20. Khadi

Did Gandhiji have a spinning wheel in the past? Did anyone know how to spin yarn? Did anyone know what was Khadi?

People came to know about all these things later. Before that Gandhiji used to wear clothes made from cloth woven in the Indian textile mill.

Later, many people learned to weave cloth on the handloom and Gandhiji started using that coarse cloth. Although the cloth was woven on a handloom yet the yarn was made in the mill. Therefore, from where to get the hand spun yarn, was the question !

In due course of time he met Gangaben Mujumdar. Gandhiji got a spinning wheel after consultation with her. Many people then learnt to spin the yarn on it and then they started weaving cloth from that yarn.

How could Gandhiji use clothes made by the textile mills, after this? He started wearing only Khadi clothes then onwards.

He used to be fully clad with those clothes, at first. That is he wore a full-length dhoti, shirt, a long coat upon it, a khadi turban on the head and a stole on his shoulder.

Actually he didn't like moving around wearing so many clothes but he did it for the sake of culture. But an incident made him think why should he wear so many clothes just in the name of false notions about culture?

The same incident caused the making of Gandhi Topi (an Indian type of cap)