Innovative product development from khadi
Khadi is the term conventionally used in North and Central India to refer the varieties of coarse cotton cloth hand woven using hand spun yarn. This was the cloth commonly worn by peasants and artisan groups in pre-industrial India. It was made from locally-grown cotton which were harvested by peasants and labourers, spun by local women and woven into cloth by men from various specialist weavers.
Comfort properties, fit analysis and wear study of khadi have been investigated and reported by AN Sai Krishnan and V Chandrasekaran.
Khadi is the term conventionally used in North and Central India to refer the varieties of coarse cotton cloth hand woven using hand spun yarn. This was the cloth commonly worn by peasants and artisan groups in pre-industrial India. It was made from locally-grown cotton which were harvested by peasants and labourers, spun by local women and woven into cloth by men from various specialist weavers. The precise technology involved in the production of khadi would vary from region to region, as would the techniques used for its decoration (dyeing, embroidery, printing, etc.). Although hand spun hand woven cotton cloth of this kind was common throughout India, khadi entered nationalist vocabulary and the cloth became a key visual symbol of India?s struggle from colonial rule. Characteristics of khadi are cool in summer and warm in winter due to soft feel and tactile property of the fabric. It is the only fabric where the texture is so unique that no two fabrics will be absolutely identical. Khadi is also an eco- friendly fabric as the process involves no environmental pollution. Since innovation plays a critical part in apparel and fashion industry to fulfill the niche market. The fit analysis and comfort-related test for khadi fabric and apparels is investigated and reported.
Materials and methodology
To verify the prevalence of innovation in khadi, a survey has been carried out by visiting leading apparel retail showrooms. The percentage of value addition given for khadi is found very less in the study. Considering the current trend in fashion totally, 10 apparel styles were developed and implemented in different traditional designs and motifs of Warli, Kasuti and Kantha embroidery. Application of this method was carried out by screen printing, block printing, hand embroidery, machine embroidery and painting. The details of apparel styles developed are mentioned in table 1. Important fabric tests like longitudinal wicking, diffusion, water absorption, air permeability and water vapour permeability were tested based on international standard testing procedure.
These apparel were constructed by using single needle, over lock and flat lock sewing machine. By considering current trend and fit, the modification of pattern shape is carried in critical zones like chest, length, arm hole shapes, etc. Garment fit is also analysed by putting the garment in standardised dress forms. The subjective evaluation is also carried out by taking the opinion from the wearer?s perspective. The rating scale is developed by choosing the ranking (Ranking: 1-Poor, 2-Average, 3-Good, 4-Very Good, 5-Excellent). The opinion is taken by considering aesthetic look of the garment, suitability for current fashion and fit. Khadi is also taken photo prints by displaying in the dress forms and mannequins.
Results and discussion
Fabric properties analysis: Khadi was tested for various fabric properties. The results were mentioned in table 2. The comfort property test results shows that wetability time takes longer due to the presence of starch content in the fabric, however the water absorption, longitudinal wickability and diffusion is better. The longitudinal wicking height is increased gradually form 3 to 5 min for all types of fabrics. The water vapour permeability results calculated for one day shows better for all the fabric and there is a good correlation in wicking height and water vapour permeability rate.
Khadi garment fit analysis: Khadi fit has been changed by reducing the measurement in critical measurement zones. Overall the measurements were reduced by 2 cm, the yoke width is reduced by 1 cm. From the wearer?s perspective, the ergonomic wear comfort is significantly improved by modifying the measurement.
Overall subjective evaluation rating: The overall subjective evaluation rating scale for all the 10 apparels shows very good to excellent rating scale from the customer?s perspective.
The research was successfully completed by developing innovative apparel and fashion products by using khadi. The conclusion of work is summarised below.
- In the initial market survey carried out in the leading apparel showroom, the value addition given to the khadi is very less in the findings.
- The fabric results of khadi shows that drape coefficient is normal and flexural rigidly is higher due to presence of starch content; it could be reduced by special surface finish.
- Although the water absorption influence by fabric comfort results. The comfort properties like longitudinal and water vapour permeability show good results due to presence of cotton material and the feel of fabric is gritty and it could be improved by surface finishes.
- Fit of the khadi apparel is phenomenally improved by slight modification in critical measurement zones like chest, back width and armhole.
- Overall, subjective rating scale for all the 10 garments developed shows very good to excellent rating scale from the wearer?s perspective.
- The opinion from retailers and customers perspective about khadi and fashion product developed got overwhelming positive feedback.
- The total cost of developing the design for 10 apparel is Rs 1,500. The development cost of the design is affordable. The machine embroidery cost is little higher due to investment cost of the machine. When produced in mass production, the rate could be reduced.
- There is a huge gap to be filled in value addition on khadi. Fulfilling the market space by developing innovative apparel and fashion product will bring benefit to all the stakeholders in khadi and allied industries.
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The authors are from the Department of Apparel Technology, PSG Polytechnic College, Coimbatore 641 004. They can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org