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The season of Khaddar is on. Almost every women clothing brands in Pakistan has launched their khaddar collection. These collections are particularly launched every year for the winter season. However, very few people are familiar with khaddar and its history.
Khaddar or sometimes Khadi is a term for a hand-spun and hand-woven cloth from subcontinent region mainly made out of cotton fiber.
However, khaddar is also manufactured from silk and wool, known as khadi silk or woollen khadi respectively. In khadi silk, the ratio of khadi and silk fabric is 50:50. This fabric requires dry cleaning and it is shrunk 3% after first wash. Khadi silk provides a royal and rich look.
The cloth is usually woven on a spinning wheel called charkha. The Charkha and khadi has a long history. It is a small device that is used to spin fiber such as cotton, into yarn, and then weaving the yarn into fabric using looms.
That’s interesting that khaddar has links back to the Indus civilization around 2800 B.C. They had a well-developed tradition of textiles. The most prominent figurine is of the Mohenjodaro Priest King sculpture wearing a cloak over the shoulder with the patterns still in modern use.
Khaddar was even used as a political movement in India before the partition. Gandhi made the Swadeshi Movement synonymous with khadi. This movement was a symbol of political agenda during the fight for independence against the British rule. It was primarily used as a mean to provide employment to unemployed rural population.
These days, female designers in Pakistan are launching their khadi winter collections because this fabric is particular known for its rugged texture, comfort, and the ability to keep warm in the winter season.