The changing face of khadi

The changing face of khadi

From being a symbol of the freedom struggle to the high streets of fashion, khadi has surely come a long way! And the designers of the City are leaving no stone unturned to cash in on the humble fabric’s popularity as Bangaloreans have been showing a keen interest in it.

Sudhir Swain, a City-based designer, points out that the fabric is gaining global recognition because of its comfort level.   “The fabric comes in varying degrees of thickness depending on the yarn count and grammage. Thanks to technological advancements, designers can experiment and innovate with khadi,” he says, adding, “In fact, many Americans are interested in it.”

Sudhir feels that although the market is large, the trend is yet to catch on with people in their 20s.

“Even now, khadi is preferred by people who are over 30. This is something that needs to change. There are many who want customised khadi,” he explains.
Going by the increasing demand for khadi, Roshan, who runs ‘Roshan’s, House of High Design’, a boutique in Sadashivanagar, is planning to work extensively with the fabric.

 “When I displayed my collection recently, the maximum response I got was for the khadi outfits. In fact, many women came asking for khadi accessories while some men wanted khadi caps. That’s why I’ve decided that my next collection will be entirely in khadi and include accessories as well. While many fabrics require dry cleaning, the advantage of khadi is that it’s a low-maintenance fabric. Even the customers are realising this,” he explains.

Further, he points out that sherwanis, which are popular among bridegrooms, commonly come with a satin lining which can get uncomfortable.

“Many complain about the discomfort. So I will be replacing the inner lining of satin with khadi,” he shares. According to Pavitra Muddaya, who works on preserving textile traditions, khadi gives room for experimentation. And this is what is attracting designers to work with the natural fabric.

“There is a creative element to it and it can be used in many ways. It’s a
fabulous garment to work with and a designer can interpret it in several ways,” she opines. 

Tara Aslam, who runs ‘Nature’s Alley’, says that she began the label owing to the fact that she couldn’t find designers to suit her sensibilities.

“Khadi comes and goes out of fashion. And you never know when it fizzles out. But there is a good demand for it. Initially, only those in the age group of 30 to 40 age were opting for khadi garments. Now there is a demand for it from people who are in their 20s. This is a good sign for designers,” she says. Tara, who keeps her designs simple, says, “I let the fabric do the talking.” 

Dipika Rao, a 25-year-old professional, has always preferred the natural fabric over others.

“Previously, khadi was restricted to just a couple of exhibitions. But I visited a designer’s store recently and was surprised to see a wide range of it. I’m glad to see
designer wear in khadi,” she notes.

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