THE HUMBLE FABRIC
“If we have the ‘khadi spirit’ in us, we would surround ourselves with simplicity in every walk of life. The ‘khadi spirit’ means infinite patience.”
Khadi owes its prevalence to the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi. He was the one who saw its potential as a tool for being self-reliant. Since independence, the journey of khadi has been about maintaining a balance between traditions and modernity. It is an inseparable part of Indian culture.
Khadi fabric known as khaddar is made by spinning threads on an instrument called a charkha. It is woven on a handloom and using hand-spun yarn. Generally, Khadi cloth is much more porous. This gives Khadi a soft and well-ventilated feel. It is stylish, crisp, and can be used in any form. The versatile khadi fabric has the unique property of keeping the wearer warm in winter and cool in summer.
Initially, it was primarily made of cotton with a very coarse texture and feel. However, several varieties of khadi like khadi silk, khadi wool, and khadi cotton are available now. The wearer gets a royal and distinctive look due to it’s drape and style. And it is a zero carbon-footprint fabric, needing no electricity or machines, or any kind of fuel for its manufacture. It is also ecologically viable as it does not use harmful chemicals.
Khadi fabric always stands out in the limelight with its simple look, uniqueness, versatility, and freshness. The biggest advantage is its versatility. It is an all-season fabric, which can be made hip with the right treatment.
And while it continues to be a symbol of freedom, it also represents an evolving India - the best of India's past endures in this ancient weave, yet it embraces elements of contemporary India to find a new synthesis and relevance. It represents a spiritual and sustainable way of life.
Rooting a revival in a skill that only India possesses, and a highly differentiated product that no other textile ecology in the world has is the way forward.