FASHION OF KHADDI KHAS
Khaadi has launched its narrative clothing range and introduced another appealing brand Khaadi Khaas. The brand has been developed for clothing and enriched with modern dress designing. The collection will be a trend setter collection in this winter season 2014-15. Creative designs and intelligent use of colors have made the Khaadi Khaas really Khaas (Special) for the season. Khaadi Khaas Winter Collection 2014-15 has been launched with few dresses but unbelievable ones. Dresses are reflecting the creativity of clothing fashion in addition with innovation.
Local production of khaddar is long forgotten, but passion and tradition brave condition to survive. Khaddi or khaddar, a cloth made out of hemp (high growing varieties of the cannabis plants and its products, which include fiber, oil, and seed) is a combination of raw materials such as cotton, wool and silk, woven on a loom. The fabric owes its popularity to its versatility warm in the winter and cool during the summer.
To make khaddar, approximately 500 strings are passed through four combs, in a process that takes nearly eight hours of work a day, for three days straight. The khaddi sheet (shawl, bed sheet and quilt) which is a result of the 24-hour labor process is often sold to local merchants for approximately RS. 1500.
In a typical khaddi, there are four combs and four paddles to work with which are dug into a ditch. It’s almost like an orchestra, with each component strumming, coordinating, and working with the other. While running one comb with a hand, the worker sitting at the khaddi station moves one paddle with his foot simultaneously, allowing for the vertical threads and horizontal threads to weave together. The process looks simple enough, but it can be tricky as the threads can get easily tangled.
It takes 500 strings in 13 or 14 knots to make a perfectly smooth shawl. The length of the woven fabric is nearly six meters, which is then cut into two pieces for sewing together. Women, who live near their handloom, come and collect the sheets when done and add “tilla” on both sides. Craftsmen long for recognition and startup capital but without local and international exhibitions, their growth in the fashion industry is stunted. Lack of support and low profit margins aside, there are other factors contributing to the death of handlooms.
There are two types of loom; hand and power. Back in the day, hand looms were converted in to the power looms but since the process has become merchandised, power looms has become more common. Though it is now mass products in factories, older generation in Sheen Bagh are still working hard to keep the handmade version of fabric alive, despite meager earnings and high costs. While the new generation is looking at more viable career options, this is the elders’ way of preserving their cherished craft.