The raw materials may be cotton, silk, or wool, which are spun into threads on a spinning wheel called a charkha. It is a versatile fabric, cool in summer and warm in winter. However, being a cruder form of material, it wrinkles much faster than other preparations of cotton. In order to improve the look, khādī/khaddar is often starched to give it a stiffer shape. It is widely accepted in fashion circles.
In India, khadi is not just a cloth, it is a whole movement started by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. The Khadi movement aimed at boycotting foreign goods and promoting Indian goods, thereby improving India's economy. Mahatma Gandhi began promoting the spinning of khādī for rural self-employment and self-reliance (instead of using cloth manufactured industrially in Britain) in 1920s India thus making khadi an integral part and icon of the Swadeshi movement. The freedom struggle revolved around the use of khādī fabrics and the dumping of foreign-made clothes. When some people complained about the costliness of khadi to Mahatma Gandhi, he started wearing only dhoti. Thus it symbolized the political ideas and independence itself, and to this day most politicians in India are seen only in khādī 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. In recent years Khadi has seen a revival in India with many designers, including Basant Rai of 'IN SYNC - Basant Anuj', Ritu Kumar, Rohit Bal and others, who have been working on khadi to give a modern look.
In Pakistan, the famous khaddar cloth is made in the town of Kamalia in Punjab Province and is also exported worldwide. In recent years, khaddar has seen a popular revival in Pakistan, especially with leading Pakistani textile brands such as Khaadi and Gul Ahmed promoting it.
- Selin, Helaine (1997). Encyclopaedia of the History of Science, Technology, and Medicines in Non- Western Cultures. The Nethelands: Kluwer Academic Publishers. p. 961. ISBN 0792340663.
- Gul Ahmed
- India's Khādī Culture
- Khadi and Village Industries Commission (Govt of India), Official website
- More about Khadi
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