Development of Khadi Apparels of Bharat Merino wool/Acrylic Fabric and their Consumer Acceptability

Sharma, Prashansha and Pant, Suman

Present study has explored the development of fine quality woolen khadi apparelby blending Indian crossbred wool with acrylic fiber. Bharat Merino wool (BM) was used in the study. Khadi system; hand spinning and hand weaving was used to construct twill woven fabrics in various combination of both the fibers. Evaluation of properties indicated that BM80: A20 is most suitable ratio for fabric development. Prototypes of jackets and shawls were developed and their acceptability was assessed by hundred respondents. Prototypes were found fashionable and highly acceptable in terms of cost of fabric, aesthetic appeal and willingness to wear.

 Keywords: Bharat Merino | acrylic | Khadi | jacket | shawl | acceptability


Khadi is a hand-spun and hand-woven Indian fabric. It is associated with freedom movement of Gandhi ji. Initiation of Khadi was a practical attempt to give livelihood to the villagers who do work with their hands so as to demolish the poverty and lift up the values of the people of Indian villages. Khadi is a popular fabric for its superior property of comfort and uniqueness of texture.

Initially, all the fibers used in Khadisector were obtained from natural sources. But later, with the advancement in each and every area, Khadi sector also stepped forward with the increasing needs of the market. In order to add features like durability, crease retention in handspun and hand woven Khadi fabrics, polyester fiber was also introduced in Khadi fabric. These are termed as Polyvastra and Poly wool fabrics. They carry almost all the features of Khadi, with only difference being that they also contain man-made fibers. Weaving with hand loom gives Khadi fabrics maximum comfort as it allows maximum air to pass through and soothes the body better than any other fabric. Natural hairiness of Khadi fabrics adds insulation properties in them, so can be used in cooler climates. It makes woolen Khadi apparel more insulative as compared to mill-made woolen apparels.

Although having high insulative property, Khadi made up of Indian wool fiber has some drawbacks too. It is bulky, heavy in weight and harsh to the skin so it makes the wearer uncomfortable. Secondly, shrinkage is also a drawback in woolen Khadi. Due to these demerits Khadi fabrics made of Indian wool are not in demand as much as they should be.

To meet the requirement of apparels, fine quality Merino wool is imported from Australia and New Zealand and isused in khadi sector. This increases cost of the product (Vision, 2050). Bharat Merino wool is finer, softer and longer compared to other varieties of wool produced in India (Ammayappan, 2007). A need was felt by investigator to explore the possibility of utilization of Bharat Merino wool in blends with synthetic fiber in khadi sector for apparels.

An attempt was made to blend acrylic fiber with Indian wool, as it possesses wool like characteristics having thermal insulative property (Miraftab, 2000). It was expected that addition of acrylic fiber will not affect warmth property of wool and will also decrease cost of the product. Wool/acrylic apparels may fulfill the need for durable, comfortable, easily dyeable, shrink resistant, cost effective woolens. An endeavor was made to develop apparels for cool climate and to evaluate their acceptability.

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