What is khadi

The mission of khadi is not merely to supply the townspeople with fashionable khadi that will vie with the mill manufacturers and thus like other industries supply a few artisans with employment, but it is to become a supplementary industry to agriculture.
— Mahatma Gandhi
 it all began with Gandhi

it all began with Gandhi


marcos.jpg

It all began in 1974, when Marcos (Mark Brown), a 14 year old arrived in San Sebastian looking for magic. Donaciano López brought him here, the great-grandfather of Eliseo Ramírez (one of the people currently in charge of Khadi Oaxaca). Marcos stayed in the village for several years before deciding to travel to India. 


In India he spent many years and got to learn about khadi, the movement started by Mahatma Gandhi. He lived in Gandhi's ashram for two years (1986-88). 

THE WORD khadi REFERS TO A FABRIC, USUALLY COTTON, HAND SPUN AND WOVEN BY HAND.

Gandhi's ideology grew beyond the fabric itself: he proposed self employment and self sufficiency for rural communities in India, cutting their dependency on Britain's textile industry.

 
It is not enough to say that hand-spinning is one of the industries to be revived. It is necessary to insist that it is the central industry that must engage our attention if we are to re-establish the village home.
— Mahatma Gandhi
 

   The KHADI movement

In the ashram Marcos learned to spin and weave and so he started wearing only the clothes from his own thread and fabric. He began living the khadi movement


Back in Oaxaca, in the 90's, Marcos brought a spinning wheel designed by Gandhi to San Sebastian and started teaching his family from the village (the Ramírez family) how to spin cotton with this wooden wheel. That wasn't difficult for the villagers, they are very good artisans and there's an old tradition in San Sebastian of spinning and weaving sheep's wool.

In 2010 he established Khadi Oaxacaa coyuchi cotton thread workshop, with more than 30 women from the village. Having the thread, other women began to weave.