Uncategorised, woven fabrics

Are khadi and linen the same thing?

Feature image for khadi and linen

Are khadi and linen the same thing?

In order to answer this question, I would like to take you back in time, when India was under the British rule. The year was somewhere around the 1920’s. The Indian market was filled with imported products which was the result of colonialization. This highly effected the local products and its sales.

Women using the charkha

Mahatma Gandhi, with the Swadeshi movement reintroduced the spinning wheels in India, it was named the ‘charkha’. It was a hand spun machine used for making the khadi fabric.

Khadi fabric is an Indian origin hand woven and hand spun fabric. The word ‘khadi’ originated from ‘khaddar’ which means cotton.

Khadi is mostly made up of cotton. But it can also be made with any type of fiber like the wool or silk. It is basically the manner in which the fabric is made that makes khadi fabric unique and traditional to India.

Khadi fashion show image

What are the types of khadi?

Silk khadi: Khadi made out of silk

Wool khadi: Khadi made out of wool.

Khadi fabrics are resistant to easy wear and tear.



Mostly used for making jackets, shorts, kurtas, dupattas, sareers, tops, trousers and capris.

It is also used for manufacturing upholstery, cushions, bags, mats, bed sheets and curtains.

When compared with other fabrics, khadi is relatively not expensive.

Fun note: Khadi is also referred to as the white cotton shirts worn by the politicians.


What is linen?

Linen is an organic fiber made from the flax plants. Its use have been dated back to 5000 BCE. The flax plants are found around the world. It is not unique to any country like the khadi.

Ancient linen and flax culture

How Linen is made?

Flax plants have short life cycle. Within hundred days, it can be harvested. It grows upto 4 feet in length.

flax plants

Once the flax plants are harvested, it is kept on the field under the sulight and rain for couple of weeks in order to bind the fibers in the stem. This treatment give a unique color to the fiber.

Dry flax fibers are then processed and made into yarn for making fabrics.

Qualities of linen

Strength: Linen fibers are the strongest natural fibers used commonly in the world which is why it can be seen in upholstery materials.

Does not stretch: Flax fibers do not tend to wrinkle or stretch due to its unique qualities.

Thermal: Linen is considered to be the friendliest fibers for summer. You can read more (here). Its capability for absorbing water and quick drying makes it ideal for a cool garment.


Unlike Khadi, Linen is made around the world which makes khadi unique and truly ethnic to Indian culture.










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