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Khadi is an Indian Fabric

Khadi is an Indian Fabric

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Published by Pebbles Neysa Vaz

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Published by: Pebbles Neysa Vaz on Jun 26, 2012
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Khadi is an Indian fabric. Khadi is also known by another name 'Khaddar'. It is made by spinningthe threads on an instrument known as 'Charkha'. During pre-independence era the movement of khadi manufacturing gained momentum under the guidance of father of nation MahatmaGandhiji. This movement of khadi manufacturing and wearing started as to discourage theIndians from wearing of foreign clothes. Khadi before independence was considered as the fabricfor the political leaders and the rural people. But now it has found its way into the wardrobe of fashion conscious people. The current situation is that the demand is more than the supply.Earlier the type of khadi available was khadi cotton which had very coarse texture and feel.However many varieties of khadi like khadi silk, khadi wool and khadi cotton are available now,which makes it a fashionable fabric and likeable by the masses. Its concept was developed byMahatma Gandhi. It was a symbol for political agendas during the fight for independence inIndia against the British rule. It was primarily a means to provide employment to theunemployed rural population of India at that time. The Indian flag has to be also made fromkhadi material. Thus it holds national importance, we could even call it the national fabric of India.Overview Khadi is a versatile fabric. It has the unique property of keeping the wearerwarm in winter as well as cool in summer season. This fabric has coarse texture and gets easilycrumpled, therefore in order to keep it firm and stiff, starch is to be added. This fabric onwashing is more enhanced thus the more you wash it, better the look. Khadi is not easily wornout for years together, at least for 4-5 years. Very attractive and designer apparel are made bydoing handwork on them garments made from it. Khadi spinning is generally done by girls andwomen and weaving mostly by men. During spinning of khadi the threads are interwoven in sucha manner that it provides passage of air circulation in the fabric. Apart from this unique property,it also provides warmth in winter season which is quite surprising factor.Khadi cotton is requiredto be starched so that it does not get easily crumpled. It comes in many colors and is not harmfulto the skin as synthetic fabrics. This cotton is very soothing in summer season as ample amountof air ventilation is there, it has the capacity to absorb moisture therefore it easily soaks the sweatand keeps the wearer cool and dry. Khadi cotton comes in plain as well as in printed fabrics. Themost common outfit of made from khadi cotton is the'Kurta'. Many types of apparel aremanufactured from khadi cotton like saris, salwar suits, fabric yarns, western tops, shirts,trousers, skirts, handkerchief,etc. It is a very durable fabric.In khadi silk, the ratio of khadi and silk fabric is 50:50. This fabric requires dry cleaning. Itshrinks about 3% after the first wash. It is quite an expensive fabric. Khadi silk provides a royaland rich look. The various types of apparels made from khadi silk are salwar kameez, kurtapajama, saris, dupattas, shirts, vest and jackets. Apparels like kurta, jacket, sari blouses requireslining to be given to ensure its longetivity.Previously khadi was dyed in earthy color tones and was used to make traditional garments butnow designers are experimenting by dyeing khadi with striking colors like limegreen, violet,baby pink, turquoise blue, etc. Stylish garments like mini skirts, halter neck tops, racer tops,tunics, etc are made from khadi.Khadi is hand woven and hand spun fabric which takes time to be made. It is mainlymanufactured in rural areas of India. In previous times it was considered as the fabric for thepoor rural workers & farmers. But wearing khadi is no more for the poor, many high profilepersonalities and economically sound people prefer to wear it. It is considered as one of the most
beautiful Indian fabric. The khadi wearer gets a royal and distinguishable look due to its fall andstyle. It symbolizes luxury and uniqueness.Government PoliciesKhadi and village industries commission' is the Indian government body which promotes theusage of khadi. Khadi production and selling comes under the small scale industry sector. Thisgovernment body was created by an act which was passed by the Parliament. This gave a boostto the khadi manufacturing sector of India, as a result many new outlets of khadi gramodyogopened all over the country. These shops sell stitched as well as unstitched khadi fabrics. Everyyear starting from the date- 3rd October to January 29th all khadi gramodyog bhavans providediscount to the public on various khadi products. It comes under the category of Indianhandloom. This sector also generates employment for the rural population of India. Indiangovernment conducts various exhibitions and trade fairs in India and abroad to promote thisfabric. The small scale industries engaged in manufacturing of khadi gets economic redemptionfor the raw materials and production costs by Indian government. According to a recent surveydone it provides employment to 14.97 lakhs of people, the total annual production of khadi is111.49 million sq. mtrs. Khadi over the decades has moved from a freedom fighter's identityfabric to a fashion garment. Today there is such an increasing demand for khadi that despite of the thousands of workers involved in spinning and producing khadi fabric, the demand of themarket does not gets fulfilled.Conclusion Khadi has gained worldwide appreciation as it is hand made, durable, long lastingand organic in nature. The fabric is produced by the masses for the masses. It is associated withGandhian philosophy as well as makes a fashion statement. Through the medium of khadiweaving, the weaver expresses art and designing by the spindle and loom. It is widely acceptedin the Indian fashion circle. Leading fashion designers now include it in their collection bydesigning clothes with khadi material. There is huge demand of it in international market,especially in western countries.
Spr05_41khadi Originally uploaded by dalbhat. 
A most creative revivalA most creative revival of this traditional handloom cloth is happening at the moment in Kolkataand throughout India. Khadi is the homespun textile that was one of the pivotal economic andsocial supports of Ghandiji's satyagraha movement, to bring independence to India. A specialsession of the Congress at Calcutta in 1907 prescribed hand-spinning and weaving of Khadi as ameasure of discipline and sacrifice for every man, woman and child, and this resolution was laterclarified at Nagpur. After Gandhiji's arrest in 1922, a committee laid great stress on constructive
work and a special department for khadi work was set up, as an expert organization unaffectedby politics. The most typical khadi item is the long, men's panjabi kurta but nowadays it is beingused for all sorts of great new fashions. The spinning and handlooming of this richly texturalcloth provides self-help training and a source of income still today for many women all overIndia. But India [ Images ], that once swore by khadi and based its freedom movement on the power of the loom, has not done much for its millions of weavers in 60 years.There are smallefforts here and there, but nothing which targets each and every loom and seeks to empowerevery artisan. What inspires hope, however, are two parallel efforts: One from the governmentand one from from the private sector. The Ministry of Textile's Integrated Handloom ClusterDevelopment Scheme, launched a couple of years ago, links handloom clusters to banks andmarkets by forming them into self-help groups and producer companies. But its reach is limitedto just 20 handloom clusters in 13 states and there are no expansion plans to cover the 6.5 millionemployed in handloom weaving in the country, earning between Rs 30 and Rs 100 a day. Thesepeople operate in small units and spend more on raw materials than they earn from finishedproducts. As for the latter, reports generated by the ministry point out how they suffer from wantof diversification and innovation in design. The other effort is Artisans Forum which is beingcreated by the Jaipur [ Images ] Rugs Foundation (a top name in the carpet industry) and the Institute of Rural Management, Anand. The purpose is to create an entrepreneur out of everyartisan, giving him the dignity he deserves and not forcing him to migrate to cities for low-skill jobs. The model involves taking weavers from households to a neighbouring production centrewhich doubles their earnings. About 300 production centres are then aggregated under a commonfacility centre, located within 25 km, according to Jaipur Rugs Founder and Managing DirectorN K Chaudhury.The common facility centres, where all the dyeing and other supplementary work gets done, willbe aggregated under Artisans Forum. The first common facility centre has already come up inAlwar. Jaipur Rugs has been following this model among the 40,000 weavers who have beensupplying products to it in the last three decades, and has seen their earnings go up. Jaipur RugsFoundation recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Irma to take this model tocarpet weavers across the country and, gradually, to other crafts as well. Still, as Chaudhury says,the fact is weavers are fast shrinking in numbers and, if the industry is to survive, their lot has toimprove. He cites the example of carpet-weaving countries like China, Iran, Turkey andAfghanistan where the industry is dying. For instance, while Iran does not have new designs,Turkey does not have labour. This is where the common facility centres come in. In fact, the firstone under Artisans Forum on three bighas of land in Alwar's Narayangadh is owned by artisanswho hold 80 per cent equity. Production centres in about 60 villages located around it supply tothe centre, says Jaipur Rugs Foundation CEO Vinod Kaushik.Now the forum plans 10 commonfacility centres and 1,000 production centres in the next decade, starting with Gujarat andMaharashtra [ Images ]. The cost of setting up a facility centre is Rs 9 crore (Rs 90 million), while that of setting up a production centre is about Rs 700,000.That does not worry thefoundation. Donations are making its work easier with the entire Alwar effort being funded bytwo donors. And carpet making countries are keen to learn this model. Chaudhury is willing toshare it all, so long as it keeps the looms alive -- both
Khadi shot into prominence in 1920's when the Indian political and spiritual leaderMahatma Gandhibegan promoting the spinning of Khadi for rural self-employment and

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