بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Asalaamu alaikum wr wb!
Ive been meaning to do a review of a butterfly abaya from Sunnah Clothing! Well, here it is…en’sha’Allah.
Sunnah Clothing is a Islamic clothing store based out of the UK with both an online shop and a brick and morter shop in London. They provide clothing which complies with Islamic guidelines in that they are simple, covering and modest. They carry a large assortment of shoulder and head overgarments, khimaars, niqabs and other items as well.
The garment: The butterfly abaya that Sunnah Cothing carries is a very plain and basic butterfly style abaya. Nothing fancy, no decorations. It has a short zipper at the top, and short cuffs with snaps. It is sewn on the inside which gives it the distinctive butterfly shape and the crepe is actually one which I like and find quite comfortable!
My Thoughts: First I must say, for coming from the UK to the USA this garment came extremely fast. Approx. 7 days from the day they shipped it to when it came and it was shipped via regular first class mail.
The abaya design…I really got out of the butterfly style when we went to Saudi and I heard about them being…oh, sooo 8 years ago! LOL. When I was there the malhafa and bisht style was the latest thing. Butterflies were only sold in the very low-end abaya shops which catered to foreign workers…yah, no joke! But, I do like the look of them, particularly how they have sort of a bisht style sans the billow effect. I have a silk bisht i purchased while in Saudi and I like it, but not how it sometimes gets in my way, or caught on stuff. Not cool, especially when you walk everywhere, and take public transportation!
The crepe is I believe mustaqbal and it has some weight to it with a texture to the fabric, it is very airy and due to the weave of the fabric is indeed lets in air while remaining opaque and dense. It’s not like the cheap crepe you sometimes see abayaat for the foreign market made from which are extremely lightweight yet are completely dense with no open weave and which do not allow for air flow. So yes, the crepe this abaya is made from is very good quality and while weighty provides air flow! Additionally when the wind blows, it doesnt glue itself to the body! Again, a problem with abayaat made out of cheap crepes… Care; I have machine washed and dried this abaya twice since receiving it and it comes out in perfect shape. generally I try to refrain from machine washing/drying my garments for longevity purposes, but I will do so now and then, using the Woolite detergent for dark colors.
The cuffs are short with a sewn in snap strip, allowing for the cuffs to be rolled up for wuduh which is something I like about the design. One downside to abayaat with narrow cuffs that are made of crepe is that you have to take the abaya off just to do wuduh and in summer, thats a real bother because most sisters I know just throw their abaya over a tanktop or a cami and well, who wants to disrobe in a public or masjid bathroom for wuduh!?
Now… a few things which I do not like about this abaya…although relatively minor they should have the abaya design tweaked a little. en’sha’Allah.
About the cuffs, they are made very wide…personally, I believe they should have more of a taper after all…there is the snap strip…what purpose does it serve to have really wide cuffs with you can snap them back anyway. The other downside to this is, if your petite, you will find the sleeves a bit long, like me, if my arms are down, I have to fold up the cuffs a bit, otherwise they cover down to my fingers. The zipper is adequate for slipping the abaya over the head but is not suitable for a breastfeeding sister as its not long enough, so this abaya is not breastfeeding friendly unless you wish to basically lift the entire thing up for nursing.
Lastly and MOST IMPORTANTLY….since this is a butterfly abaya is has 2 inside seams and generally the inside seam will give the abaya a A-shape on the inside, so that the rest of the abaya basically flutters out, giving the butterfly affect. Generally these come like most other abayaat where the seams at the top, near the chest is narrower and then the seaming A’lines out down to the hem, which enables a normal walking stride and comfort while sitting. Uh, not this abaya! When it came, literally the inside seaming was like an upside-down A…which meant the seaming at the hem was extremely narrow, so narrow that I couldnt take even 1 step without almost falling over! I wanted to wear it out, so I had to rip out the seaming up to my calves just to take normal steps! When I came home, I had to get out my sewing machine and rip out all the inside seaming and entirely re-do it, so it fit properly! In my opinion, thats utter nonsense because not every sister either a-has access to a sewing machine or can use one well enough to redo abaya seaming or b-can take to take it to a tailor! Hence, If you cant do either…then buying this abaya would be pointless because it would be quite unwearable. Otherwise if you are handy with a sewing machinje or know a tailor then I indeed would recommend this abaya…its a great, plain, everyday “investment piece” for a muhajabaat/munaqabaats wardrobe!
I did contact the company to inform them of these problems I mentioned above and told them I would be reviewing it for my blog. Unfortunately they never responded back. Infact one thing about the company which I found rather off-putting was that they are not very communicative. It took almost a week and 3 emails before anyone got back to me to say it was even mailed. Granted, it was mailed the day after order was placed…but I received no confirmation, not even a brief email stating it was shipped within a few-days time frame.
Onto some pictures…
If you’ve ordered from Sunnah Clothing please share your experience with them!