The hand spun khadi has had a big role in the Indian history. Right from the freedom struggle days, our nationalist leaders have considered khadi as not just a fabric but a symbol of self sustenance and independence. However with the advent of designer apparels and synthetic, wrinkle free garments, people swapped khadi with these options considering the ease and style factor tagged to it. This caused the virtual annihilation of the hand loom sector leaving the workers in dire streets. Now in an attempt to revamp the handloom sector, Kerala Government has come up with a novel concept of promoting khadi in schools and offices as a weekend wear.
Khadi is the best suited fabric in the humid weather conditions of Kerala as it keeps your skin well aerated and cool.. Made from unbleached cotton, it is sturdy and long lasting and requires no special care. It is easy on your pockets, and is suited for all skin types and does not cause allergies. Hand spun by gifted artisans this art is handed down the generations. Khadi is available in various exciting colours and trendy patterns in tune with the changing times. In addition to dress materials, bedsheets, stylish bags, purses , upholstery materials and furnishings are also available in the market.
Unfortunately, these days, the use of handloom cloths is confined to the festival season of Onam and Vishu where men and women flock the handloom shops to buy the traditional mundu and saree with zari borders. Let us make wearing khadi a habit and a part of our style statement. Experience the natural goodness of khadi and be a proud malayali in its fullest sense by reviving this traditional art of cloth making by adopting this simple yet stylish way of dressing atleast on the weekends.
The Kerala State government has decreed that Kerala men must wear Mundus on Saturdays. The mundu is the Kerala equivalent of the Indian dhoti or Lungi. It is generally white with a coloured border or in the most formal states threaded with a gold border.
Like many traditional indian dresses, young Keralites have forsaken the mundu for jeans or “slacks”. In the countryside most still wear the mundu.
The mundu can be worn in two styles: full the ground or in the heat, folded once to the waist so that it is raised to above the knee.
Like many traditional Indian clothing, it is seen as unfashionable even though all admit it is supremely comfortable and suitable to the sticky tropical Kerala climate.
The government are hoping to stimulate the cotton industry by forcing more men to wear and buy mundus. The real beneficiaries will probably be the tourism trade as foreigners revel in their experience of authentic india.
Whether the government should be telling people what to wear is one question, but what a pleasure to see more Keralite men gliding down the streets gently wafting their mundus.