Imagine a fabric that is 15 meters long, but weighs only 10gms and canjust pass through an ordinary finger ring. This is the handspun, muslin wonderpopularly known as 'Khadi'.

Khadialso known as Khaddar, is a traditional fabric of India, and is more associatedwith a feeling of patriotism. Currently, the fabric is gaining globalspotlight. Khadi is a fabric that brings a feeling of peace, nationalism, andsimplicity among Indians. Closely associated with Mahatma Gandhi and freedomrevolt, this fabric is also a representation of Indian handloom industry. Anexclusive outfit associated with the Swadeshi revolutionists, khadi fabricsunderwent a fashion transformation during the later years.

Khadifabrics are generally hand spun and hand woven. But they vary from handloomfabrics in a way that it's completely handmade, while handloom fabrics areprocessed at mills. Yarns of khadi fabric are spun with a spinning wheel knownas the charkha. Khadhi fabrics aremainly woven on handloom from woolen yarn, cotton, and silk and are hand spun. Initially,the coarse and rough fabric was primarily not preferred by people who preferredluxurious and soft fabrics. But with the current wake of environmentallyfriendly lifestyle, even increased number of workers involved in the spinningprocess is not enough to satisfy the demand.


Withmore technological advancements in fabric making and an increasing demand forconsumers both India and abroad, khadi fabrics have undergone changes in many aspects.They are blended with other fabrics such as silk, and polyester to make matkakhadi, poly khadi, tussar silk and many other varieties. Fashion has alsobrought about a drastic change in the shades of the fabric.

Fashionpromotes the traditional khadi fabrics in a way like never before. Initiallyavailable in a single almond hue, with the magical swap of fashion, currentlykhadi fabrics are available in 30 attractive hues. Khadi fabrics have alsogained global fame with the courtesy of the fashion industry. The fabric whichinduced patriotism among the Indians, have also grabbed the attention offashion designers; worldwide. Kindling up their creativity, they are nowcreating unique and extraordinary designs, only for khadi fabrics.

Khadifabrics blend well with the skin after two washes. It is breathable, and has aself texture. Much equaling in virtues with Egyptian cotton and linen, khadhican be blended with other fabrics such as denim, wool, silk and polyestergiving good results. Designer Rohit Bal was mainly responsible for bringing thefabric into fashion spotlight. Other renowned designers like Deepika Govind,Anju Modi, Sangita Singh Kathwada, and Wendell Rodricks has also used khadi fordesign their collections.

Export of Khadi apparels:

When India entered the global market in apparel trade, it opened new windows, and a global recognition for khadi fabrics. Expiry of the multi-fibre agreement further enhanced export of khadi apparels. Of the total textile production in India, khadi fabrics constitute approximately 0.22%.

Khadi fabrics and apparel see good sales particularly during the month of October. Retailers come up with special discounts to boost sales during this period. Depending on the style and pattern, khadi apparels are available in a range of prices from `400-2,500.

To testify the purity and genuineness of khadi fabric and apparels plans are chalked to bring 'khadi mark'. This will guarantee the quality and purity of the product, not only in the domestic, but also in the global markets. The 12th Five Year Plan proposes to encourage the production of khadi fabrics, through industrial clusters. The proposed outlay is `1000 crores. Micro enterprises will be set up in the country creating employment opportunities for around 32 lakh workers in the rural areas.

Today, new generation weavers are slowly shifting to other trades which offer lucrative income. More Government patronage is required to preserve and enhance this traditional craft. Khadi fabrics are a symbol of India's cultural heritage, and have also inspired many people at the global level. This traditional fabric is now turning into an epoch of commercialization.



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