The Khadi Bow Tie

खादीis Khadi in Hindu. It is a term for hand-spun and hand-woven cloth from India, Bangladesh and Pakistan.  But much more importantly it's a movement, or a way of life.

The Khadi movement promoted an ideology that Indians could be self reliant and free from the high priced goods and clothes which the British were selling to them. The British would buy cotton from India at cheap prices and export them to Britain where they were woven to make clothes.

These clothes were then brought back to India to be sold at a hefty price. The Khadi movement aimed at boycotting foreign goods and promoting Indian ones.

The Khadi movement was started by one Mr. Mahatma Gandhi, which encouraged rural self-employment and self-reliance and eventually helped to grow the Indian economy.

To this day Khadi remains an important part of Indian life.  Many politicians wear only Khadi dhoti, a rectangular piece of un-stitched cloth, usually around 15 ft long, wrapped around the waist and the legs and knotted at the waist, resembling a long skirt.  The domestic manufacturing of the Flag of India must be made of Khadi.  Mace Windu wears a Khadi textile in Star Wars(!).

We recently purchased several pieces of Khadi to produce a small run of bow ties for the up-coming Spring/Summer season.

The particular pieces of Khadi that we are using to make these bow ties comes from the Western Indian state of Gujarat, in a Region called The Great Rann of Kutch.

These pieces are (bare with me), hand-spun, hand-woven, naturally dyed organic cotton.  Each piece of cotton, and therefore each bow tie is truly original. In the fantastic video below, you can see rural Indians hand weaving Khadi, although not our pieces. HERE is a longer, more in-depth video of the full carding and spinning process.

One by-product of handmade textiles are the slight imperfections that are found throughout.  Most obviously are the yarn slubs, the odd bumps that look almost like a knot in the yarn:

Another variant is the subtle color shifts.  We are so used to seeing perfect colors in the products we buy, that it can seem a bit odd when the dying is not totally uniform.  I think the color shifts actually give this fabric a wonderful warmth.

We are so honored to be working with such a beautiful and labor rich textile.  Due to the scarce nature of the source, we will be selling very, very limited runs of these bow ties.  For the time being, they will be available at our store HERE, but we do not see them lasting very long.

Depending on general feedback, we may attempt to source more Khadi in the future, so if you wanted a Khadi bow tie and they are sold out, let us know so we can make future plans.  Please enjoy these wonderful fabrics as much as we do.