5 min read.Updated: 26 Aug 2016, 08:10 AM ISTPooja Singh
The Dastkari Haat Samiti refashions the common man's 'gamchha' into a sari, while the fashion industry makes it stylish
Ask a porter, a rickshaw puller or a construction labourer about the reassuring importance of a gamchha. Thrown on the shoulder, wrapped around the head or waist, the 2m cotton cloth with a mix of checks and stripes, mostly in red and white, works as a towel, a shield against the sun, even a bedsheet. “Much like the lungi, the gamchha has been central to the lives of India’s male working class. Of course, the elite class doesn’t look twice at it because it’s the ‘poor man’s cloth’ after all," says Jaya Jaitly, a handloom expert and founder-president of the Dastkari Haat Samiti, an association of Indian craftspeople.
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