Hand Loom 

After Ms. Smriti Irani took over the Textile Ministry, we hear a lot of impetus being given to the handloom sector and more importantly, to Khadi. #IWearHandloom has suddenly become the buzzword.

Now, I have always loved handlooms. I own quite a few handloom sarees and dresses. But like many others, I thought handlooms and khadi to be one and the same thing. Khadi or khaddar is completely handspun. The yarn and the entire process is done by hand on a spinning wheel called the ‘charkha’. Whereas, the yarn is most machine made in the case of handlooms.


Khadi, along with the charkha became the symbols of defiance against the British rule during our freedom struggle. It was not just a cloth, it was a way to embrace ‘Swadesi’ or indigenous products. It was made immensely popular by Mahatma Gandhi.


                                           Charkha kept in Gandhi Ashram

It is a way of life for many village artisans and provide livelihood and employment to many. This movement is promoted by the Khadi and Village Industries Commission, which works very closely with the cotton farmers and weavers. Traitionally, Khadi products have been made available from two government run outlets: The Khadi Gram Udyog and Gandhi Ashram.


India is a hot and humid country and this fabric is ideal for such a climate. It is almost always made from cotton and it soaks up the heat beautifully. It is also a very versatile fabric and can easily be blended with different threads like silk, tussar, polyester and wool.


Earlier, this fabric was associated with a handful of people like jounalists, activists, politicians and village folks. It was a far cry for the fashionista. The reason was the lack of innovation and experimentation. This pretty much stagnated the process and thus, the designs and blends became outdated.


                                             Khadi Cotton Kimono by Gaia

But now, with a renewed interest from ace designers like Rohit Bal, Rajesh Pratap Singh and Aneeth Arora, this fabric of yore has seen a definite transformation. They are experimenting with the blends, designs, cuts and drapes. They have created beautiful ensembles combining khadi with silk, tussar etc.


                                            Sonam Kapoor walks for Khadi


This humble fabric is making its presence felt on the runways in New York, Milan and Paris. Designers are ditching the traditional designs and coming up with gorgeous sarees, trendy palazzos, bridal lehengas, alluring anarkalis, shorts, shrugs and skirts to name a few.

A model showcases creations of fashion designer Rajesh Pratap Singh at Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week Summer-Spring, 2015 in New Delhi, on Oct.10, 2014. (Photo: Amlan Paliwal/IANS)
A model showcases creations of fashion designer Rajesh Pratap Singh at Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week Summer-Spring, 2015 in New Delhi, on Oct.10, 2014. (Photo: Amlan Paliwal/IANS)

Here are a few of my ideas to wear khadi with pride:

  1. Pair your handloom sarees with khadi blouses in interesting cuts.
  2. A knee-length cocktail dress can be teamed with a calf-length khadi jacket.
  3. Match your regular kurti with a khadi palazzo.
  4. For a fun day out, pair your favourite tee with khadi shorts.
  5. For men, this fabric can be used to make stunning Nehru Jackets and breast-coats.
  6. For summers, pair a flowing khadi skirt with a sleeveless blouse and a scarf.
  7. A khadi tunic looks splendid with kolhapuri chappals and a standout scarf or stole.


                                                            Khadi Fusion 


There are a few labels which make organic khadi products apart from Khadi Gram Udyog and Gandhi Ashram.

  • Metaphor Racha
  • Cotton Rack
  • Nature Alley
  • Fab India

Apart from these, there are a few online portals that have a wide variety of khadi products.


                                                       Indian Ethnic wear 

With a little creativity and imagination, you can easily elevate this humble fabric into the hottest fashion trend.

Be Proud.Be Indian. Buy Indian.


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