I travelled to the town of Wardha, in the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra in March 2022, to visit Magan Khadi for the first time.
After receiving a small and simple swatch of their handwoven organic cotton, I was intrigued, and wanted to visit the place where it had been made. Wardha is an important region in India for cotton farming, and the Gandhi Ashram in the nearby village of Sevagram makes it historically significant.
Magan Khadi is a full circle seed to weave initiative. The word Khadi is specifically cloth, made in India, that has been both handspun and handwoven – and it is the cloth which is associated with Mahatma Gandhi.
Magan collaborates with local small scale organic cotton farmers who farm without the use of pesticides or synthetic fertilizers. The processing unit and cotton fields are just 60 kms from the artisan centres where the spinning, weaving, dyeing and printing occurs.
They've also set up a solar power system to run their ambar charkhas, the small spinning machines that are used to spin the cotton yarn. This frees up the women who spin the yarn to act as overseers instead of manual labourers. Traditionally, ambar charkhas are powered by a hand crank system.
Magan also provides space for small scale local farmers to process their produce such as legumes, grains and turmeric, which Magan incorporates into the menu in their amazing on-site vegetarian restaurant.
Excerpt from the Magan Khadi website:
Magan Khadi is not merely about designing exquisite fabrics and prints in khadi. We can play a very significant role in improving the well-being of so many rural communities across India. Organic Khadi has implications on the health and prosperity of our farmers, weavers and all those involved in production. Organic means no chemicals through the process stages – from farm to fabric. Very few people understand the implication of this and the reality of what Magan Khadi is doing. After decades in this field and with all our pioneering work, we are still at the beginning, and we keep learning.”
Dr. Vibha Gupta, Chairperson, Magan Sangrahalaya
Shop our curated collection of handwoven and naturally dyed shawls from Magan Khadi.