Kalamkari Shirt

Graceful elegance meets casual style in our women's band collar button down shirt.


Inspired by the ancient Indian kalamkari technique, each of our best-selling, pure cotton shirts is a unique work of art. Band collar with open V-neckline. Narrow epaulets at the shoulders. Chest pockets. Button-and-loop closures on placket and cuffs. Button-and-tab chest pockets. Gently shaped for a flattering fit. Women's band collar shirt in dark chamois. Hand wash. Imported.
Sizes: S(4); about 24" long.


Overall: 4.2/5 starsShow Rating Distribution 4.2 / 5 based on 147 reviews

5 stars 5-star:
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123 of 147 reviewers would recommend this product to a friend.

  • 5/5 stars 5/5

    Everything's GOOD with this shirt! - 6/24/2014
    By: from Northeast Ohio

    This shirt caught my eye in an Orvis sale catalog with its appealing print and unusual details. The reviews were positive, so I ordered it, and am so glad I did. I'm wearing it as I type this review! The fabric is distinctive - it's finely pleated, which provides a subtle vertical striping, and it's lightweight and comfortable (will be just the ticket for traveling). The print is beautiful, a gentle white vining pattern on a soft chamois background. It will go with many other colors. (Note: "dark" chamois is a bit of a misnomer; it is lighter than that, and the photo in the catalog/website is accurate.) The style details really set this shirt apart - epaulets, tab buttons, two tab chest pockets, band collar, and a flattering V-neckline. This shirt is already a favorite of mine!

  • 5/5 stars 5/5

    cute top - 4/22/2014
    By: from Missouri

    Really like the fit, usually order med but got this in small & fits great.

  • 5/5 stars 5/5

    Comfortable top - 4/5/2014

    So comfortable and can be casual or you certainly can drss it up! Love it

  • 5/5 stars 5/5

    Good travel shirt - 4/3/2014
    By: from Eureka, IL

    The shirt is casual and feminine, and can be worn almost everywhere. I especially like it because it is lightweight and crinkly, so it is ideal for travel.

  • 4/5 stars 4/5

    very nice shirt - 3/24/2014
    By: from Eastport NY

    seems to hold a good shape and is good quality. However, if you don't get it on sale here, you can probably get very similar in a cheaper brand. Color is good, held up nicely after washing too. Didn't need to be ironed.

  • 4/5 stars 4/5

    I like this shirt - 3/23/2014
    By: from New Mexico
    Top 500 Contributor

    I've seen this shirt in the Orvis catalogue for a while -- seemed nice, but never got around to ordering until I saw it in the sale catalogue. When it came, it was even better than I expected -- very cool and lightweight in a nice neutral color that will go with a lot of bottoms. I think I'll be wearing this a lot when the weather gets warmer.

  • 5/5 stars 5/5

    Came back for a second! - 3/13/2014
    By: from Saint Petersburg, FL

    Last year I bought this blouse in green and kept getting compliments on it every time I wore it. So I was delighted when I noticed it was on super-sale in chamois, I ordered right away. It washes and dries beautifully, no ironing needed. Love it!

  • 5/5 stars 5/5

    kalarmaki shirt - 3/10/2014
    By: from Boston, Ma

    I bought this shirt because it looks so coo land comfortable but could be worn day or night...When I opened the package I was vey pleased at the color, fabric and the quality of this shirt. It looks and feels like more.it cost so much more. Thanks Orvis you have made my day again. I always recommend your website to all my good friends.

  • 2/5 stars 2/5

    not the same - 3/6/2014
    By: from Crestview, FL
    Top 1000 Contributor

    this is my second Kalamkari shirt - the material in the first one was wonderful - the material in this one feels like cheap cotton.

  • 5/5 stars 5/5

    Nice shirt - 3/1/2014
    By: from Seattle

    Although it arrived in a different colored pattern than I thought I had ordered, the gold pattern worked fine with my complexion. Very good quality.

Size Chart

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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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