Khadi saris are very popular because of the fact that the saris are handspun on the traditional charkha. Mechanised amber charkha spun yarn has superiority to the traditional charkha spun because the yarn can be spun even finer. However the traditional charkha Khadi saris have a suppleness that is ideal for both winter and summer wear.
Previously there were many different kinds of khadi saris with jamdani extra warp or inlayed patterning and weft patterning. However these days there are few weavers that are skilled enough to create these different types of saris. The main places of production for Khadi saris are in West Bengal, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.
Rta Kapur Chishti is involved with R & D of handspun/handloom textiles. She is also co-author & editor of Saris of India. She described why she thinks Khadi is great and that weaving techniques should be shared with everyone. “Khadi is a symbol of Indian textile heritage. It is handspun and handwoven and the fact that it is a cottage industry always makes my heart happy.” Rta Kapur Chishti stated that one of her favourite khadi projects was one where she used a mixture of tencel and Khadi. She stated that this was great because it softened and gave the fabric more drape.
She said,” I think Khadi should be opened up to everybody though there should be innovations. Khadi can’t be what it was 60 years ago. And these innovations on design quality and the way weaving is done, should be shared with weavers.” It is said that Ponduru Khadi is the finest variety of Khadi. This is because of the special cotton used and the way that it is finely combed using the jawbones of local valuga fish. Ponduru Khadi is particularly beautiful in its translucency.
The Designer Deepika Govind of Khadi Kool from Bangaloo said, “ I have worn Khadi for 40 years. Not exclusively, of course, but always with enormous pride and pleasure. Khadi, contrary to popular belief, is a high maintenance fabric. It is the ultimate luxury. But if one can afford it, why not?”