Clothes or Clothing are the standard terms used to denote materials worn on the body, particularly by the human race to protect themselves from weather, rough surfaces, insect bites, and other environmental conditions. Tracing to history, Clothing has always been a feature of nearly all human societies. The differences persisted only on the amount and type of Clothing adopted by each community. It was invented on the basis of body type, social, and geographic reasons. The clothes we prefer underlines a range of social and cultural roles, such as individual, occupational and gender distinction. Likewise, it also reflects on age, religion, modesty, and social status. They draw not only on individuals but are often seen as markers of particular groups, communities, towns, and even countries.
History of Clothing in India
History of Clothing in India traces back to the 5th millennium BC in the Indus Valley civilization. Bone needles and wooden spindles have been unearthed in excavations at the site, along with indications on cotton being spun, woven, and dyed, leaving behind specific applicable techniques even today. Clothing in India varies based on ethnicity, tradition, geography, and climate of the people from each region of India. Historically, male and female clothing has evolved from simple Loincloths (dhotis, langots) to elaborate costumes.
Many weaving techniques were employed in ancient India, many of which survive to the present day. Famous among these weaving styles were the Jamdani, Kasika Vastra of Varanasi, butidar, and the Ilkal saree. These were traded to foreign lands, and hence Indian Fabrics are in great demand to date. Trade with the Arabs, who were middlemen in the spice trade between India and Europe, supplied Indian textiles to Europe, where royal families favored it in the 17th–18th century. Later with India's British rule and the following oppression after the Bengal Partition, it sparked a strong nationwide Swadeshi movement. One of the movement's fundamental aims was to attain self-sufficiency and promote Indian goods while boycotting British goods. It is at this time, the Indian origin natural fiber named Khadi gained importance.
Under Swadeshi Movement, with nationalist leaders' efforts and large support of natives, the campaign brought Khadi production to the limelight. Khadi, also called Khaddar, is an eco-friendly fabric as it exhibits fast decomposition property, unlike other imported materials. It has no health hazards, as it allows the skin to breathe and doesn’t obstruct sunlight from entering while being soft on the skin. In 1918, Mahatma Gandhi started his movement for Khadi to repose for the poor masses to be independent and self-reliant in this sector. He aimed to elevate spinning and weaving to an ideology that establishes self-government. He requested every village to plant and harvest its raw materials for yarn that meets their needs. He closely observed that farmers are left idle for about three to four months due to the dry season or low rainfall, so spinning is the best occupation. Gandhi saw this as the end of dependency on imported items and the best possible way to develop the masses' skills. Through this, he wished to lop the gap between the rich and the poor by developing a mechanism that acknowledges hand-labor importance.
After Independence, the Indian government established the All India Khadi and Village Industries Board, which in 1957 came to be known as the Khadi Village and Industries Commission (KVIC). There are many places in India, which are making khadi fabric. Well known among them is the Ponduru Khadi from the Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh.