The historical city of Kamalia is situated at the bank of river Ravi. The history discloses that the town was established prior to the times of Alexander the Great. It is one of the oldest cities in the Punjab Province. The land is very fertile, wheat, sugar cane, rice and cotton are the main crops. Kamalia is famous for its Khaddar fabric.
Khaddar is woven natural fiber cloth from the small industrial city of Kamalia. The word Khaddar is derived from Khadi, a subcontinental movement to support the local production in favor of foreign goods.
We began our journey at Adnan’s shop. We learned about the different weights of fabric they produced. We were eager to see how it was made. We jumped in the car until the roads were too narrow to drive. After a short 15 minute walk past some truly amazing architecture, we arrived at the mill. The machines are traditional gas powered looms. They are a vestige from a different time. The fabrics in Kamalia are made with cotton fibres. Once woven, they are left in their natural state and not subject to any chemical treatments or other processing. We have to shrink them before we can use them and they will lose 2 – 3 inches in the process.
After seeing the process, we proceeded to the “deadstock room” where all of the remnants were piled to the ceiling. After about 4 hours, we had narrowed down our search to around 22 different weights, colors and designs. There is something amazing about using a fabric when you know who has made it and you understand the work that goes into weaving it.
Adnan supports his mother, wife and three children and employs his extended family. He produces the best quality khaddar we have come across. We are happy to support him and those in his village who are constantly competing with large mills, newer process and imported fabrics from China.