Khadi (also known as khaddar) is one of the vital segments of the Indian textiles sector. Khadi is a hand-woven natural fibre cloth. The khadi cloth is made from hand-spun and hand-woven yarn from cotton, silk and wool fibre. Each weave of the khadi cloth is unique as it is handcrafted and self-textured by artisans. In India, khadi is promoted by the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC), an organisation under the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
Indian khadi production includes products such as fabric, garments, accessories and furnishing items such as curtains, bedsheets and napkins. For its uniqueness and translucent quality, there has been an increasing demand for Indian khadi products from global markets such as the US, the UAE, the UK and Germany. For a long time, Indian khadi products have been exported under the harmonised system (HS) codes of Indian handloom. However, in November 2019, khadi products received separate HS codes, giving a major boost to exports in global markets.
In the last five years (between FY17 and FY21), the Indian khadi sector has registered significant growth in terms of production and sales. As per the Ministry of MSME, in FY21, khadi production in India stood at Rs. 1,904.5 crore (US$ 255.8 million), up from Rs. 1,520.8 crore (US$ 204.3 million) in FY17 at a CAGR of 5.8%. Indian khadi sales grew at a CAGR of 13.2% between FY17 and FY21 to reach Rs. 3,527.7 crore (US$ 473.9 million) as against Rs. 2,146.6 crore (US$ 288.4 million) in FY17.
Indian khadi products play a significant role in generating employment opportunities for local artisans, especially those in the rural areas. Also, development of the sector contributes towards country-wide initiatives such as ‘Make in India’, ‘Vocal for Local’ and ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ (self-reliant India).