Fashion

Khaddar couture

Designer Neeru Kumar Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy   | Photo Credit: V_Sreenivasa_Murthy

Khadi or Khaddar is a hand spun and handwoven fabric primarily made out of cotton. Khadi can be traced back to the 6th century AD. The Romans were our main customers during those times. It is a versatile fabric that keeps the wearer cool in summers and warm in winters.

Khadi is a revolutionary fabric that we as Indians, will always associate with Gandhiji, Swaraj and the Swadeshi movement. The mere mention of khadi conjures up an image of the Mahatma sitting at a charkha. The truth is that, it is as relevant today as it was during the Independence movement, especially since the “Make in India” campaign is top most in all our minds. It is a fabric that will forever be intertwined with India’s past, present and future.

Khaddar is no longer the fabric that only our politicians wear. Once thought of as a humble man’s garb, it has now been reinvented in so many different avatars. The credit goes to a handful of our fashion designers who have made Khadi trendy. Their creativity has given birth to more contemporary and stylish versions of the fabric, the anyone can relate to and wear proudly.

The trendsetting designers of the modern Khadi movement are Ritu Kumar and Rahul Mishra. While Ritu Kumar’s creations are more traditional, Rahul Mishra is a master couturier known for his minimalistic silhouettes. A handful of emerging designers who work with Khadi are Neeru Kumar and Shashikant Naidu.

Neeru Kumar’s khadi wear comes in both vibrant and sombre colors depending on the season. At Lakme Fashion week this year, Shashikant Naidu’s khadi creations were very elaborate and luxurious. A chat with him revealed that his pin tucked khadi tunics consumed 12 meters of khadi! They were the most sought after occasion wear. These designers have indeed played a key role in getting people to view khadi as a fabric that lends itself to being young, modern and fashionable.

A starched khadi shirt slightly crushed at the elbows has more character than a shirt in any other modern fabric. On the other hand, soft khadi is luxurious and drapes like a dream. It is in a way a sublime fabric! Flaunt a khadi sari or a khadi tunic with palazzos and you’re sure to stand out in a crowd.

Shrivyshnavi is a software engineer with a passion for fashion and design. She will soon launch a curated fashion accessories portal, www.pookari.com

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Printable version | Apr 16, 2021 2:40:11 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/fashion/Khaddar-couture/article11055078.ece

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