History - Love for Khadi


From the Words of Mahatma Gandhi: When I contemplate the strength of the thread spun by many hands, my heart is filled with an ecstasy of joy.

This is an innovative project that is giving a source of income for Indian populations. A true act of love in the footsteps of Mahatma Gandhi. The idea comes to Vito Degrandi, who for thirty years has traveled to India fascinated by Indian culture based on peace  and nonviolence.

The project is aimed at helping the Indian populations financially. The rural populations of India base their survival on the weaving of silk and khadi cotton spun with charka, the spinning wheel and hand-woven fabric. The charka is an ancient tool that has always been present in the homes of India. Pivot of the pacifist revolution of Mahatma Gandhi, the spinning machine, also placed at the center of the Indian flag, has become a symbol of the values of peace dignity, simplicity and purity. In India there is even the ministry of khadi. The ministry of khadi ensures that the the work of these people, who live in the villages of India, is paid with dignity, thus avoiding fleeing to the big cities and reducing themselves to living in plastic tents along the sidewalks.

Vito Degrandi had the intuition to create a line of clothes for yoga and leisure made in khadi. Trousers and shirts in very light and soft cotton for the free time that allows a high degree of transpiration and in silk that is suitable for yoga. The silk is called Ahimsa, which means “non-violence” from sanskrit language. Silk is the fabric that in ancient times the Yogis, those who practice yoga, advised for meditation because it has the characteristic of isolating the practitioner from negative energies. These garments are the result of a long research, both in the organic cultivation of silk and cotton, and in its vegetable dye, obtained only from Ayurvedic plants, which retain the property and then transfer to the wearer’s skin. No insect like cochineal, is used to get the colors.

Fixatives are also natural, with the total exclusion of heavy metals. Purity and naturalness characterize this work and make it an act of love and peace, a work totally harmless for animals, good for the skin and positive for the ground because any residual of the dye becomes fertilizer. Furthermore, Ahimsa silk (silk of non-violence) is a silk that carries with it everywhere the message of non-violence that Mahatma Gandhi used in his work of resistance to the British. This fabric respects the entire life cycle of the butterflies, from the caterpillar to the flight out of the cocoon. The silk is obtained without killing the chrysalises, which instead happens in the normal production process. In the case of Ahimsa silk, the cocoons have a hole at one end that allows the butterfly to grow freely and then fly away.

In this way, the wire does not rotate around its own axis and does not wrap well, resulting in a more porous and less compact than the classic one, which requires manual spinning. This gives it better perspiration properties. In addition, for supporting the entire life cycle of the butterfly, the use of wild berries helps to keep intact, because not cultivated, vast forest areas. Like the cottons, even the silk is dyed with natural colors extracted from Ayurvedic herbs with well-known healing properties. The fabrics come from Bihar, Gujarat, Rajasthant and Jarkhand, whose name means “forest lands “. In Jarkhand, 60% of the population is tribal, lives in villages and obtains its livelihood in large part from the collection of wild chysalises and silk spinning.

 Finally paraphrasing the words of Mahatma Gandhi: “… the spinning wheel is a precious machine that allows the rural populations of India to drive away poverty and abolish the famine of work and create wellbeing …”

In my Emporio you can find a wide selection of KHADI fabrics. Khadi is a timeless love for simple hand-woven textiles from the rural populations of India produced according to the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi. Khadi fabric is natural and is totally ecological. To sum up the words of M. Gandhi ji, khadi is a fabric rich of ethical and human values that creates a spiritual link between the human beings who produce it and those who wear it. Khadi is a bridge between East and West