» Skip to content

Published: 22 July 2017

By Andy Ross

Recent articles

View all stories

Khadi - woven cloth with a unique history

Recently a friend sent a link to a YouTube video of khadi, the cotton fabric from the Asian subcontinent with a fascinating story to tell...

Khadi is made with cotton, silk or wool and traditionally refers to any cloth which is handmade using handspun yarns. Nowadays machine made khadi has taken the place of handmade, but the original is much in demand from the fashion industry. 

The history of this cloth is interesting because of its links with the movement for freedom in India, and its association with Gandhi. Mahatma Gandhi was so keen on the handmade, which emphasised self-reliance and freedom from big industry, that he learned to spin and encouraged others to do so in order to make the fabric. Thus khadi became a symbol of freedom overall, and, although the industry is now much more mechanised, the handmade textiles are still being produced across India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. 

Thanks Tam for sending us this link.