Khādī is a term in Hindi for cloth that’s spun & woven by hand from cotton, silk or wool - and made locally in the region. Which is why Gandhi (right) politicized it as a way for the poorer rural regions to become more economically self-sufficient and less reliant on spendy foreign imports. (image)
Khadi also tends to wrinkle more than commercially-made fabrics which contain synthetic fibers, that has unfortunately given it a reputation as being unsophisticated. However, a designer in India has teamed up with around 250 weavers to revive the craft of handlooming khadi.
"I personally love khadi," explains the very enterprising Gaurang Shah, who has already exhibited collections made with khadi in Berlin and at Lakme Fashion Week in India."I saw its interest was almost fading, so I wanted to preserve it for the future because it is one of the essence of true India. I took up the challenge and put all my resources and energy to revive this art of making khadi saris hand-woven finely...There are only very few who support Indian handloom and textiles, which is disheartening."
Happily, designers like Kanika Seth and Mehak Pruthi of Threesome (top) plan to help revive khadi at showcases like Lakme.
Shah (above) is a model member of the fashion tribe I'm calling FOLKSPUN, which admires the timehonored and proven ways of creating goods that is less wasteful, promotes self-sufficiency and keeps alive the art of the handmade. Be sure to take a quick listen to this Fashiontribes Podcast I recorded about this tribe and how Shah is trying to bring khadi back to life. (image)
- Lesley Scott