Khadi, before the Indian independence, was seen as a fabric of comfort than style. While earlier it was primarily worn by politicians, now the fabric has been accepted by the masses and has made its mark on fashion runways, both in India and internationally. It has got a contemporary twist and is used to weave kurtas, shirts, skirts, coats, saris, gowns, etc. People of all generations can wear it. The new reinterpretation of the Khadi fabric has made it appealing to millennials.
History of Khadi
Khadi comes from the term "khaddar," meaning handspun fabric. The hand-weaving fabric has been used for thousands of years, and evidence of the same has been found in Indus Valley Civilization.
Khadi fabric was revived when Mahatma Gandhi, the father of India, used Khadi as a symbol of independence, self-reliance, and defiance against foreign powers. The popularity of khadi fabric further catapulted when Gandhi made it India's national fabric, linked it to the Swadeshi (self-sufficient) movement, and urged Indians to embrace it and boycott foreign goods.
Though the Khadi fabric's popularity dwindled with time, the rise of sustainable fashion and the interest shown by the fashion industry has again resurrected Khadi.
What Made Khadi a Game Changer Fabric?
Khadi has played a significant role in the fashion industry and has been a game-changer. It has been reimagined by fashion designers, blending traditional craftsmanship with contemporary designs. But what made Khadi a game changer? Let's find out.
Interest in Sustainable Fashion: As the awareness regarding sustainable fabrics increased, so did the popularity of Khadi. So many people are now becoming fashion-conscious and increasingly aware of environmental issues. Instead of going for synthetic fabric, they are opting for eco-friendly and organic fabric.
It has worked in Khadi's favor, which has become an ethical choice among consumers as it is handspun, durable, and organic. Its production involves minimal use of machinery, reducing carbon emissions and water consumption.
Efforts to Revive Traditional Craftsmanship: Khadi is deeply rooted in India's cultural heritage and has a rich history. Mahatma Gandhi popularized it during the Indian independence movement as a symbol of self-reliance and economic empowerment.
Many Indian and international designers have revived Khadi clothes. They have incorporated Khadi in their collections, showcasing its versatility and potential as a luxury fabric. The revival of Khadi has led to the preservation of traditional weaving techniques and the empowerment of rural artisans who practice this craft.
Government Initiative to Promote Khadi: Khadi represents a cultural identity and reflects the diversity of Indian textiles. The Indian government has formed the Khadi, Village and Industries Commission to promote the Khadi fabric in India and abroad. The production of Khadi has provided employment opportunities to many artisans, especially in rural areas. It has also helped in preserving India's textile heritage.
Reinvention by Fashion Designers: Fashion designers took it upon themselves to reinvent the humble Khadi clothing into high-fashion wear. They used it in diverse forms, including clothing, accessories, and home furnishings. Khadi's unique texture and handwoven appeal have inspired new fashion trends, offering a distinctive and timeless style to fashion-conscious individuals. It has elevated the status of Khadi and made it a sought-after choice among fashion enthusiasts.
Khadi's versatility, eco-friendliness, and rich heritage has made it a game changer, influencing fashion trends and becoming the ethical choice for consumers. Only time can tell what further exploration and experimentation is done in the fashion industry with Khadi. For now, the fabric is basking in the limelight that it deserves.