Thursday, October 30, 2008

Khadi- The Journey

Soon after independence, Khadi and Village Industries Board were established in 1953. Initially it had only 156 registered institutions. But how drastically, things have changed. Now a day every village in farthest parts of the country has it own khadi institutions. From the days of finding the weaving of khadi rather difficult, things have changed a lot. Now, range of khadi products is truly unlimited from garments to household linen to furnishings, etc.

Let’s take a look into the weaving of khadi. The basic step is spinning of the thread on the charkha which is followed by bobbin winder, then sizer and finally the weaving process. Under the system, a weaver does all the weaving at his place in an individual capacity whereas spinning is organized by the khadi Board. Weaving is most often done by men whereas spinning is performed by women and girls of the villages. There is a lot of work involved in the process and that explains its comparatively higher price than mill or handloom cloth.

Khadi has traveled a long way since the days of being identified with freedom fighter’s fabric. With changing times, it has turned into a fashion garment. It’s hard to imagine the days when it was ridiculed for being a fabric for the farmer and the rural wearer. But now, demand is such that, despite millions of workers all over India, demands are never met.