Kalamkari Patch Cropped Pants

Take a casual approach to summer fashion with our women's cropped patchwork pants.


Hand printed in India, these women's cropped patchwork pants are crafted of traditional patterns—kalam is Hindi for “pen,” kari means “art”—in a patchwork design. Easy-fitting stretch waist and on-seam pockets. 1½" side vents at the hem. Women's cropped patchwork pants in multi color. Pure cotton. Washable. Imported.
Sizes: 6-20; 25" inseam.


Overall: Show Rating Distribution 4.8 / 5 based on 31 reviews


29 of 31 reviewers would recommend this product to a friend.

  • 5/5

    Very Neat & Comfortable - 8/4/2014
    By: from Lakeland, FL.

    I found these to be very comfortable and was neat appearing. Didn't have to worry about soiling them because they were a dark color and I loved the patchwork affect.

  • 5/5

    Darling! - 6/15/2014
    Top 10 Contributor

    These cropped trousers fit well. The cotton fabric is soft and comfortable. The print is lushly gorgeous; the colors will coordinate with earth tones (olive, tan, brown) as well as teal and indigo. This is a great summer purchase. I know that I will get my money's worth from these trousers. Thank you, Orvis!

  • 5/5

    Easy summer pants - 6/12/2014

    Love the the patchwork fabric. I just wish these came in petite so the rise was about 2 inches shorter and I didn't have to turn over the elastic waist to fit better and alter the length!

  • 5/5

    Great Pants - 6/10/2014
    By: from nj

    Very comfortable and they go with a lot of different color tops

  • 5/5

    Great fit and beautiful print! - 6/4/2014
    Top 10 Contributor

    These lovely trousers are comfortable and flattering. The color scheme coordinates with olives, sages, beiges and tans. The print is eye-catching yet not too over-the-top bold. I'm more than pleased with my purchase. Thank you, Orvis!!

  • 4/5


    very comfortable pants, the fabric is soft and cool. Perfect for florida. I am always satisified with Orvis products

  • 5/5

    excellent batik cotton - 4/1/2014
    By: from west coast
    Top 500 Contributor

    I like everything about these pants. The fabric is soft cotton (with no icky spandex) and the batik patterns are muted & give them an understated exotic but informal look. Excellent fit, length,,slits & pockets. More cotton clothes please.

  • 5/5

    Love these pants! - 9/2/2013
    By: from South Carolina
    Top 500 Contributor

    Expect I will wear these pants so much that I will wear them out. Fabric is incredibly comfortable, fit is perfect (true to size), and the pattern is unique. Would like to see more pants like these in different patterns.

  • 5/5

    Such Unusual Pants. - 8/29/2013
    By: from Utah

    I bought these pants 1 size down from my regular size. They are tight and I will have to put my focus on losing those extra lbs to wear them. I am a short, full-figured "old" woman, but I love the unusual-ness of them. Wish me luck.

  • 5/5

    Love these pants - 8/27/2013
    By: from Shepherd, Mt

    while my purchase pair is considerably darker in color than the catalog picture, they're still great for being able to wear with a variety of tops. the pants are just right for being comfortable at home, a shopping trip OR for traveling as they won't show wrinkles or even small stains. More like these please! I'm ready for a second pair.

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Kalamkari Cloth

Artisanal hand-painted textiles from India

A method of printing and decorating fabric, the craft of kalamkari has been passed down within artisan families in India for at least 3,000 years. Kalamkari fabrics are decorated using vegetable dyes, block printing, and a pen; the printing is typically done on plain-woven, pure cotton cloth. Because they are entirely made by hand, each kalamkari garment is beautifully unique.

India: Home to Kalakmari fabric designs.
India: Home to Kalamkari fabric designs.

The word kalamkari comes from the Hindi/Urdu: kalam, meaning pen, and kari, work or art; people who do this finely wrought penwork are known as kalamkars. The method was most likely passed on to Indian craftsmen by Persian traders sometime around the 10th century. The elegant tracings and delicate designs require that kalamkars attain a high level of skill before they can make an entire piece of kalamkari fabric by themselves. Families typically work together, with the experienced elders training the younger members. Made from a bamboo or date palm branch, the pen used for this process is pointed at one end with a bundle of fine hairs or cotton to brush on the color. Most kalamkari designs combine freehand brushwork with block printing using hand-carved wooden pattern blocks.

The beautiful colors traditionally associated with kalamkari cloth are the result of natural dyes. Each kalamkar concocts their own vegetable dyes from native tree barks, flowers, fruits, and roots. Yellow, for instance, is made from a paste of pomegranate seeds. The fabric used for kalamkari undergoes a laborious process of resist dyeing. The cloth is block printed, painted by hand, and then must be treated again after the painting is complete. There are many steps involved in developing the richness of the natural dyes; typically a kalamkar will wash and dry the cloth three to five times to achieve the desired result. They also use a mordant solution of natural minerals – such as iron or alum – to fix the dye onto the material.

Traditional kalamkari designs have many influences – trees, flowers, and leaf designs originally came from Persia. Hindu mythology also influenced the designs, as temples commissioned cloths with religious themes and depictions of stories from sacred texts to be used as wall hangings. Demand for these handmade fabrics grew with the arrival of Dutch traders, who exported the cloth for bed covers and draperies. During British rule, kalamkari was even used to make portraits of English military and government figures.

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