Make your statement this season with Khadi

Make a style statement with Khadi. Old Couple smiling.
Khadi is now a style statement
Make a style statement with Khadi
Khadi is now a style statement

Summers are here and it’s time for you get your summer wear to make your statement. It’s that lovely season for India’s iconic fabric Khadi! Gone are the days when Khadi was seen as boring, drab and listless and was a strict ‘no no’ for an evening wear to a party. Gone are the days of the leftist look of a Khadi kurta with a cloth bag hanging on the side.

Today, Khadi is on the international ramps and has spread to not just dresses but accessories and home furnishings. From the earlier coarse fabric it has moved on to higher thread counts with the fabric being finer and more versatile for pret. Khadi is in and very chic!

No other nation can boast of a people’s movement that involved spinning a fabric and then using it as a symbol of resistance and pride. Right till the 70s and early 80s Khadi was worn in urban areas but symbolized either government persona or leftist philosophy. After taking a backseat, there was a revival in interest for Khadi with several leading fashion designers like Ritu Kumar, Malini Ramani and Rohit Bal, who took interest in the creative revival of Khadi and brought it on to the ramp.

But if there was one single name that has consistently worked with Khadi and built a brand identity around it, that credit would go to William Bissell of Fab India. His father John Bissell started the first store in Delhi way back in 1960 and subsequently William took over in 1976 and built Fab India into a multi-million dollar business. Today, Fab India has built a niche for itself by diversifying into a variety home furnishings and accessories and has been a major brand ambassador for Khadi.

According to the government promoted Khadi & Village Industries Commission (KVIC), the Khadi sales for FY12-13 was Rs 1021.56 crores, an increase of 5.54% over the previous year. The recently renovated Khadi Gram Udyog Bhavan in Connaught Place, New Delhi, in a refreshed avatar, offers a wide variety of Khadi products across readywears, cotton products, poly vastra, woolen, bedsheets and flooring material.

According to Devendra Desai, Chairman of Khadi Gramodyog Commission (KGC) in an interview to GGN, informed that Khadi jeans have been developed in association with Arvind Mills. At present, the same has been launched in five colors in Gujarat and the demand is exceeding supply. Based on further response, they will launch the range in other parts of India. They also have plans to open around 50 Khadi Plazas and malls to retail their range. In time, they plan to take it overseas.

A lot of fabric development is on by blending Khadi cotton and silk with manmade fibers like ‘tencel’ and ‘modak’. Recently, designer Deepika Geehani showcased her range using these blends at the Lakme Fashion Week and the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week. Kanika Seth and Mehak Pruthi, Delhi based designer duo are doing their bit for the revival of Khadi

With election season at its peak, Khadi is the rage with the sleeveless jacket leading the way. Gaurav Kapoor at the IPL in UAE has made it a hallmark! Thanks to the Aam Aadmi party, the Nehru cap has come back centre stage and all it takes is for some creative designer to take the initiative to build a range of funky Nehru caps to complete the range this summer.

It’s heartening to see that Khadi is doing great down south. Recently, a Khadi fashion event called Namma Nadige Khadi Yedege was organized at the Mangalore Town Hall to showcase creative Khadi wear and the response tremendous. The trend is catching on with bright colors in contrast being the rage.

Not to be left behind, India Fashion Carnival, is being planned in the month of Sept in Kolkata, where the central theme is Khadi. The three day event is expected to host 13 shows.

The way forward is for more investment in research in developing finer blends of Khadi that will give fashion designers more options to play with texture and cuts.

So if Khadi sits well on you, go rush and pick up what works best for you and there is a whole range of designs and color waiting to be picked up!