2. with flowers and petals - a.k.a Pookalam in Kerala drawn on ONAM festival.
IV) Floating Rangoli - kolam is drawn on the water surface. This is done by first sprinkling french chalk powder with a seive on the water surface and then filling with colors to make designs.
V)Readymade Stonework Rangoli- This new and easy to arrange kolams is getting very popular nowadays. You just have to display the pieces and cleaning up is very easy. Many people living in other countries prefer buying these designs as they are very easy to use and looks very rich and modern.