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Reviving the Khadi: A link to our past

Besides being a green product, what makes khadi so unique and resilient? The magical fabric is exclusive because it keeps the wearer warm in winter and cool in summer.

And, global warming being a serious concern today, it has become imperative that we conserve energy in every viable way. Khadi being eco-friendly, green, and sustainable, seems to provide answers to all our questions. The garb is made from pure cotton, which is later spun and woven manually, without any electrical support.

With all the initiatives set in motion towards reviving the Khadi, it is no longer a delusion to hope that our skilled weavers will become empowered, once again, weaving the ‘dream cloth’.

What is Khadi?

The word Khadi is derived from khaddar which essentially means a fabric developed through weaving handspun yarns on a handloom. The entire process, separation of cotton from the seed, to spinning and weaving of fabric is carried out manually.

Reviving the Khadi

One on One conversation with the esteemed designer Maheen Khan, discussing the ever classy Khadi and its history and prospects in Bangladesh.

Entering her office, I felt quite at ease immediately, reveling in the ambience that exudes traditionalism. It also spoke of Maheen Khan’s appreciation towards fine arts, very apparent in her choice of numerous miniature paintings depicting the royal lifestyle of the Mughal era. I was only a few moments into waiting when the gifted ‘deshi’ designer walked in, and I was not just a bit proud, for such a precious part of our local talent.

We decided to carry on with our rendezvous over tea and biscuits. Maheen showed me a few pictures from her successful venture with Khadi last year, all very intriguing. The mesmerising pictures provided a basis for optimistic expectation for this year’s event.  The talented designer briefed us about her reasons behind focusing on the very ‘local’ garb.  “Khadi, a green product, is also the heritage of Bengal. We have lost the Khadi over the years to yarns from the mills. If you ask me the exact reason behind focusing on lost traditions, such as the Khadi, I’d say the textile has the lowest carbon footprint. It can help mitigate global warming to a certain extent. Weaving the Khadi requires no electricity or burning of fossil fuels. In today’s age, when we are most concerned with long term sustainability issues, eco-friendliness and green products, I believe Khadi is the primary solution to major concerns related to global warming.”

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The Cotton Chronicles: Tale of the white gold

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