Guest post by Ruby Wilson
Christmas inevitably means more time spent in pyjamas. Going to bed in a cosy pair on Christmas eve and leaving them on until late the next morning is something of a treat during the festive period. So for today's blog we look at the Indian roots of pyjamas, and how Khadi & Co were inspired by Mahatma Gandhi's Swadeshi movement...
The word pyjama originates from the Hindustani word 'pāy-jāma' which means ‘leg garment’. Initially these garments were lightweight trousers used for sleeping and lounging in the Indian subcontinent. Pyjamas were usually tight fitting throughout the entire leg, or full at the waist and knees and then cinched at the ankle. They were also typically worn with a belted tunic that would extend to the knees. Pyjamas were later adopted by Europeans when India was under the rule of the East India Company.
We can attribute the worldwide popularity of pyjamas to British colonists in India during the 18th and 19th centuries, but mainly the Victorian era. Although pyjamas had originally been introduced to England during the 17th century as ‘Mogul’s breeches’ they did not remain in fashion for long. It was in 1870 that the trend became one of longevity, and it has remained ever since.
Khadi & Co, designed by Bess Nielsen is a textile collection influenced by the Swadeshi movement. The Swadeshi movement was shaped by Mahatma Gandhi in 1918 with the intent of promoting Indian goods and lessening the power held over India by the British government. Following Nielsen’s creation of Khadi & Co in 2004, she was determined to use her brand to promote the skill of Indian weavers. All Khadi & Co products are made with Indian textile techniques fused with a modern style deriving from Nielsen's Scandinavian background.
Khadi & Co, in conjunction with Nielsen’s love for India, also produce pyjamas exclusively designed and made for Selvedge. Each pair is 100% cotton, indigo-dyed, hand spun and hand woven. So, with Christmas day upon us and pyjamas having certainly been sported by many of our readers this morning, we nod to the Indian heritage of our loungewear and wish all of our readers a very merry Christmas.
All Khadi & Co items are a part of our January sale. Receive 20% off your purchase with code JANUARY.