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Kalamkari is a natural dying process where patterns are printed onto fabric by hand. There are only a few places worldwide where Kalamkari is produced, and I was lucky enough to visit India to see the cloth being printed. I fell in love with the beautiful design, and I knew I had to choose some Kalamkari print when I got the chance to try some clothing from SeamsFriendly.
It was an easy choice to try out SeamsFriendly clothing, especially when I researched the company a little more and found that they were an eco-friendly company that hand-made all their clothing to order. What was difficult was narrowing my selection down to two items.
I eventually chose the Convertible Kalamkari Block Print Cotton Overlay Dress and the Brown Cotton Flax Wide Legged Pant.
I can sum up this review by stating that I love these items of clothing—read on to find out why.
My first impression of the company came before I had even selected the clothing I wanted to try. While browsing their website, I discovered that all their clothing is hand-made to order! To order! I got excited about that—the clothing, when I eventually chose it, was going to be made just for me!
Sustainability and waste reduction are big passions of mine, and the way SeamsFriendly handles inventory (or the lack of it) means less clothing in landfills (a lot less). I was also excited to find that the fabrics are all sustainable plant-based natural fabrics, the dyes are natural, and a lot of the work is done by hand (supporting local artisans in India).
So, not only was I getting a traditionally printed Kalamkari dress (and the pants), but I was getting something hand-made in India and made to order. Impressed would be putting it lightly.
The order was shipped quickly to the UK (where I am residing for the next 6 months), and I tore the package open (carefully).
The packaging was incredible, thoughtful, and high-quality. There was a handwritten note included with the clothing, making me feel like an individual and not another number, and the clothing was folded and wrapped carefully inside.
That same care shone through in the manufacturing of the clothing. I have found before that when clothing is mass-produced in overseas countries, it is done quickly and haphazardly. This was certainly not the case here. The printing was immaculate, the quality of the fabric was brilliant, and the seams were done right (I have often found that seems are sown close to the edge of the fabric to save time and money, but this was not the case here, and it told me that the clothing was built to last).
The Look & Fit
Shopping online is always a bit of a gamble when you don’t have the opportunity to try the clothing on first, and as the dress and pants were made especially for me, I really hoped they would fit.
And, they did.
I enjoyed the fit of the dress especially. It buttons up at the front to be worn as a dress, or you can leave it open and wear it as a light coat—both options look fantastic. The fit was perfect and extremely soft and conformable.
The dress was thicker than I expected, while still being breathable, but made sense considering that it can be used as a coat too. I felt funky and elegant wearing the Kalamkari dress, and it goes with absolutely everything.
And, as stated on the website, the dress has pockets! And, not just decorative pockets, but deep pockets that you can actually use. That alone is a great reason in a multitude of reasons to buy this dress.
The pants were a great fit too, and the material was lightweight and soft—perfect for both hot and cold weather. I am living in Scotland right now but will be returning to Canada in a few months, and it is perfect for that climate. The pants will protect me from the sun and bugs, while still staying cool, and are thick enough to keep me warm in the winter.
The pants definitely match my active lifestyle. The waist is elasticized, giving enough mobility for cycling, yoga, and hiking, while still being dressy enough to wear on a night out. Great for lounging, and not too tight around the waist.
Kalamkari Print Dress/Coat
The dress is 100% cotton—the exterior is naturally dyed Kalamkari hand-block cotton, hand-printed in Hyderabad. The dress is lined with cotton flannel, and the buttons are fashioned from coconut husk.
The convertible dress currently comes in one color: muddy green, and one pattern: geometric, floral.
The pants are 100% locally sourced, eco-friendly cotton flax. The pants are hand-crafted in India and feature a solid print available in 8 colors, including brown (my choice), blue, yellow, and pink.
Both the pants and dress are extremely soft, and both can be worn against your skin without any discomfort.
Both pieces (and most of the clothing from SeamsFriendly) can be worn in casual and formal settings and look amazing. The pieces I ordered have some subtle features to enhance functionality, style, and fit.
- Hand printed Kalamkari
- 100% cotton
- Short length: just above the knee
- Mandarin-style collar
- Button-down front—coconut buttons
- Convertible: dress or coat
- Relaxed sleeves and overall fit
- 2 deep pockets
- Elasticated mid-rise waist
- 8 available colors
- Straight, wide leg
- 2 deep pockets
- Relaxed fit
- Knife pleats at waist
Special Mention: Pockets
If you have ever shopped for women’s clothes, you will likely have become frustrated by the lack of pockets (even in pants). And, when you do find pockets, they are usually so small that you can’t fit anything in them, let alone your hands.
SeamsFriendly adds pockets to almost all of its clothing, and this was a big selling point for me. When I got my items, I could put my hands in my pockets, and I could fill them with the items I would usually take out with me: phone, wallet, etc.
I can’t say enough good things about the included pockets.
Caring For SeamsFriendly Clothing
Cotton is easy to care for, but natural dyes can run, so special attention should be paid to the first wash.
Cotton clothing can be washed with any other clothing, but be sure to use a gentle cycle (cold wash if you can) with mild detergent.
Hang or lay out the clothing to dry instead of using a tumble dryer.
Shipping & Returns
SeamsFriendly provides free shipping anywhere in the world. That’s just about as good as it gets.
The standard policy for returns is 15 days with proof of purchase for store credit or a full refund. They even cover the cost of the return, so you don’t lose out. And, they are happy to boast that their return rate over the past 12 months is 3% compared to the industry average of 30%. I would put this down to the amazing clothing being handmade to order.
I am sure you already know this by now, but I love my new clothes. I would have loved them even if they did not come with pockets, but I love them even more because they do.
The clothing is handmade to fit—which I have not seen before from a clothing company—and it fits perfectly. Casual or formal, the clothing can be worn anywhere.
The company is eco-conscious, sustainable, and utilizes local artisans in India to make one-of-a-kind clothing that elevates my style. And the garments have pockets!
I can’t recommend SeamsFriendly enough. If you are looking for designer clothing for any occasion, you have to check them out.
Get 15% off selected collections (New Arrivals in Handmade Apparel) by using “DURABILITYMATTERS” discount code.