In the early 20th century, Mahatma Gandhi came to realize that England's reliance on India both as
a source of raw cotton and as a market for
its industrially produced cloth could be exploited in India's independence movement.
Gandhi encouraged the production of hand-spun, hand-woven fabric in an age-old process that is
still practiced in parts of India today.
In Gandhi's hands the common spinning wheel became not just a form of protest,
but an expression of the self, a spiritual practice.
Gandhi's call for Indians to spin
and weave their own cloth was founded on his principle
of swaraj, his demand that India and Indians win back their independence
and with it their self-respect, self-responsibility, and capacity for self-realization.