Take to spinning to find peace of mind. The music of the wheel will be as balm to our soul. I believe that the yarn we spin is capable of mending the broken warp and woof of our life. The charkha (spinning wheel) is the symbol for nonviolence on which all life, if it is to be real life, must be based.
– Mahatma Gandhi
Harijan, April 27, 1947, p. 122
Charkha is India’s generic term for any spinning wheel or hand-cranked spinning machine. Gandhi designed and perfected the box Charkha. He promoted spinning and weaving as a way of self-reliance and self-government. He called it the Khadi movement.
There are many places to buy a box charkha and many sites that show How to Spin Cotton on Mahatma Gandhi’s Spinning Wheel.
As a part of the Indian Independence Movement Mahatmas Gandhi advocated not buying British textiles in favour of their own homespun fabric in a effort to break the hold of empire on the people who were paid a pittance for the raw materials they produced – cotton and dye – and then were expected to buy back British textiles at prices prescribed by empire. Gandhi lovingly advocated the pride that accompanies good work done on your own behalf among the peoples of India. In 1931, while on a working trip to England to discuss Indian independence, Gandhi was invited to visit the British mills in a governmental bid to demonstrate to him the plight of the British mill workers at having the textile industry being depressed by India’s actions. Gandhi simply said, ‘I love these people as my own children,’ of which he was misquoted, and which he promptly corrected, and which left his host laughing with embarrassment at not knowing what to say to such a human and direct address. One hundred years on love yet remains a stymying proposition among narcissists, psychopaths, empire, industry, and corporations. Handweaving is truly a most humanizing, connected action…