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Creative with khadi

It's versatile as much as it is stylish. Adorned by the cognoscenti, it has of late become synonymous with ethnic chic.

Yes... the pre-freedom fabric is back with a bang and designers are all out to give creativity a commercial spin with khadi.

Gone are the days when khadi was as predictable as Chennai's second summer. Now designers are exploring fresh realms in terms of texture, colour and styling.

It's no longer those pared-down kurtas and saris in expected hues.

Khadi creations are now dripping with details. Experimentations with dyes have led to the traditional fabric taking on glorious colours.

Casual skirts, trousers touched with embroidery, trendy tops and formal salwars... khadi gets a designer makeover. But beneath the face of fashion lies the lives of so many unsung weavers who work in cramped tenements to eke out a living.

Says Vijay Vishwanathan of Preyasi, which is involved in giving a fillip to the fabric, "If only every Indian pledges to possess at least one khadi outfit in his/her wardrobe a year, then we could all be proud of reviving this great desi heritage.

The vanishing tribe of weavers needs our help today... "

Preyasi (Spencer Plaza, phone 8526103/98410 47610), the official designer for Khadi Village and Industries Commission, recently launched its "The Khadi Range Collection-2002".

The palette is divided into neutral, classic, royal and fresh to give clients a wider choice in terms of shades.

The collection includes casual shirts, waist coats, kurtas and sherwani for men and salwars, skirts, wrap-arounds, trousers, parallels, dupattas and tops for women. The dyes used are eco-friendly vat dyes.

As more and more design houses explore the power of parampara, fabrics like khadi are sure to remain as fresh as memories of the Mahatma.

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