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 e-mail email@example.com ABSTRACT The object of present paper is to provide technological inputs for improvement ofquality and marketability of khadi. A case study is presented to illustrate how a moderntechnical intervention has improved the quality of khadi garments by the introduction ofsoft and stiff finishing technologies eventually leading to establish a model productionunit in one of the khadi production institutions for the manufacture of finished khadigarments with value addition. The philosophy adopted was not to invent newtechnologies but to identify the well-established technologies, which are practiced intextile mill sector and downsize these technologies to make them suitable for adaptationin khadi sector.Key words Khadi, Charkha, khadi garments, soft and stiff finishing, mercerization,natural dye.Introduction Khadi is the cotton, wool or silk fabric produced in India by hand spinning andhand weaving. In fact Mahatma Gandhi started his freedom movement with khadi as asymbol of self-reliance and swaraj. Thus Mahatma Gandhi is not only the father of nationbut also the father of khadi. After independence an independent statutory body calledKhadi and Village Industries Commission popularly known as KVIC was constituted inApril 1957 under the act of Parliament. KVIC was charged with the responsibility toplan, organize and implement the programme of promoting and developing khadi andvillage industries. Presently khadi industry having the widest coverage under KVIC,touches more than 1 lakh villages of India, and thus generating large-scale employmentopportunities to the needy people belonging to unskilled and skilled category.Present Status The question has often been asked can khadi survive in the present fast movingworld? There are serious threats for the survival of khadi. However, the spirit of khadican and should survive if sustained and planned efforts are made, particularly byproviding scientific technical inputs through indigenous R&D and dynamic marketingstrategies. It is envisaged that new technological inputs would help to produce goodquality khadi cloth not only for rural masses but also for the elite urban class. New
technical inputs would also generate employment opportunities for a large number ofunemployed and underemployed people in the villages.Major technological issuesThe 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 multi disciplinary training centers (MDTC) and khadi vidhyalayas • Improvement in working conditions at the production centres.Involvement of IIT Delhi in KVIC activities KVIC Mumbai sponsored a project for “Revamping of Jamnalal Bajaj CentralResearch Institute (JBCRI) located at Wardha. The project is of three years durationstarting from April 2001. Through this project it is envisaged to establish an institute forrural industrialization to be named as Mahatma Gandhi Institute for RuralIndustrialization. The broad objective of this project is to upgrade and accelerate theprocess of rural industrialization of our country through science, technology andmanagerial inputs, so that we can move towards Gandhian vision of sustainable villageeconomy and the products of khadi and village industry (KVI) sector can coexist withthose of main stream industrial 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, qualityassurance, product diversification, marketing etc. of the products that come under itspurview. They would also be responsible for preparing and continually updating the
database of available technologies and scientific and technical experts available in thecountry in their area of work.Khadi and Textile group. In the present paper the activities of Khadi and Textile group from Department ofTextile Technology, IIT Delhi are highlighted.Initial survey of khadi institutions In order to get an idea of khadi production and the major technical problems, itwas essential to visit some of the khadi production units, 10 khadi production units inthe vicinity of Delhi were visited. Following major problems were 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 5. Poor technical manpower and infrastructure. 6. Total lack of research and development conceptIdentification of R & D projects for khadi development The visits to the khadi institutions helped to formulate the R & D projects. Theforemost considerations in formulating such projects were 1. Provide technical inputs to improve quality, productivity, and marketability and to reduce drudgery in khadi production 2. To improve technical skills through exhaustive training programmes. 3. Planning for long-term technical inputs for visible impact in khadi sector.Philosophy of R & D Projects It was thought that the identified projects should show immediate visible impactin terms of improvement in quality of khadi fabrics and garments and should improve themarketability of khadi. From this point of view it was thought to identify the well-established technologies practiced in textile mill sector where the production is done onlarge scale (mass production), downsize these technologies to make them suitable forkhadi sector, which operates on the basis of production by masses. The methodology foridentified R & D projects therefore, consisted of three phasesPhase IStandardization and downsizing the well-established technology practiced in the textilemill sector.Phase IIPart oneTechnology demonstration of downsized technology to the invitees from khadi sectoridentified by KVICPart twoTechnology demonstration on all India basis in selected khadi production units.
Phase IIISetting up model production unit in one of khadi production institutions.Having 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 manualInitial problem in initiating R & D Projects It was thought that the easiest way to initiate the R & D projects is throughM.Tech student projects. 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 in the area of low technology and blocking the career opportunities. Thestudents felt that they may not get a job in well-organized textile sector. A great deal ofefforts was made to convince the students to work for their M.Tech projects relevant tokhadi. Two M.Tech students were persuaded to work on finishing of khadi garments andmercerization 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 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 bio-polishing 5. Wrinkle free finishing of polyvastraIdentification 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, hydroextractor and tumbledryer.
Washing machine Tumble dryerMachines used for Khadi garment finishing standardization and TechnologydemonstrationPhase IStandardization of Technology at IIT DelhiContribution by the M.Tech student The M.Tech student as a part of his thesis standardized the above finishingtechniques on the downsized scale. He also contributed in writing a book on Finishing ofKhadi garments. This book gives a step-by-step procedure for the finishing of khadigarments, which can easily be followed by the layman. The book also contained thenames and addresses of chemical suppliers to facilitate the adoption of technology by thekhadi sector. A book on finishing of khadi garmentsEco-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-friendly
Soft 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. This 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 acetatetreatment imparts more durable stiffness, which lasts up to 10-15 washes. This meansthere is no need of giving stiff finish after every wash. The garment acquires stiff andsmooth appearance after ironing (pressing) of washed garments. Thus the maintenancecost of the garments 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 lustrous. It is the most popular treatment in the textile sector.Stoneless stone wash finish This treatment imparts abraded (worn-out) look to the dyed garments, which is invogue for fashion garments. This is most popular treatment for the garments meant foryounger generation of both the sexes. The purpose of introducing this technique in thekhadi sector was to make khadi garments popular amongst the younger generation so thatthe sale 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 one)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 garments
giving a step by step procedure of the finishing techniques were distributed to all theparticipants. The participants took keen interest in the technology demonstration. They wereenthused and more than satisfied with the technology demonstration workshops.Concluding session of the workshop On the third day the concluding session was organized to get the feed back of theparticipants. Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Chairman, KVIC was present. The unanimous feedback from the participants was that all the five finishing techniques would give valueaddition to khadi garments. However out of five techniques the two, viz. stiff and softfinishing techniques can be immediately adopted 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. Over a period of fewmonths the technology demonstration workshops on stiff and soft finishing of khadigarments were conducted at the 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 Gramodyog. 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. Therepresentatives of khadi production units and senior regional officers from KVIC verywell attended all the workshops. After the practical demonstration on the first day, thefinished and unfinished garments were circulated among the participants for theirassessment of the improvement in quality and appearance brought about by the finishingtechniques. After this the feed back from the representatives of each participating khadi
production unit and KVIC officers was discussed. During the feedback emphasis wasgiven 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 institutions 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 one of the major apprehensions was the availability offunds for the purchase of appropriate production equipments for the implementation offinishing techniques. . In view of the above feed back the technical team from IIT Delhi maderecommendation to KVIC Mumbai to approve the funds 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).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 of equipment were necessary. 2. Very competent dyeing manager and his team. 3. The unit has shown technical leadership, because among the 8 technology demonstration workshops conducted at various khadi institutions, this institution, had 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 institution has adequate space for setting up the model unit. It was also suggested to KVIC that based on the experience of the model khadi fabric/garment finishing unit, additional finishing units on zonal basis as common facilitycenters may 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 collaboration witheach other. The following machines were identified and ordered from the of the reputedmachine manufacturers and were installed. Machine Number 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 Two Modern garment finishing unitInauguration On June 2, 2003, Honorable Union State Minister for Agriculture and Ruralindustries, Shri Sanghpriya Gautam inaugurated the Khadi Garment finishing unit andalso the exhibition of khadi and village industries products. During the inaugural speechthe honourable minister expressed his happiness for the technical inputs in the khadisector and giving it a new lease of life. The minister said that these technical inputswould attract the younger generation and many others towards khadi, which should helpto boost the sale of khadi and regain its employment generation potentialities. Hecongratulated KVIC, Secretary, Kshetriya Shri Gandhi Ashram Barabanki and technicalteam from Department of Textile Technology, IIT Delhi for coming forward to set up themodern Khadi garment-finishing unit. He expressed the desire to set up such modernunits in different regions.
Honourable Union State Minister for Agriculture and Rural Industries, Inaugurating the Model Khadi Garment-finishing unit.Media coverage As many as 10 newspapers from Lucknow and 3 newspapers, 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 newspaper 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 newspapers such as Jansatta,Swatantra Bharat, Aaj, Dainik Jagran, Hindustan, Amar Ujala, Rashtriya Sahara etc.Other projects Other projects ready for technology transfer are 1. Mercerization of khadi yarn 2. Dyeing of cotton, wool and silk khadi with natural dyes. 3. Blending of acrylic with Merino wool for the shawl manufacture. In addition, a Quality assurance manual for khadi has been prepared.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. 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.