Future of Global Indian Fashion

Source: Textile Review

Gandhi wrote that Swaraj (self-rule) without swadeshi (countrymade goods) is a lifelesscorpse and if Swadeshi is the soul of Swaraj, khadi is the spirit of swadeshi.Therefore khadi became not only a symbol of revolution and resistance but part ofan Indian identity. Khadi has always been a fabric with attitude. It has nowbecome a fashion statement. Its journey from its eventful birth as the fabricfavoured by revolutionaries, to designer boutiques and elite consciousness. Thehandspun cotton, known as Khadi is of special significance to Indians. Gandhielevated the brittle thread of cotton to a symbol of strength andself-sufficiency, and to provide employment for the millions during India'sfreedom struggle, and that symbolism of wearing cloth made by human hands hascontinued till this day.

The handmade quality of the khadi fabric with inherent defects isits real beauty and that is what the buyer wants at times. It is not a poor man's fabric although itprovides employment to the poor man. Today khadi has many faces which are notjust restricted to cotton. Khadi is quite competitive now depending on thestyle of the garment. Now many Indian fashion designers believe that Khadi isIndia's answer to Egyptian cotton and linen. It falls well and becomes secondskin after two washes. It breathes, it has a self-texture. It has been blendedwith denim, wool, polyester and silk with good results. There is a need tore-educate the people about khadi. Khadi is very relevant to our times. It isan eco-friendly, non-synthetic, healthy fabric that makes good dressing sense.

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About the Authors

Shaleni Bajpai is a Senior Research Officer & Manisha Gahlot isa Senior Research Fellow with Dept. of Clothing & Textiles, College of HomeScience, G.B. Pant University of Agriculture & Technology, Pantnagar,Uttarakhand.

Originallypublished in Textile Review, Jan-2011