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Khaddar Fabric | The Versatility Beyond Shalwar Kameez

khaddar fabric

Khaddar: A Breathable and Durable Fabric for Everyday Wear

Khaddar, a traditional hand-woven cotton fabric originating from Pakistan, is prized for its breathability and durability. Crafted using a spinning wheel, this coarse fabric is commonly seen in shalwar kameez, a loose-fitting outfit popular in South Asia. But khaddar’s uses extend far beyond clothing; it’s widely used for home textiles like bed sheets, curtains, and cushion covers.

Perfect for Warm Weather

Lightweight and breathable, khaddar is ideal for hot weather. The fabric allows air to circulate freely, keeping the wearer cool and comfortable during Pakistan’s hot and humid summers. Due to its durability, khaddar is a great choice for everyday wear as it can withstand frequent washing and wear and tear.

A Versatile Fabric for Various Uses

Khaddar’s versatility extends beyond shalwar kameez. It can be used to make a variety of clothing items such as kurtas, tunics, dupattas, and even home textiles. Comfortable to wear and easy to care for, this fabric is a popular choice for everyday clothing and household items.

Beyond Summer Wear

While designed for warmer weather, khaddar’s versatility allows it to be used in other seasons, particularly in Pakistan’s variable climate. However, due to its lack of insulation, khaddar is not recommended for extremely cold weather.

Colors and Designs for Personal Style

When it comes to color and design, the choice depends on personal preference. Here are some tips for choosing the best colors and designs for your khaddar clothing or textiles:

  • Classic and Versatile: Solid colors are timeless and easy to mix and match, making them a safe choice for khaddar clothing.

  • Visual Interest: Printed patterns like florals or geometrics add personality to a khaddar piece, reflecting cultural or artistic influences.

  • Formal Elegance: Darker colors like navy blue, forest green, and black exude sophistication, perfect for formal events.

  • Summery and Casual: Light colors like white, beige, and pastels are ideal for summer and create a relaxed vibe.

  • A Touch of Luxury: Embroidery adds a unique touch of elegance and luxury to a khaddar piece.

khaddar fabric

Types of Khaddar Fabric

There are several types of khaddar produced in Pakistan, each with unique properties:

  • Plain Khaddar: The most basic type, typically made from unbleached cotton yarn and dyed in various colors after weaving.

  • Twill Khaddar: Made using a twill weave for a diagonal pattern, offering increased strength and durability compared to plain khaddar.

  • Cambric Khaddar: Made with a finer yarn for a smooth, glossy finish, often used for formal or dressier clothing.

  • Cambric Cotton Khaddar: A blend of cotton and polyester for wrinkle resistance and easier ironing.

  • Cambric Lawn Khaddar: Made with fine, high-count yarns for a lightweight, soft, and breathable fabric ideal for summer clothing.

Choosing High-Quality Khaddar

Here are some tips for ensuring you get a high-quality khaddar product:

  • High Thread Count: A higher thread count indicates a higher-quality fabric.

  • Inspect for Defects: Check for holes, tears, or snags before purchasing.

  • Consider Shrinkage: Khaddar may shrink after washing, so pre-wash or buy a larger size.

  • Weave for Your Needs: Different weaves offer varying properties like durability and breathability.

  • Care Instructions: Follow the manufacturer’s care instructions, as some types require special care or ironing.

  • Colorfastness: Check the dye quality to avoid fading or bleeding after washing.

Price Comparison with Other Fabrics

The price of khaddar varies depending on yarn quality, weave type, and design. Generally, khaddar is considered affordable compared to other natural fabrics like silk, linen, or cashmere, or synthetics like polyester or nylon.

  • Fineness of Yarn and Dye Quality: Higher thread count and better dye quality lead to a higher price.

  • Cotton Fabric Comparison: Khaddar can be less expensive than other cotton fabrics like cambric due to its coarser weave.

  • Man-Made Fabrics: Khaddar is typically cheaper than man-made fabrics like polyester or nylon.

  • Location of Purchase: Buying directly from artisans may be more expensive than mass-market retailers.

Overall, khaddar is a budget-friendly fabric offering good value for the money.

Pros and Cons of Khaddar Fabric


  • Strong and durable
  • Natural, breathable, and hypoallergenic
  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Suitable for both casual and formal wear
  • Good insulation properties for winter weather (consider mentioning this in the “Beyond Summer Wear” section for better flow)


  • Rough and may feel stiff or scratchy on the skin: Due to its coarse weave, khaddar can feel rough against the skin, especially for those accustomed to softer fabrics.
  • Wrinkles easily and may not retain its shape well: Khaddar’s looser weave makes it prone to wrinkles, and it may not drape or hold its shape as well as some other fabrics.
  • Not as soft as other cotton fabrics: Compared to finer cotton varieties, khaddar might feel less comfortable for sensitive skin or those who prefer a softer feel.
  • May shrink or fade with time or after multiple washings: Khaddar, like most natural fabrics, can shrink slightly after washing and may experience some fading over time, especially if exposed to harsh sunlight or improper washing methods.
  • May require special care when washing: To maintain its texture and color, some types of khaddar might require hand-washing or gentle machine washing with cold water.

Written by Maryam Qureshi

Maryam's career spans diverse industries, driven by an unwavering passion for the written word. Her journey is marked by the creation of compelling narratives for esteemed multinational companies. Maryam's expertise extends to the realms of recreation and leisure, establishing her as a trusted authority in recreation planning and execution. Whether crafting marketing strategies, weaving captivating narratives, or orchestrating recreation plans, she wields her pen like a magic wand, conjuring masterpieces that await discovery. Brace yourself to be enthralled, inspired, and entertained within the enchanting worlds she conjures through her words.

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