Freewheeling Signpost

Khadi, India’s wonder fabric

Former Chief Minister of Delhi and Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal was in Gujarat last week. Keeping political reasons aside, what caught one’s attention was the picture of him trying his hand at the spinning wheel in Gandhiji’s Sabarmati Ashram. The Khadi played a great role in shaping India. Does today’s generation just brush aside Khadi as a thing of the past? Do we know enough to understand the importance of this fabric?

What is Khadi?

This handspun and handwoven cloth is made out of cotton. India, Bangladesh and Pakistan are the three major countries were Khaddar (other term for khadi) is made. Sometimes silk or wool are used to make khadi which are later spun into yarn on the spinning wheel (charkha). Can you believe that this wonder fabric can keep us cool in summer and warm in winter?!

Khadi in Indian History

Khadi played an important role in the Indian independence movement headed by Gandhiji. It would be right to term it as a movement. At this time when lot of noise is made about eco-friendly stuff, Khadi is the right solution. The production of this fabric is done keeping the environment in mind. Gandhiji promoted khadi then because he saw it as a way to increase employment in the non-agricultural sector. He wanted to make Indians understand that they could be self-reliant on cotton and be free from the high-priced foreign goods.

Khadi is the most sustainable and eco-friendly product which does not use any electrical support. It is the only textile activity which does not utilize fossil fuel. Did you know that production of one metre khadi fabric consumes three litres of water whereas a conventional textile mill would need 55 litres?

The production of khadi does not generate any toxic waste products. In the States of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, organic khadi is produced by avoiding all chemicals in the processes of farming of cotton, weaving and dyeing.


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Printable version | Oct 19, 2021 4:35:40 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/in-school/signpost/khadi-indias-wonder-fabric/article5773089.ece

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