Khadi

Khadi is hand-spun and hand woven fabric either made of cotton, silk or wool. It has been a symbol of India's freedom movement under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi. Warm in winters, cool in summers, khadi is versatile and sustainable. Fibers are drawn and twisted together to form yarn, traditionally on a 'charkha' (spinning wheel). Charkha has not only been a prominent symbol in Indian political arena but has inspired lyricists of many generations.

The yarns have unique texture as opposed to the factory made. The spun yarn is bundled, wind to the bobbin. Some choose to use it in its original natural colour but can be coloured to achieve desired look and feel. Each woven fabric is declaration of craftman's expression, hard work, passion and care. Keeping with the trend, khadi has been interpreted in unique ways and translated into different products. 

Kala Cotton

Kala cotton or old world cotton, indigenous to Kutch (India) is coarse, short staple variety of cotton. Kala cotton has re-emerged in recent times and is regaining fame. Kala cotton is low maintenance crop, rain fed, drought and pest resistant, thereby making it an ideal crop to cultivate. Though it is coarse but it feels soft to touch. The production of kala cotton is a long process as it faces production challenges due to its short staple, the only way to weave it is by hand. It is a sustainable textile for the very fact that it is woven where it is grown. Today, an inclination towards the concept of organic and conscious fashion has re-surfaced kala cotton on the textile map of the world. 

Indigo

Indigo, originated in India, has been used by craftspeople for thousands of years. With its distinctive colour palette of blues, Indigo has been evolving in home and fashion industry. Indigo is made from complicated fermentation of Indigofera Tinctoria plant leaves into amber liquid that dyes cloth first green, and then after oxidation, blue. Indigo blue always retains its beautiful hue even if it grows paler. There are various aesthetic sensibilities and techniques that dictate the look and feel of Indigo induced cloth.

Block Printing

Hand block printing is a multiple step process. In India, block printing is practiced in many states, Bagru being the most prominent hub. The designs get translated onto wooden blocks, for intricate patterns metal (brass or copper) blocks are used. The wood is kept in oil for couple of weeks, smoothened and is now ready for carving. The carved block is then fixed to a wooden handle. For printing, the master craftsman carefully pins the fabric to the printing table with padding below to ensure proper and even absorption of dye. The block is dipped in the dye and pressed on fabric with heel of the hand. Placement of block and alignment of pattern is of utmost importance. As the number of blocks used for a design increases, so does the complexity and needs special skills.

Handloom Weaving

Handloom weaving has always been in limelight in Indian textile arena. It contributes significantly to the Indian economy, generating enough employment all across the country. It is a manual process and does not require electricity. Sustainable in nature, handloom weaving can accomplish beautiful textures and unevenness, treasured by textile lovers as opposed to powerloom setup. Customised designs and repeat patterns are easily achieved by handloom weaving.

Kantha

The undying admiration for vintage textile has given impetus to the traditional art of Kantha. It is widely practiced in West Bengal, India. A similar art form of stitching is prevalent in Japan, called Shashiko. Simple running stitches are used as surface texture on a fabric or assorted fabrics stitched together. The stitches can be repeat pattern, irregular, dense or sparse. This technique is being explored to create dramatic pieces of clothing, accessories and home linen. Kantha-stitched or textured surfaces add tactility and craftsmanship to otherwise mundane pieces.

 
 
 
 
 
 

© Anhad Khadi 2018

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