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Application of downsized technology in khadi sector



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  • 1. APPLICATION OF DOWNSIZED TECHNOLOGY IN KHADI SECTOR – A CASE STUDY R.B.CHAVAN Professor Department of Textile Technology Indian Institute of Technology Hauz-Khas, new Delhi 110016 ABSTRACTKhadi is the cotton, wool or silk fabric produced in India by hand spinning and handweaving. In fact Mahatma Gandhi started his freedom movement with khadi as a symbolof self reliance and swaraj. Thus Mahatma Gandhi is not only the father of nation but alsothe father of khadi. After independence an independent statutory body called Khadi andVillage Industries Commission popularly known as KVIC was constituted in April 1957under the act of Parliament. KVIC was charged with the responsibility to plan, organizeand implement the programme of promoting and developing khadi and village industries.Presently cotton khadi industry having the widest coverage under KVIC, touches morethan 1 lakh villages of India, and thus generating large-scale employment opportunities tothe needy people belonging to unskilled and skilled category. The object of present paper is to review the state of technology adopted in khadiproduction from raw material to finished product and provide technological inputs forimprovement of quality and marketability of khadi. A case study is elaborated to illustratehow a modern technical intervention has improved the quality of khadi garments by theintroduction of modern soft and stiff finishing technologies eventually leading toestablish a model production unit in one of the khadi production institutions for themanufacture of finished garments of khadi with value addition. The philosophy adoptedwas not to invent new technologies through research but to identify the well-establishedtechnologies, which are regularly practiced in textile mill sector and downsize thesetechnologies to make them suitable for adaptation in khadi sector. A success story isdiscussed related to the initiation of the programme, technology dissemination throughtechnology demonstration workshops on all India basis at selected khadi productioninstitutions and finally technology transfer by setting a model production unit in one ofthe khadi institutions.Introduction Cotton, wool or silk fabric which is made by hand spinning of yarn and weavingof fabric on handloom is known as Khadi. The hand spinning and hand weaving is theage old technology practiced in India for producing exclusive fabrics. The term khadi wasgiven to such fabrics by mahatma Gandhi during the freedom movement. In 18th century the inventions of steam engine, spinning machine and power loombrought revolution in cotton textile industry. These developments coupled with Britishpower in India changed the entire scenario of cotton hand spinning and hand weaving inIndia. In 1771, the first cotton textile mill was established in England, followed by
  • 2. dozens of similar establishments for which cotton was imported from India. The story oftransformation of India from the biggest producer and exporter of hand spun and handwoven cotton textiles to only supplier of cotton, as raw material to the English cottonmills, was unfortunate and sad. The emergence of British as the rulers of India seems tohave played more crucial role than technological innovations in textile production. Toprotect the English textile industry British mercilessly suppressed production of handspun and hand woven textiles in India. As a result millions of hand spinners and weaversthroughout India were rendered unemployed, deprived of the only means to earn theirlivelihood and left to die of starvation.Charkha, The best Gift of Gandhi Gandhiji first came to know charkha in 1908 in London during discussions withfellow Indians regarding the economic conditions in India. He felt that without charkhathere was no Swaraj, and that everyone should spin. He had a clear vision of hisprogramme of reviving the ancient industry of hand spinning and making charkha thefocal point of economic regeneration of poverty stricken villages as well as politicalawakening amongst the Indian masses. When Mahatma Gandhi finally came to India in1915, Swadeshi movement through boycott of foreign goods, especially cloth, was goingon. Gandhis khadi programme gave a positive meaning to Swadeshi. He opined thatkhadi alone could make such boycott a practical proposition. In 1919, Gandhi formallylaunched the khadi programme in the country. The Indian National Congress in itsNagpur session held in 1920 decided to encourage khadi. The first khadi productioncentre was established in Kathiawad, Gujarat. In 1921 khadi found a formal place in theCongress programme and charkha its proud place on the national flag. In 1925, Congressformed an independent autonomous body called All India Spinners Association (AISA)or Charkha Sangh for implementing khadi programme vigorously throughout the country.Present Status The question has often been asked will khadi survive in the present fast movingworld?. The original meaning of khadi as the hand spun hand woven cloth is graduallydisappearing with the use of electrical power in some of its production operations andthere are serious threats for the survival of khadi. However, the spirit of khadi will andshould survive if sustained and planned efforts are made, particularly by providingscientific technical inputs through indigenous R&D and dynamic marketing strategies. Itis envisaged that new technological inputs will help to produce good quality khadi clothnot only for rural masses but also for the elite urban class. New technical inputs wouldalso generate employment opportunities for a large number of unemployed andunderemployed people in the villages. Such a decentralized textile industry, run onmodern scientific lines, with hundreds of its production centres scattered all over thecountry, along with other rural industries is bound to reduce poverty and unemploymentof rural masses and thus strengthen rural economy which, in turn, would strengthennational economy as a whole. Hand spun, hand woven fabric made of cotton, wool and silk is known as Khadi.There is a variety categorized separately as Muslin, which is essentially a cotton khadiwoven by using very fine yarn of high count. There is also khadi cloth made of polyester/cotton blend and marketed under the name polyvastra. The general mode of production
  • 3. essentially consists of production of sliver by mechanical means. Presently there are fivecentralized central sliver making plants located at Etah (U.P.), Rai Barelly (U.P.), Sehore(M.P.), Chitra Durg (Karnataka), and Trichur (Kerala). The sliver is distributed todifferent production centers where spinning is done using hand operated charkhas.Individual spinners carry out the spinning at their own residence and at productioncenters as well. The yarn is then supplied to handloom weavers. The weavers bring backthe cloth to production centres from where it is transported to different outlets for sale. In general, the cloth is produced in anticipation of sale. This means that onlysmall quantity of cloth is produced against order. Also, market trends for designs andcolour combinations are marginally taken into account while manufacturing the cloth.Apart from quality of fabric, lack of new design inputs is also one of the reasons forkhadi cloths inability to capture high market share.Facts Some statistics related to Khadi (1999-2000) Total yarn production (lakh Kg.) 265,36 Total khadi cloth production 84.32 (million square meter) Value of khadi (Rs.Crore) 551.94 Total employment (lakh persons) 12.35Closing stock of khadi cloth The closing stock of khadi cloth for five years is given below Closing stock of Khadi Year Closing stock Rs. Crore 1995.96 522.23 1996-97 626.40 1997-98 624.10 1998-99 635.89 2000-01 551.94 Thus, it would be noticed that with each passing year the closing stock isincreasing. The technical inputs through indigenous R&D would improve the quality ofproduct, which shall certainly go a long way in improving per capita production, betterearning, and also reduce closing stocks.Major issues
  • 4. the major issues before the khadi sector are: • Quality improvement at the pre-spinning, spinning, weaving and finished product stage • Machine design development and easy availability of spare parts at the production centres • New design inputs in woven and printed fabrics based on color forecasts • Introduction of new technical inputs for value addition • Improvement in dyeing techniques for better fastness properties • Production planning according to market trends • Aggressive marketing strategy • Involvement of technically qualified personnel in khadi sector • HRD programme on continuous basis • Revamping of MDTC and khadi vidhyalayas • Healthy working conditions at the production centres.Involvement of IIT Delhi in KVIC activities KVIC Mumbai sponsored a project “Revamping of Jamnalal Bajaj CentralResearch Institute (JBCRI)” at Wardha. The project is of three years duration startingfrom April 2001. Through this project it is envisaged to establish an institute for ruralindustrialization to be named as Mahatma Gandhi Institute for Rural Industrialization.The broad objective of this project is that through science, technology and managerialinputs upgrade and accelerate the process of rural industrialization of our country so thatwe can move towards Gandhian vision of sustainable village economy and the productsof khadi and village industry (KVI) sector can coexist with those of main streamindustrial sector and become equally popular in the country. In order to do justice to the KVIC sponsored project the core group membersconsisting of prof. Rajendra Prasad (Principal investigator, Centre of RuralDevelopment), Prof. P.L.Dhar, Prof. R.R.Gaur (Mechanical Engineering), and Prof.R.B.Chavan (Textile Department) divided research and Development inputs required byKVI sector into six generic areas: 1. Khadi and Textile industry 2. Chemical products 3. Bio-processing based industry 4. Rural infrastructure and energy 5. Rural crafts and engineering 6. Management and systems. Each of these sections would respond to all the needs of production, quality assurance, product diversification, marketing etc. of the products that come under its purview. They would also be responsible for preparing and continually updating the data base of available technologies and scientific and technical experts available in the country in their area of work. Activities of Khadi and Textile group.
  • 5. In the present paper the activities of Khadi and Textile group from Depaartmentof Textile Technology, IIT Delhi are highlighted.The khadi and Textile group consisted ofProf. R.B.ChavanProf. R.ChattopadhyayShri R.P.Tewari, Handloom weaving expert from International Polytechnic for Women,New Delhi.Technical staffInitial survey of khadi institutions Though the three faculty members of the khadi group had an experience of textileproduction in small scale industry, but had no exposure to khadi production. It wastherefore essential to visit some of the khadi production units to get an idea of khadiproduction and also to understand the major problems faced by the khadi sector. 10 suchkhadi production units in the vicinity of Delhi were visited. Following major problemswere identified 1. Considerable scope for improvement in quality of khadi fabric 2. Production not according to market demands 3. No design and product development inputs 4. Huge stock of unsold khadi stock worth few crores rupees on all India basis. 5. Poor technical man power 6. Poor technical infra structure. 7. Total lack of research and development conceptIdentifcation of R & D projects for khadi development The visits to the khadi institutions helped to fomulate the R & D projects. Theforemost consideration in formulating such projects were 1. To improve the quality of khadi 2. To improve the marketability of khadi 3. Provide technical inputs to improve quality, productivity and to reduce drudgery in khadi production 4. To improve technical skills through exhaustive training programmes 5. Planning for long-term technical inputs for visible impact in khadi sector.Philosophy R & D Projects It was thought that the identified projects should have immediate visible impactin terms of improvement in quality of khadi fabrics and garments and should improve thesale of khadi. From this point of view it was thought to identify the well establishedtechnologies practiced in textile mill sector where the production is done on large scale(mass production), downsize these technologies to make them suitable for khadi sectorwhich operates on the basis of production by masses. The methodology for identified R& D projects therefore, consisted of three phasesPhase Istandardization and down-sizing the well established technology practiced in the textilemill sector.
  • 6. Phase IITechnology demonstration of downsized technology to the invitees from khadi sectoridentified by KVICTechnology demonstration on all India basis in selected khadi production units.Phase IIISetting up model production unit in one of khadi production institutionsHaving convinced with this philosophy, following projects were identified. 1. Finishing of khadi garments and fabrics 2. Dyeing with natural dyes 3. Mercerization of khadi yarn 4. Preparation of quality assurance manual 5. To reduce drudgery during hand spinning on Charkha 6. Introduction of wool/acrylic fibre blends 7. Technical skill upgradation through HRD programmesInitial problem in initiation of R & D Projects It was thought that the easiest way to initiate the R & D projects is throughM.Tech students. However, no M.Tech student was willing to work on the projectrelevant to khadi. Their apprehension was that working on the khadi related projectmeans working on low technology area and blocking the career opportunities. Thestudents also felt that they may not even get a job in well-organized textile sector aftercompletion of their M.Tech. The student’s apprehension was true to a greater extent.Both the faculty members of khadi group had to make great deal of efforts to convincethe students to work for their M.Tech projects relevant to khadi. Initially two studentsfrom Fibre science and Technology stream were persuaded to work on finishing of khadigarments and mercerization of khadi yarn as their M.Tech projects. It is heartening to mention that these two students who very reluctantly agreed towork on khadi projects, one of the students got the job in one of the reputed textile mills,Arvind Mills, Ahmedabad and the second student was selected by the internationaldyestuff manufacturing company, Clariant, Switzerland.Finishing of khadi garments and fabrics During the visits to khadi institutions it was observed that the major concern ofkhadi sector was the problem of huge stock of unsold khadi. It was thought that in orderto make the visible impact, it would be essential to deal with this problem of khadi sector.The khadi stock piling was mainly due to poor appearance and handle of khadi fabricsand garments. One of the techniques to improve the fabric appearance and handle is tosubject the khadi fabrics and garments to modern finishing treatments. Followingfinishing technologies practiced in the mill sector were identified 1. Soft finishing 2. Stiff finishing 3. Stone less stone wash finish 4. Enzyme finishing or biopolishing
  • 7. 5. Wrinkle free finishing of polyvatraIdentification of downsized machines The main purpose was to downsize the technology to make it suitable for khadisector. The choice of sophisticated machines used in the mill sector was therefore out ofquestion. Keeping this in view the machines identified for this project were commonlyavailable domestic washing machine with temperature control, hydro extractor andtumble dryer. The cost of these machines was Rs. 35,000/-, which can be easily affordedby the khadi sector.Phase IStandardization of Technology at IIT DelhiContribution by the M.Tech student As a part of M.Tech thesis, Mr. Laxmikant worked on this project andstandardized the above finishing techniques on the down-sized scale. He also contributedin writing a book on Finishing of Khadi garments. This book gives a step-by-step methodfor the finishing of khadi garments, which can easily be followed by the layman. Thebook also gives the theoretical background of each finishing technology for the benefitof technical staff interested to know the technical details of each technology. The bookalso contained the names and addresses of chemical suppliers to facilitate the adoption oftechnology by the khadi sector. Mr. Laxmikant standardized five finishing techniques for khadi garments usingdomestic washing machine and tumble dryer. The finishing techniques standardized wereSoft finishStiff finishEnzyme finishing or bio polishingStone less stone wash finishWrinkle free finish for polyvastra (polyester/cotton blend khadi)Eco-friendly Chemicals Since khadi is considered to be eco friendly, in order to maintain its ecofriendliness, the chemicals chosen for the various finishing treatments were eco-friendlySoft finish This is achieved by using amino silicone softeners. Many khadi fabrics are rough/harsh to handle, whereas, the market demand is for soft and smooth fabric. The soft finishmakes the khadi fabric soft and smooth to handle, so that its marketability is improved.The finish is durable to several washes.Stiff finish This is achieved by using polyvinyl acetate emulsion commercially available fromvarious textile auxiliary manufacturers. Khadi garments especially kurta and pyjama aresubjected to starch treatment to impart stiffness and smooth appearance. However, thestiffness produced by starch is not durable. Therefore after every wash starching processis essential. This adds to the maintenance cost of khadi garments. The polyvinyl acetate
  • 8. treatment imparts more durable stiffness which last upto 10-15 washes. This means thereis no need of giving stiff finish after every wash. The garment acquires stiff and smoothappearance after ironing (pressing) of washed garments. Thus the maintenance cost of thegarments is reduced considerable.Enzyme finish This finish is given by using cellulase enzyme, which causes the surfacedissolution of cotton when applied under controlled condition. This treatment makes thegarment soft with luster. It is the most popular treatment in the textile sector.Stoneless stone wash finish This treatment imparts abraded look to the dyed garments, which is in vogue forfashion garments. This is most popular treatment for the garments meant for youngergeneration of both the sexes. The purpose of introducing this technique in the khadisector was to make khadi garments popular amongst the younger generation so that thesale of khadi is enhanced. This is archived by using a special system developed forpigment dyeing.Wrinkle free finish For high value garments this finish is most popular. However, one of thedrawbacks of this finish is the heavy loss in strength of the fabric. Therefore, use of thisfinish is suggested to polyvastra rather than cotton khadi garments. The advantage of thefinish is easy ironing and smooth appearance of the garments after repeated washing.Phase II (Part I)Technology demonstration on finishing of khadi garments After standardization of khadi garment finishing techniques, the technologydemonstration workshop of three days was conducted at the Department of TextileTechnology, IIT Delhi. The participants were senior representatives of khadi productionunits on all India basis, senior technical officers from KVIC, representatives from khadibhandars and NGO. All the five finishing techniques mentioned above were demonstrated usingdomestic washing machine and tumble dryer. A book on “Finishing of Khadi garmentsgiving a step by step procedure of the finishing techniques were distributed to all theparticipants. The book also contained the addresses of the chemical and equipmentsuppliers. During the demonstration, all the participants were shown the chemicals to beused for each finishing process and the method for the preparation finishing bath.Theoretical information was also provided on the functions of each chemical and howthey impart the desirable property to khadi garment. The participants took keen interest in the technology demonstration. Some of theparticipants participated in actual finishing operations. Samples of finishing chemicalswere also provided to many participants who had shown interest in carrying out thefinishing experiments on return to their parent organizations. All the participants wereenthused and more than satisfied with the technology demonstration workshops.Concluding session of the workshop
  • 9. On the third day the concluding session was organized to get the feed back of theparticipants. Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Chairman, KVIC himself was present during theconcluding session. The unanimous feed back from all the participants was that all thefive finishing techniques would give value addition to khadi garments. However out offive techniques the two, viz. stiff and soft finishing techniques can be immediatelyadopted and introduced in the khadi sector. Phase II (Part two)Technology demonstration workshop on all India basis Having satisfied with the technology demonstration workshop at IIT Delhi,KVIC, Mumbai approved a series of technology demonstration workshops to beconducted at selected khadi production units on all India basis. KVIC also approvedsuitable funds for conducting such workshops. The technical team from IIT Delhi incollaboration with KVIC, Mumbai, identified the khadi production units for conductingtechnology demonstration workshops. The involvement of KVIC staff from state officeand neighbouring khadi production units was sought. Emphasis was given on stiff andsoft finishing of khadi garments. Over a period of few months the technologydemonstration workshops on stiff and soft finishing of khadi garments were conducted atthe following khadi production units in different states.Uttar Pradesh 1. Central Sliver Plant, Etah 2. Kshetriya Shri Gandhi Ashram, Barabanki 3. Kshetriya Shri Gandhi Ashram, SaharanpurMaharashtra 4. Magan wadi , Wardha 5. Marathwada Khadi Gr. Samitee, NandedRajasthan 6. Kshetriya . Khadi Gramodyog Samittee, DausaTamilnad 7. .Padyur Sarvodaya Sangh, PadyurJharkhand 8. .Chhotanagpur Khadi Gr. Sansthan, Tiril, RanchiConducting the workshops At all the khadi production units the technology demonstration of Finishing ofKhadi garments was carried out with the help of 5 kg domestic washing machine. Thismachine was suitable for finishing of khadi garments but not suitable for finishing ofkhadi fabrics. Wherever, facilities were available, finishing of khadi fabrics was alsodemonstrated. All the workshops were very well attended by the representatives ofneighbouring khadi production units (secretary/ technical), and senior regional officersfrom KVIC. Theoretical and practical information of chemical processing in general and
  • 10. finishing in particular of cotton khadi was given in the simplest possible way. Majoremphasis was given on the methodology to be adopted for cost reduction of finishingtechniques. Actual soft and stiff finishing of variety of khadi garments and fabrics wascarried out with the involvement of the participants at all the institutions. After thepractical demonstration on the first day, the finished and unfinished samples werecirculated among the participants for their assessment of the improvement in quality andappearance brought about by the finishing techniques. After this the feed back from therepresentatives of each participating khadi production unit and KVIC officers wasdiscussed. During the feedback emphasis was given on the following aspects 1. Do the finishing techniques make appreciable difference in the quality and appearance of khadi garments and fabrics? 2. Whether the consumers would like the finished khadi garments/fabrics? 3. Whether there would be increase in khadi sale after finishing 4. Can the additional cost incurred in finishing be absorbed in the sale price? 5. Will the finishing techniques help in reducing the stock of khadi? 6. How individual khadi institution can implement the finishing techniques in their respective units? It is heartening to mention that there was overwhelming positive feedback for aspects1-5 mentioned above. However for the aspect 6 viz implementation of finishingtechniques at individual khadi institution there were following apprehensions. 1. The equipments used for demonstration were not suitable for production 2. The equipments were also not suitable for finishing of khadi fabrics. 3. Many khadi institution representatives were keen on finishing of khadi fabrics rather than khadi garments. 4. One of the major apprehensions was the availability of funds for the purchase of appropriate production equipments for the implementation of finishing techniques. All the institutions expressed their inability to invest for the purchase of suitable finishing equipments for production of finished fabrics and garments. The apprehensions of the participants from khadi institutions are well justified because the equipments used for demonstration were mainly suitable for • Laboratory scale production and sampling and not for bulk production • Garment finishing and not for fabric finishing. During the discussion it was informed to the participants that it was not possibleto use the production scale equipments for the technology demonstration workshops. Itwas suggested that production scale equipments are available in India both for garmentand fabric finishing. Though convinced with the results of garment finishing, khadiinstitutions showed their inability for making investments for the purchase of productionequipments. In view of the above feed back the technical team from IIT Delhi maderecommendation to KVIC Mumbai to approve the budget for setting up a modelproduction unit at one of the khadi production units. This unit may be used as a commonfacility center for finishing khadi garments and khadi fabrics for the benefit ofneighbouring khadi prodution units. It was also recommended that such model unit mightbe set up at Kshetriya Shri Gandhi Ashram, Barabanki (UP).
  • 11. Choice of Kshetriya shri Gandhi Ashram barabanki The choice of Kshetriya Shri Gandhi Ashram, Barabanki was justified on thefollowing grounds 1. The unit already has basic infrastructure for khadi fabric processing. Only few additional types of equipment would be necessary. 2. Very competent dyeing manager and his team. 3. The unit has technical leadership, because among the 8 technology demonstration workshops conducted at various khadi institutions, this is the only institution, which has very successfully implemented the finishing technology on commercial scale. 4. The unit also has a khadi vidyalaya where the courses on khadi production are taught at the certificate/diploma level. This makes the ideal place for the unit for product development through student projects using innovative minds of young generation 5. The model unit can be used as a training center for training of personnel from other khadi institutions. The training while showing the actual production would be more realistic than training of technical staff using laboratory scale equipments. 6. The unit has adequate space for setting up the model unit. It was also suggested to KVIC, Mumbai that training on production scale machinery would immensely help the trainees to adopt the processes immediately. This would facilitate them to implement the processes in their respective institutions. This would also help to convince the khadi institutions, the improvement in khadi quality achieved by using proper machinery and process parameters. Some of the khadi institutions may come forward to invest on their own for the procurement of some the machines depending on their financial position. Based on the experience of the model khadi fabric/garment finishing unit, additionalfinishing units on zonal basis as common facility centers can be commissioned.Phase IIITechnology transferModel khadi fabric and garment finishing unit It is heartening to mention that KVIC appreciated the idea technology transfer bysetting up a model unit at Kshetriya Shri Gandhi Ashram, Barabanki. A grant of Rs.12.55 lakh was approved for a garment finishing unit with a capacity for finishing500-800 garments per day. The technical team from Department of Textile Technology,IIT Delhi, KVIC State Directorate, Lucknow, Secretary and technical staff fromKshetriya shri Gandhi Ashram, Barabanki, worked cohesively in close collaborationwith each other. The following machines were identified, ordered from the of the reputedmachine manufacturers and installed. Machine Number
  • 12. 1. Garment finishing machine One 2. Hydro-extractor One 3. Tumble dryer One 4. steam press boiler One 5. Garment pressing tables Three 6. Steam press for garment pressing Three 7. Automatic jiggers TwoInauguration Honorable Union State Minister for Agriculture and Rural industries, ShriSanghpriya Gautam inaugurated the Khadi Garment finishing unit and also the exhibitionof khadi and village industries products.During the inaugural speech the honourableminister expressed his happiness for the technical inputs in the khadi sector and giving ita new lease of life. The minister. said that these technical inputs would attract theyounger generation and many others towards khadi, which should help to boost the saleof khadi and regain its employment generation potentialities. He congratulated KVIC,Secretary, Kshetriya shri Gandhi Ashram Barabanki and technical team fromDepartment of Textile Technology, IIT Delhi for coming forward to set up the modernKhadi garment finishing unit. He expressed the desire to set up such modern units indifferent regions. Honourable Union Minister Inaugurating the Model Khadi garment finishing unit
  • 13. Media coverage As many as 10 news papers from Lucknow and 3 news papers from Barabankicovered the event. Majority of the papers written that it is the first attempt to modernizethe khadi sector which would go a long way in improving the status of khadi in terms ofits marketability. Some of the news paper headlines were as follows: 1. Modernization of khadi unit renews hopes (Hindustan Times) 2. India’s first khadi finishing unit at Barabanki (Pioneer) 3. Hi-tech unit to give khadi wings (Indian Express) 4. India’s first modern model khadi finishing unit inaugurated (Times of India) Similar glowing headlines were given by Hindi news papers such as Jansatta,Swatantra Bharat, Aaj, Dainik Jagran, Hindustan, Amar Ujala, Rashtriya Sahara etc.Other projectsdevelopment of acrylic/merino wool blend for shawl manufacture Presently in khadi sector shawls are manufactured by using 100% Merino wool. Thiswool is imported from Australia/New Zealand at a high cost. Therefore obviously theshawl manufactured by using Merino wool is costly and is purchased only by high-income group people. The Khadi group at IIT Delhi undertook this work with thefollowing aims a) Reduce the consumption of costly imported Merino wool to save the foreign exchange. b) To reduce the cost of the shawl for low and medium income group people c) To enhance the shawl production to generate more employment potentiality.The Choice of Acrylic Fibre for Blending With Wool Among the other synthetic fibers like Polyester and Nylon, Acrylic fibre wasselected for blending with Wool because the thermal conductivity of Acrylic is close tothat of Wool. This means that the warmth of the Wool will not be seriously affected byblending with Acrylic.The Choice of the Blend Ratio In order to have the economic advantage a blend ratio of 20 percent Merino wooland 80 percent of Acrylic was selected.
  • 14. Research and Development Through R & D inputs, the blending of Acrylic with Wool and subsequent spinningon NMC charkha was standardized. The dyeing techniques of the blended yarn was alsoinvestigated and standardized.Transfer of Technical Know How The technical know how was given to the khadi unit, Udyog Mandir, Amer, Jaipur.It is heartening to mention that the unit has carried out the production of Acrylic andWool blended shawls on commercial scale. Initially 100 shawls were produced formarket feed back. The market feed back was very encouraging. The unit has planned toproduce the acrylic/wool-blended shawls in large quantity.Fabrication of yarn mercerization machine The mercerization process essentially consists of treatment of cotton in yarn formwith high concentration (25%) of caustic soda under tension. The process is simple andhas several advantages such as 1. Increase in yarn strength 2. No shrinkage during subsequent chemical processing 3. Increase in dye uptake 4. Increase in chemical reactivityMercerization machine design The commercially available machine is very sophisticated and expensive andimported. Therefore, it was thought to design and fabricate a suitable machine to takeadvantages of the mercerization process and introduce the technique in khadi sector. Alaboratory model to mercerize 1 kg of khadi yarn has been designed and fabricated(Shown in fig. )
  • 15. Mercerization Machine Attempts are being made to design and fabricate a machine to process 3kg ofkhadi yarn in hank form to make the process commercially viable.Dyeing of khadi with natural dyes For environmental protection the concept of natural dyes is well acceptedparticularly in western market. India has a reach tradition of dyeing cotton wool and silkwith natural dyes. However, the problems associated with the traditional knowledge ondyeing with natural dyes are: non-reproducibility of the results and inadequate fastnessproperties of the dyed fabric.Research and Development at IIT DelhiThe R & D activities are aimed at to overcome the problems associated with thetraditional technique of dyeing with natural dyes. A large number of natural dye sourceswere evaluated for their fastness performance. The following sources have been found togive satisfactory fastness properties. . 1. Anar (Pomegranate) 2. Babool (Acacia) 3. Harda (Myrabolan) 4. Katha (Cutch) 5. Arjun (Arjuna) 6. Safeda (Eucalyptus) 7. Amla
  • 16. A technique for the dyeing of cotton, wool and silk fabrics has also been establishedwhich would give reproducible results.Bulk Scale Trial - A Bulk scale trial was conducted by carrying out dyeing of khadifabric with different natural dye sources. This trial has been very successful and some ofthe shades of natural dyes produced on bulk scale are shown in following photographs. Anar (Fe and Al mordant) Harda (Fe mordant) Anar (Al mordant) Babool (Al mordant) Arjun (Al mordant) Safeda (Al mordant)
  • 17. Katha (Cu mordant) All the shades showed light, wash and rubbing fastness properties, which arecommercially acceptable.The Technology Transfer It is planned to transfer the technology through technology demonstration workshopsto be conducted at khadi institutions on all India basis.Quality assurance manual There is no concept of quality assurance in khadi sector. In order to improve thequality of khadi it is very essential to introduce this concept. The khadi group at IIT Delhiundertook the task of preparation of quality assurance manual for khadi sector. Largenumber of khadi yarn and khadi fabric samples were collected, experimentally tested andcarefully analyzed for various quality parameters. Based on these analysis, quality normsfor cotton fibre, khadi yarn and khadi fabrics have been suggested. Two volumes onequality assurance at a glance and second giving details of quality assurance, qualityassurance norms, test equipments, test procedures, technology of khadi production,process control and monitoring, various test formats etc. Exhaustive trainingprogrammes would be essential to create the awareness of quality assurance in khadisector.Conclusion 1. The philosophy of identifying the well established technologies practiced in the textile mill sector (mass production) and downsizing these technologies to make them suitable for khadi sector (production by masses) has been found to be successful.
  • 18. 2. Through phased manner i.e. standardization of downsized technology in the laboratory, technology demonstration at IIT Delhi, technology demonstration on all India basis, and technology transfer, it was possible to transfer the technology of finishing of khadi fabrics and khadi garments in the khadi sector.3. The new technology has shown visible impact in terms of value addition and increase in the sale of khadi garments.4. A quality assurance manual has been prepared to introduce the concept of quality in khadi sector.5. Attempts are being made to transfer the technology of mercerization of khadi yarn, dyeing of khadi fabric with natural dyes and blending of acrylic with Merino wool for the shawl manufacture.Acknowledgement IIT Delhi acknowledges with many thanks the Chairman, KVIC forsponsoring the project “Revamping of Jamnalal Bajaj central research institute atWardha (maharashtra)” and to set up Mahatma Gandhi institute of ruralindustrialization at Wardha. The author is thankful to the core group members prof.Rajendra Prasad, Prof. Dhar and Prof. Gaur for their encouragement and support tothe activities of khadi group. The author is also thankful to the members of khadigroup Prof. Chattopadhya, Shri R.P.Tewari and the technical staff of the project fortheir active participation and healthy discussions.