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From the struggle for independence to the future, how Khadi continues to turn the wheel of fashion

Khadi is more than any other type of fabric in the Indian context. This was an integral part of the Indian freedom struggle against the British. It was a symbol of freedom from British manufactures and a powerful icon during the struggle for independence. Khadi is a hand-spun and woven material, usually made from cotton yarn. Mahatma Gandhi observed that the spinning wheel can be easily learned and hardly requires any expense or capital. He had also seen the fabric as an end to dependence on foreign materials. He started the Khadi movement for economic, cultural and social reasons to help the rural economy and introduce self-reliance.

Khadi has now regained her popularity in the fashion scene and the historic fabric is still turning the wheel of Indian fashion.

Speaking to Hindustan Times, fashion designer Rina Dhaka said Khadi as a fabric has great merits apart from being the symbol of our independence. “Women have thrown away all their wealth for Khadi cloth,” she added.

She said Khadi is known as a versatile fabric and has an unusual quality of being warm in winter and cool in summer. Talking about the benefits of Khadi, the fashion designer mentioned that the fabric is spun in such a way that it becomes softer and looks better after washing. It can also save people a lot of money. The fabric also has no waste and consumes little water.

While many sectors are turning to respecting the environment, the fashion industry is also calling to promote the production of Khadi the culture of sustainability.

Fashion designer Ace Anju Modi shared that Khadi has become sustainable and eco-friendly, and at the same time, he has a high fashion quotient. She also credited the recognition of the fabric to the government as well as designers, who “create beautiful designs with Khadi”. “The best blend with a handwoven fabric like khadi is only handwoven cotton,” she added.

As the fabric regains momentum among young people, even Bollywood celebrities including Shefali Shah, Vidya Balan, Dia Mirza and Karisma Kapoor have adopted outfits made from the iconic fabric.

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Hazel J. Edmonds

The author Hazel J. Edmonds