Khadi has been slowly transcending boundaries. The fabric that is symbolic of the country’s freedom, is being promoted on various platforms by designers who are giving the traditional fabric a modern avatar to bring to the fore its true potential and catapult it to the global arena.
Leading designers Rohit Bal, Anju Modi, Payal Jain and Poonam Bhagat showcased innovative modern twists to khadi ensembles in white, black, indigo and mustard at a recent event.
Talking about her experiments with khadi, Jain describes, “I love experimenting with our traditional weaving and embroidery techniques to create modern and contemporary silhouettes. Natural fabrics constantly draw me towards handloom textiles in blends of cotton, silk, wool, and khadi being hand-spun, remains the most organic and sustainable technique known to Indians. It is my personal favourite as it is a source of income to the fast vanishing weaving and spinning clusters across India.”
For designer Anavila it’s not only the fabric of India, but something with immense fashion possibilities. The comfort and ease it brings to the wearer are unparalleled. “My work predominantly focuses on linen, but I have always kept a part of our collection that uses khadi. We blend the two yarns and the result is beautiful.”
“Khadi, it’s not just a fabric, it’s the pride of our nation,” says designer Rashmi Solanki. Talking about her love for khadi she says, “I am happy that various platforms have started something that was much needed in India to open a new market for Indian designers.” She adds, “Just like fingerprints, no two khadi samples are alike, which was a challenge while sourcing fabric from different khadi gram udyogs.” Khadi continues to be special in many ways for her as the world moves towards industrial, fast fashion. “It’s the fabric of freedom that continues to generate income for the rural poor. With 70 per cent of khadi artisans being women, it reminds us, the country, of its legacy of sustainable living,” she says.
At the same time, Jain believes it’s time for the youth to start looking at khadi as a fashionable choice. “Khadi can be fun, fashionable, hip and cool; appealing to every segment of the society,” she says. Thus, it’s our responsibility to create new avatars of the fabric and other handlooms....