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Welcome to #SugandhSays
A series of writings that unfold slowly month after month, taking you into the world of Sungandh.
We begin today with a story. The story of something that you have worn a couple of times but probably don’t know its 1000-year-old journey. The story of something that is as close to the soil of this country, as you are. The story of what we believe is at the heart of Sugandh. The story, of Khadi.
Homegrown Fabrics, Speak Fashion Every day!
Every spin of the Charkha,narrates the story of India’s very own homegrown fabric which we all know as Khadi. From boosting India’s economy and making it shine in the world to becoming a symbol of integrity and self-reliance, Khadi has been an integral part of our Indian-ness. Have you ever thought that only a cloth can do all of that?
“From boosting India’s economy to becoming a symbol of integrity and self-reliance, Khadi is a part of our Indian-ness”
Taking you back in time, to the India that was known to the world as the Land of Spinners.
The word ‘Khadi’stems from ‘khaddar’, a local term for handspunfabric in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. And hence, there are different types of Khadi or handspun fabrics like Khadi Silk, Khadi Wool, contrary to the popular belief that “Khadi is cotton”.
While the world wore woolen clothes, India had already discovered this art of spinningcotton. Nearchus, a voyager from the army of Alexander, recorded that “the cloth worn by Indians is made by cotton grown on trees”.
Spinning was not just a source of income for millions but it developed over years as an art form that was loved and cherished. The quality, the intricacy took this fabric to many many countries.
By medieval era, spinning and weaving was already shaping India’s economy. Hand-woven Indian Muslin was in great demand across the world for its very fine quality. By late 17th century, India’s hand-woven Muslin, Calico and Chintz held sway across markets in Europe.
“While the world was wearing wool, India had discovered the art of spinning that started shaping its economy”
But soon, before India could emerge as an economic superpower, Europeans realized that this fabric is a threat to Europe’s local markets. They banned the import of Chintz. Industrialization enabled them to produce more fabric at lower costs, which was then sent to Indian markets. With time, India became nothing but a colony, a source of cotton which was the raw material for this fabric that was produced in Europe.
The art, the intricacy and the beauty of Khadi was covered under tones of industrially produced fabrics that came to India through the sea. This led to a huge dip in handwoven Khadi in India. Millions of weavers across India lost their livelihood.
“The art, the intricacy and the beauty of Khadi was covered under tones of industrially produced fabrics that came to India through the sea”
The decline continued till our man who wanted to make the Charkhathe basis of India’s economic regeneration: Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.
He once again brought the fabric back to life and called it Swadeshi.
What once made the country prosperous and represented the epitome of our art was revived as a symbol of dignity and self-reliance. It made us stand tall on our feet and thus was the first step towards freedom.
While Khadiis embedded in our culture for centuries, today it stands for both freedom and art. It is not just a piece of cloth, it’s a spirit, it’s a feeling, it’s a reminder that we have to be ‘Us’. It is the epitome of design and art, a true sense of Indian fashion.
We at Sugandh hold Khadiin our hearts; We want to promote Khadi as a powerful way of dressing.
Each piece of Sugandh is made with Khadi that carries a story.
A story of homegrown fabric and a story of fashion.
While Khadi has a story, it also has a life of its own. It is the only fabric that breathes,
Which means that it’s living with you.
Everyday. Every time that you wear it.
Wait up for the next blog that tells you how!