Khadi is an Indian fabric. Khadi is also known by another name 'Khaddar'.

It is made by spinning the 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 Mahatma Gandhiji. This movement of khadi manufacturing and wearing started as to discourage the Indians from wearing of foreign clothes. Khadi before independence was considered as the fabric for 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 by Mahatma Gandhi. It was a symbol for political agendas during the fight for independence in India against the British rule. It was primarily a means to provide employment to the unemployed rural population of India at that time. The Indian flag has to be also made from khadi 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 wearer warm in winter as well as cool in summer season. This fabric has coarse texture and gets easily crumpled, therefore in order to keep it firm and stiff, starch is to be added. This fabric on washing is more enhanced thus the more you wash it, better the look. Khadi is not easily worn out for years together, at least for 4-5 years. Very attractive and designer apparel are made by doing handwork on them garments made from it. Khadi spinning is generally done by girls and women and weaving mostly by men. During spinning of khadi the threads are interwoven in such a 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 required to be starched so that it does not get easily crumpled. It comes in many colors and is not harmful to the skin as synthetic fabrics. This cotton is very soothing in summer season as ample amount of air ventilation is there, it has the capacity to absorb moisture therefore it easily soaks the sweat and keeps the wearer cool and dry. Khadi cotton comes in plain as well as in printed fabrics. The most common outfit of made from khadi cotton is the'Kurta'. Many types of apparel are manufactured 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. It shrinks about 3% after the first wash. It is quite an expensive fabric. Khadi silk provides a royal and rich look. The various types of apparels made from khadi silk are salwar kameez, kurta pajama, saris, dupattas, shirts, vest and jackets. Apparels like kurta, jacket, sari blouses requires lining to be given to ensure its longetivity. Previously khadi was dyed in earthy color tones and was used to make traditional garments but now 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 mainly manufactured in rural areas of India. In previous times it was considered as the fabric for the poor rural workers & farmers. But wearing khadi is no more for the poor, many high profile personalities 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 and style. It symbolizes luxury and uniqueness. Government Policies Khadi and village industries commission' is the Indian government body which promotes the usage of khadi. Khadi production and selling comes under the small scale industry sector. This government body was created by an act which was passed by the Parliament. This gave a boost to the khadi manufacturing sector of India, as a result many new outlets of khadi gramodyog opened all over the country. These shops sell stitched as well as unstitched khadi fabrics. Every year starting from the date- 3rd October to January 29th all khadi gramodyog bhavans provide discount to the public on various khadi products. It comes under the category of Indian handloom. This sector also generates employment for the rural population of India. Indian government conducts various exhibitions and trade fairs in India and abroad to promote this fabric. The small scale industries engaged in manufacturing of khadi gets economic redemption for the raw materials and production costs by Indian government. According to a recent survey done it provides employment to 14.97 lakhs of people, the total annual production of khadi is 111.49 million sq. mtrs. Khadi over the decades has moved from a freedom fighter's identity fabric 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 the market does not gets fulfilled. Conclusion Khadi has gained worldwide appreciation as it is hand made, durable, long lasting and organic in nature. The fabric is produced by the masses for the masses. It is associated with Gandhian philosophy as well as makes a fashion statement. Through the medium of khadi weaving, the weaver expresses art and designing by the spindle and loom. It is widely accepted in the Indian fashion circle. Leading fashion designers now include it in their collection by designing 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 revival A most creative revival of this traditional handloom cloth is happening at the moment in Kolkata and throughout India. Khadi is the homespun textile that was one of the pivotal economic and social supports of Ghandiji's satyagraha movement, to bring independence to India. A special session of the Congress at Calcutta in 1907 prescribed hand-spinning and weaving of Khadi as a measure of discipline and sacrifice for every man, woman and child, and this resolution was later clarified 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 unaffected by politics. The most typical khadi item is the long, men's panjabi kurta but nowadays it is being used for all sorts of great new fashions. The spinning and handlooming of this richly textural cloth provides self-help training and a source of income still today for many women all over India. 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 small efforts here and there, but nothing which targets each and every loom and seeks to empower every artisan. What inspires hope, however, are two parallel efforts: One from the government and one from from the private sector. The Ministry of Textile's Integrated Handloom Cluster Development Scheme, launched a couple of years ago, links handloom clusters to banks and markets by forming them into self-help groups and producer companies. But its reach is limited to just 20 handloom clusters in 13 states and there are no expansion plans to cover the 6.5 million employed in handloom weaving in the country, earning between Rs 30 and Rs 100 a day. These people operate in small units and spend more on raw materials than they earn from finished products. As for the latter, reports generated by the ministry point out how they suffer from want of diversification and innovation in design. The other effort is Artisans Forum which is being created 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 every artisan, 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 centre which doubles their earnings. About 300 production centres are then aggregated under a common facility centre, located within 25 km, according to Jaipur Rugs Founder and Managing Director N K Chaudhury. The common facility centres, where all the dyeing and other supplementary work gets done, will be aggregated under Artisans Forum. The first common facility centre has already come up in Alwar. Jaipur Rugs has been following this model among the 40,000 weavers who have been supplying products to it in the last three decades, and has seen their earnings go up. Jaipur Rugs Foundation recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Irma to take this model to carpet 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 to improve. He cites the example of carpet-weaving countries like China, Iran, Turkey and Afghanistan 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 first one under Artisans Forum on three bighas of land in Alwar's Narayangadh is owned by artisans who hold 80 per cent equity. Production centres in about 60 villages located around it supply to the centre, says Jaipur Rugs Foundation CEO Vinod Kaushik.Now the forum plans 10 common facility centres and 1,000 production centres in the next decade, starting with Gujarat and Maharashtra [ 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 the foundation. Donations are making its work easier with the entire Alwar effort being funded by two donors. And carpet making countries are keen to learn this model. Chaudhury is willing to share it all, so long as it keeps the looms alive -- both swadeshi and videshi. Khadi shot into prominence in 1920's when the Indian political and spiritual leader Mahatma Gandhi began promoting the spinning of Khadi for rural self-employment and

self-reliance in India. He called for the public burning of British mill-made cloth, and urged patriotic Indians to wear only the homespun fabric thus Khadi became integral and icon to the Swadeshi movement. In his spare time, Gandhi-ji would actively spin his own thread on the charkha spinning wheel thereby becoming that very symbol of Independence. This intimate act gave great incentive to the masses of India to join in the Khadi and Cottage Industry movement. It truly was one of the earliest green movements of the 20th century. Thus in India, Khadi still symbolizes the political ideals of Independence itself, and to this day most of India's politicians and activists are seen only in Khadi clothing. The flag of India is only allowed to be made from this material, although in practice many flag manufacturers, especially those outside of India, ignore this rule. The people of the original independence movement chanted while spinning on the 'charkha' ''Charkha chala chalake, Lenge swaraj lenge'' (translation : As we whirl the charkha to spin the thread, we'll regain our freedom. Environment and Ecology occupy a prominent place among the key issues faced by the world today. In our degenerating environment, efforts are paramount to produce 100% natural and organic textiles. Khadi is such an environmental/eco friendly product. Today there is very tough competition with the modern industrial world in light of the dialogue with this awakened age of the present. Khadi is still in a struggle to keep its craft alive. It is our global responsibility to understand and inject this Khadi Craft into our world's marketplace so that the livelihood of many farmers and craftspeople will continue to uphold the tradition of non-industrialized textile production for the immediate benefit to this beautiful planet and it's future generations.

What’s a Charkha?
Charkha, literally meaning ―wheel,‖ is India’s generic term for any spinning wheel or handcranked spinning machine. The type of charkha available in the U.S. is more strictly identified as the box charkha. The various models of box charkha have been designed and then manufactured by Gandhi’s co-workers and followers as part of his ―khadi movement,‖ to promote selfsufficiency in cloth-making. The double-wheel drive, which allows greater speed and control as well as portability, is Gandhi’s own innovation. The box charkha is commonly available in two sizes: ―briefcase‖ and ―book.‖ The smaller book charkha is more portable but tricker to adjust and use, so the briefcase charkha is usually the best first choice. Figure 1. The briefcase charkha

The drive ratio on both these charkhas is 125:1. They are normally used to spin yarns between 10 and 20 counts (8,400–16,800 yards per pound). The finest yarns are spun not on the charkha at all, but on a small metal takli (handspindle). The tips given here are for models made in India. American-made charkhas may differ in significant ways.

Making the Pooni
Indians spin their cotton from a compressed, cigar-shaped rolag called a pooni. Tightness and consistency in the pooni is one of the keys to fine and even spinning. You can make your poonis directly from pre-carded cotton, but further carding will improve the texture. In India, the cotton is prepared with a bow, but you can instead use special cotton cards such as sold in the U.S. These are meant to be used with a light touch and minimal loading. Once carded, the cotton should be formed into poonis at once. Lay a thin layer of cotton on a smooth, flat surface. Now roll the layer around a thin, straight stick or dowel. Once all the cotton is around the stick, keep rolling it, pressing down with your hands or a paddle to compress it. Figure 2. Making the pooni

To keep your poonis properly compressed, bundle them tightly together with paper wrapped around them, and a rubber band around all.

Setting Up Spindles
The charkha is a sensitive apparatus, so there’s not much point trying to spin on it before it’s set up correctly! For proper tension, the spindle support post must be positioned far enough forward so that the spindle drive cord holds it vertical—straight up! This gives just the right flex to the metal spring pushing on the post. Also, the post base should be angled so that, when the spindle is spinning freely, its pulley rotates midway between the post arms, not touching either one. The post position is locked by a screw mechanism or a wedge.

A common error is to let the post lean over. This is understandable, as there is even a device on each charkha that seems meant for this. On the briefcase charkha, this is commonly a wooden arm in front of the post and swinging toward it. On the book charkha, it is commonly a moveable metal arm on the post itself. Yes, you should move the device into place, but it’s only a guard so the post will not accidentally spring forward and bend your spindle. In normal spinning, the post should never lean on the guard. In the same way, the metal disk on the spindle should not rest against the support post, which would obstruct the spindle’s rotation, lead to tangling at the disk end, and make a lot of noise. To hold the disk away from the post, put a little white glue at one point on the spindle, wrap some yarn a few times around the glued section to form a small mound, then spread a little more glue on top of the windings. With the glue still wet, you should also push the metal disk against the wrapping to fix it in place. Of course, the yarn wrapping must be positioned far enough down the spindle so that it does not itself touch the post and interfere with rotation. Figure 3. Spindle and support post

But don’t forget the pulley bearing, which must go on before the wrapping is applied! It will either be a long, thin strip of what looks like parchment with a hole at each end, or a leather washer. The parchment-style bearing is positioned against both sides of the pulley. The leather washer goes against the pulley on the spinner’s side. The bearing’s job is to keep the pulley from rubbing directly on the support post, especially while drafting. Spindle bearings are inserted through holes in the post so the spindle will not rotate directly against wood. The Indians make their bearings out of leather or string and then oil them with each use, but those bearings wear through fairly quickly. Following a suggestion by spinning wheel maker Alden Amos, I installed braided strips of dried corn husk, which seem to last forever and also produce less friction, with no oil at all. Some U.S. spinners have used charkhas modified to make the spindle horizontal. But this is apparently only to compensate for letting the support post lean over—which is a mistake to begin with. The traditional downward angle of the spindle has been set precisely for greatest speed and comfort of the spinner.

Tuning Up the Charkha
The drive wheels should turn together firmly but easily. If they’re turning hard, the main drive cord is too tight. If the cord slips, it’s too loose. The tension is adjusted by moving the small wheel. This wheel, though, should also be kept as close as possible to the edge of the case on the spinner’s side, so that the spindle can point more directly outward. To move the two wheels far enough apart, you’ll need to first remove the main drive cord, then afterwards put it back on. To remove a tight cord, just shift it off the big wheel rim while turning the wheel. Be careful not to let the cord touch the small wheel’s oiled axle. To put the cord back on, install it first around the metal pulley under the small wheel, again being careful to avoid the oiled axle. Insert the cord only partway around the big wheel rim, then rotate the wheel to bring the cord the rest of the way into place. If you’re able to simply pull the cord into place without turning the wheel, then the fit is too loose. Figure 4. Installing the main drive cord

Now and then, you’ll have to replace the spindle drive cord. Before fitting, stretch out your cord to anticipate stretching during spinning. Then fit it to the spindle with the support post positioned as close as possible to the small wheel, again to anticipate stretching. After knotting the cord, cut off the loose ends as close to the knot as you dare and compress the knot against a hard surface. Then coat the cord with beeswax to reduce slipping and to extend the life of the cord.

Getting in Position
Traditionally, Indians sit cross-legged on the floor for just about everything, so of course that’s what the charkha was designed for. While you might well want to work out a different arrangement, the customary position has its advantages. Here’s how the Gandhians would position things: Both you and the charkha are on the floor. The charkha is to your right and pointing forward, so that the spindle is in front of you and pointing left. With the briefcase charkha, the big wheel is parallel to your hip, so that your right hand falls easily onto it.

In this position, it’s simple to hold the charkha steady by using your left foot. With the briefcase charkha, this means resting your foot on the case handle. The book charkha doesn’t have a handle but instead comes with a separate device that looks like an oversize tongue depressor with a piece of bent metal on the end. This metal end is slipped over the edge of the case at a point just next to the big wheel, so that the wooden piece points outward for the spinner’s foot to rest on. If you can’t sit cross-legged, you might want to add non-skid strips to the case, as suggested by spinner Lee Raven. In any case, try to keep the charkha beside you and on the same level as your seat.

The Spinning Cycle
The following sections will have more detail, but let’s first go over the basic steps of the spinning cycle: 1. Draw out the yarn to arm’s length with your left hand while turning the big wheel clockwise with your right. The drafting is done in a continuous motion, at a slight angle to the spindle. The trick is to coordinate the speed of the draw with the speed of wheel turning, so that the yarn holds together but not too much twist travels up into the cotton in your hand. Figure 5. Position for drafting

2. Keeping the yarn taut, lift your hand. Unwind yarn from the spindle tip while turning the wheel counterclockwise. Figure 6. Position for unwinding and winding

3. Still keeping the yarn taut, turn the wheel clockwise to wind the yarn tightly onto the spindle. Finish by winding yarn loosely down to the tip while moving your hand back to drafting position. A good spinner can complete this cycle in just a few seconds!

Joining the Yarn
With cotton, joining requires a different touch than is used for wool. Here’s how to join the pooni to a starting length on the charkha spindle—or to reconnect the pooni following a yarn break: Hold the pooni lightly in your left hand, with your palm diagonally upward. The yarn to be joined should extend about one foot or more from the spindle for easier, smoother joining. Lay the last several inches of the yarn on top of the pooni and hold it there lightly with your thumb. Most problems with joining the pooni result from too heavy a touch with the thumb. Figure 7. Starting the pooni

Now start turning the wheel, and at the same time pull the pooni slowly away from the spindle so that the yarn slides out from under your thumb. Just as the tip of the yarn escapes from under

your thumb, it should contact the fibers at the tip of the pooni and mesh with them. Continue drawing back the pooni—and you’re spinning!

Drawing It Out
For the beginner, probably the easiest method of drafting the yarn is to draw it out to arm’s length with incomplete twist, then pinch the yarn at the pooni tip and add final twist to strengthen it. About three extra turns of the wheel should do it, and you’ll feel the yarn shorten. But before this final strengthening, be sure to draw out any thicker, looser portions of the yarn by pulling carefully and adding a little twist as needed. Evenness is crucial with cotton, because thick sections can still be weak enough to pull apart even as a thin section snaps from overtwist. Though this method works well enough for a beginner—and it’s the only one I’ve managed myself—my teacher called it ―unscientific‖ and strongly objected to it. Using a tight, consistent pooni, he drew out a consistent yarn already at its final twist, relying on the clicking of the yarn against the spindle tip to tell him that this twist was being achieved. At the end of the draw, he wound the yarn onto the spindle without further strengthening. This yarn, if sized, could be used for warp without plying.Winding It OnOnly the first inch of the spindle is needed for the spiral that holds the yarn in place when drafting. When winding the drafted yarn, the Indians start at this distance from the tip, wind the yarn in a tight spiral toward the metal disk, then back again to the starting point, just once. A continuation of this motion puts a slightly looser spiral onto the last inch in order to resume drafting.The shape of the cop is not a cone, which would hold less yarn, but something like a top. You should be able to fit about 100 yards of relatively thick yarn on the spindle.Of course, there is no one who will make you use the charkha the way the Gandhians intended. But if you try their methods, developed and refined over decades, you’re likely to be rewarded with a more enjoyable experience, as well as higher-quality yarn.The
overall experiment was towards building a non-violent society. The Freedom was the most immediate Swadeshi. The concept of Swadeshi as explained by Gandhi, the author of this entire non-violent struggle, is employment of unemployed or semi-employed people by encouraging village industries. The use of machinery is, of course, welcome with caution and proper planning so that it can be useful to the masses rather than helping a few who can monopolise the industry. One is made aware of the violence involved in supporting unnecessary industries, which deprive millions of people of their livelihood and face disease and death. Besides, the use of industrial products which cause a lot of violence due to mishaps, chemicals and materials which involve harm to other creatures, makes the consumer responsible for this violence. The consumer therefore, has the responsibility of choosing the materials which he uses, with great prudence. October 10/11, 1924. talking to Ramachandran,a student of Shantiniketan " What I object to is the craze for machinery, not machinery as such. The craze is for what they call labour-saving machinery. Men go on ‘saving labour’ till thousands are without work and thrown on the streets to die of starvation. I want to save time and labour, not for a fraction of mankind, but for all. I want the concentration of wealth, not in the hands of a few, but in the hands of all. Today machinery helps a few to ride on the backs of millions. The impetus behind it is not philanthropy to save labour, but greed." The aim of 'swadeshi' as such, is a call to the consumer to be aware of the violence he is causing by supporting those industries that result in poverty, harm to workers and to humans and other creatures."

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