Controversy over Fabindia calling its fabrics Khadi

Controversy over Fabindia calling its fabrics Khadi

The Textile Laboratory and Research Centre, Mumbai, has said that Fabindia has been using blends of flax with cotton, which doesn’t qualify as khadi. A report by the Ahmedabad-based Khadi Gramodyog Prayog Samiti, an independent research institute, earlier this month said, “Since right twist was used in weft of the sample, it is not at all a khadi fabric.” The laboratory, which comes under the textile ministry, also confirmed that an ‘Z’ twist had been used, rather than one that resembles an ‘S’. Earlier, the company was slapped with a legal notice by the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) for using the term without permission.

“Khadi is identified by the direction of twist in the yarn,” Sumantra Bakshi, an assistant professor at the textile and knitwear design department of the National Institute of Fashion Technology, Kolkata said. “Usually, it is called left twist and this makes a distinction between khadi and mill-spun yarn. Any other twists cannot be passed off as khadi.”

Fabindia, however, said it hadn’t seen any such reports. “We will not be able to comment as we have not seen any reports,” a spokesperson said. “We would, however, like to clarify that Fabindia sources the fabric from a number of grassroots suppliers, including certified institutions, across the country.”

Bakshi explained the flap over flax. “Khadi is made out of any indigenous material and though flax is a natural fibre, historically speaking, it is not an indigenous fibre,” he said. “The whole quantity of flax that is widely used in the country today is imported mostly from Europe and China.”

GS Ray, in charge of the Khadi Gramodyog Prayog Samiti said, “Khadi doesn’t allow the use of flax. Neither does it allow the Z twist, hence the sample sent for test clearly doesn’t qualify as khadi.”

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