At Shivam Creations, our materials range from handwoven, natural, organic, bio-degradable to vintage and upcycled. We are grateful for having access to some of the best patterns and textures in the world.
Not Just a Fabric, Khadi symbolizes a sustainable way of life.
Khadi is hand spun fabric made by spinning the fiber on a ‘charkha’ or spinning wheel into yarn first, and then weaving it. This is mostly done by weavers in villages and small towns of India. Most khadi is cotton, or a blend of cotton-hemp, cotton silk, or wool. Khadi is strong and feels just like linen but is less expensive to produce. It is so versatile that it keeps you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. It gets stronger and feels better with each wash.
Mahatma Gandhi started the khadi movement in 1918 as a sustainable way to boost the local economy by planting, producing and wearing your own fabric. But it slowly lost its luster when cheaper, mass-produced fabrics like polyester and rayon became popular in the ‘80s. However, with more ecological awareness and an increased push for natural fabrics, khadi is seeing a revival.
The idea of using khadi came about when Shivangi stumbled upon a khadi stall at an handicraft exhibition when visiting her hometown of Mumbai. Always on the look out for natural and sustainably-made fabrics, she loved the look and feel of khadi and set about designing a variety of products.
Tea towels and table napkins seemed like the best use, and the Shivangi decided to screen print some Indian folk art ‘Warli’ motifs to increase the chic look. Some of the weave felt a bit tough for using on the hands, so we made some clutches and wallets. There was some supple high-quality leather left over with the sewing team from another project, and we decided to make khadi totes to use the leather as a base.
We source khadi only from the Central Government’s sustainable livelihood program, ensuring that the artisans behind this get their fair wages.
Here is a look inside a Khadi factory in Gujarat, India
The Sari: A symbol of elegance and art
The sari, also known as saree, is the essential women's outfit in India. For centuries, Indian women have draped this 6 meter long gorgeous fabric around them for every possible occasion. Of course, as times have changed, the sari is being passed over for more comfortable and casual wear like tunics, tops, pants and skirts. But nothing can beat the elegance and style of the sari, and it is still the most popular wardrobe for special occasions, festivities, weddings and parties. Here is a beautiful snapshot about the sari and how it is draped, from The Sari, by Linda Lynton.
Most of the saris for our yoga bags come from family members who do not have any use for their saris. Most times, these saris have been worn at weddings and other festivals. If there is a small rip or tear in the portion that shows up front, then the entire sari is deemed useless! Sometimes just the bottom portion could get some stains from walking in the Indian monsoons, and that is the end of that piece. We try to identify the portions that are still viable since most of the trims are concentrated on the top and bottom ends. We then find the coordinating base material such as heavy weight cotton or canvas cotton, cotton silk, and jute. The designing phase takes long because we try to maximize every inch of the trim. Here are some photos of saris we used, and the final resulting product.