Back to the basics
Once upon a time, the mention of Khadi was synonymous with the freedom struggle, with Mahatma Gandhi’s cry for self-reliance, with the struggle of India to free itself from the clutches of the British, and to be able to stand alone as an independent country, capable of handling itself. The demand for Khadi had gone down sufficiently after independence. The material was soon replaced in the markets by the glossier and shinier materials which people coveted so much. However, Khadi is making a comeback! And how! The material has recently become the favourite of many a designer, especially in the Indian market.
A lot of them say that surprisingly, the demand for Khadi is far lesser in India than in many other countries. But the markets are slowly starting to ask for more Khadi-based clothes and the Indian market is slowly warming up to the idea of Khadi being a fashionable material. The material itself is handspun, and the idea of making Khadi was widely propagated by Mahatma Gandhi who advocated the use of clothes made in the country, rather than using the imported ones. Many villages took to spinning Khadi, but with progress and globalisation, the newer generations moved away from this material. Khadi, or Khaddar, is actually a very versatile material, especially in terms of the Indian climate. It can keep one feeling cool during the hot summers, and can also keep people warm during the chilly winter months.
The government had launched an initiative in the last couple of years to promote greater use of this material. And as it began to catch on, the use of Khadi to make clothes became more prevalent, especially amongst designers. Sabyasachi Mukherjee is a very strong advocate of this material, and according to him, this material imparts a certain kind of class and grace to the wearer which cannot be found in any other material. Other designers such as Rohit Bal and Malini Ramani have also been using this material in more of their clothes. Big stores are also starting to keep Khadi garments, and it looks like the youth are slowly warming up to the idea.
Khadi as a material, is not only comfortable, but is incredibly versatile. Many designers abroad are making khadi dresses which people are wearing on a regular basis. The material defines understated chic and elegance. Not too bright and not too loud, clothes made by this material manage to strike the eye and hold the gaze without trying too hard to do so.
The material is produced mainly in India and Pakistan, and in India, the Khadi Gramodyog is dedicated to the promotion of Khadi, and thereby, the livelihood of a number of people who spin Khadi for a living. So go out and buy yourself some fabulous Khadi clothes! Its chic, it’s perfect for almost all kinds of climate, it's classy and it's native.