Our cotton robes are crafted from Khadi, the Indian name given for cloth that is handspun and handwoven. Khadi is incomparably soft and unrivalled for its beauty and delicate texture.
Immense skill and patience are required to produce Khadi which is achieved without the use of any electrically powered machinery.
￼Hand spinning creates yarn that is less stressed and damaged than machine processed cotton and is much softer to touch.
Unlike machine made cotton, Khadi is full of life and small variations in the weave serve as lovely reminders that the cloth is handmade.
Robe de Voyage commissions its Khadi from a small cluster of spinners and weavers in West Bengal which remains the heart of
Khadi production in India.
Khadi became known as the "Fabric of Freedom" after Gandhi promoted it as a way for India to sever its dependence on British cotton and become self-reliant. It is now an iconic part of village life.
The process begins when raw cotton fibre is handspun into yarn on spinning wheels called charkhas, as symbolized in the Indian flag.
Each spinner produces around ten hanks of yarn a day which will weave about a meter of cotton.
These are then gently washed and dried in the sun before weaving.
The warp is prepared by hand for each loom and adjusted according to the required weight of the fabric. It can be a very complicated procedure!
We use three different weights of Khadi for our kurtas, pyjamas and robes.
The cotton is woven on traditional pit looms which are placed on the ground to absorb the friction of the process. Hand weaving creates a loose and breathable weave, which is warm in winter and cool in summer.
The craft provides much needed rural employment- especially for women.
We liaise closely with the Government of India Ministry of Textiles to choose which clusters to work with and for support on communication and quality control.
Working in India to produce Robe de Voyage is a hugely rewarding journey which we hope, weaves a little of her magic into the robes.