Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective case, around the seeds of the cotton plants of the genus Gossypium in the mallow family Malvaceae. The fiber is pure cellulose. Under natural conditions, the cotton bolls will increase the dispersal of the seeds; the plant is a shrub native to tropical and subtropical regions around the world, including the Americas, Africa and India. The greatest diversity of wild cotton species is found followed by Australia and Africa. Cotton was independently domesticated in the New Worlds; the fiber is most spun into yarn or thread and used to make a soft, breathable textile. The use of cotton for fabric is known to date to prehistoric times. Although cultivated since antiquity, it was the invention of the cotton gin that lowered the cost of production that led to its widespread use, it is the most used natural fiber cloth in clothing today. Current estimates for world production are about 25 million tonnes or 110 million bales annually, accounting for 2.5% of the world's arable land.
China is the world's largest producer of cotton. The United States has been the largest exporter for many years. In the United States, cotton is measured in bales, which measure 0.48 cubic meters and weigh 226.8 kilograms. There are four commercially grown species of cotton, all domesticated in antiquity: Gossypium hirsutum – upland cotton, native to Central America, the Caribbean and southern Florida Gossypium barbadense – known as extra-long staple cotton, native to tropical South America Gossypium arboreum – tree cotton, native to India and Pakistan Gossypium herbaceum – Levant cotton, native to southern Africa and the Arabian Peninsula The two New World cotton species account for the vast majority of modern cotton production, but the two Old World species were used before the 1900s. While cotton fibers occur in colors of white, brown and green, fears of contaminating the genetics of white cotton have led many cotton-growing locations to ban the growing of colored cotton varieties; the word "cotton" has Arabic origins, derived from the Arabic word قطن.
This was the usual word for cotton in medieval Arabic. The word entered the Romance languages in the mid-12th century, English a century later. Cotton fabric was known to the ancient Romans as an import but cotton was rare in the Romance-speaking lands until imports from the Arabic-speaking lands in the medieval era at transformatively lower prices; the earliest evidence of cotton use in the Indian subcontinent has been found at the site of Mehrgarh and Rakhigarhi where cotton threads have been found preserved in copper beads. Cotton cultivation in the region is dated to the Indus Valley Civilization, which covered parts of modern eastern Pakistan and northwestern India between 3300 and 1300 BC; the Indus cotton industry was well-developed and some methods used in cotton spinning and fabrication continued to be used until the industrialization of India. Between 2000 and 1000 BC cotton became widespread across much of India. For example, it has been found at the site of Hallus in Karnataka dating from around 1000 BC.
Cotton bolls discovered in a cave near Tehuacán, have been dated to as early as 5500 BC, but this date has been challenged. More securely dated is the domestication of Gossypium hirsutum in Mexico between around 3400 and 2300 BC. In Peru, cultivation of the indigenous cotton species Gossypium barbadense has been dated, from a find in Ancon, to c. 4200 BC, was the backbone of the development of coastal cultures such as the Norte Chico and Nazca. Cotton was grown upriver, made into nets, traded with fishing villages along the coast for large supplies of fish; the Spanish who came to Mexico and Peru in the early 16th century found the people growing cotton and wearing clothing made of it. The Greeks and the Arabs were not familiar with cotton until the Wars of Alexander the Great, as his contemporary Megasthenes told Seleucus I Nicator of "there being trees on which wool grows" in "Indica"; this may be a reference to "tree cotton", Gossypium arboreum, a native of the Indian subcontinent. According to the Columbia Encyclopedia: Cotton has been spun and dyed since prehistoric times.
It clothed the people of ancient India and China. Hundreds of years before the Christian era, cotton textiles were woven in India with matchless skill, their use spread to the Mediterranean countries. In Iran, the history of cotton dates back to the Achaemenid era; the planting of cotton was common in Merv and Pars of Iran. In Persian poets' poems Ferdowsi's Shahname, there are references to cotton. Marco Polo refers to the major products including cotton. John Chardin, a French traveler of the 17th century who visited Safavid Persia, spoke approvingly of the vast cotton farms of Persia. During the Han dynasty, cotton was grown by Chinese peoples in the southern Chinese province of Yunnan. Egyptians spun cotton in the first seven centuries of the Christian era. Handheld roller cotton gins had been used in India since the 6th century, was introduced to other countries from there. Between the 12th and 14th centuries, dual-roller gins appeared in China; the Indian version of the dual-roller gin was preval
A spinning wheel is a device for spinning thread or yarn from natural or synthetic fibres. Spinning wheels were first used in India, between 500 and 1000 A. D. Spinning machinery, such as the spinning jenny and spinning frame, displaced the spinning wheel during the Industrial Revolution; the spinning wheel was invented in India, between 500 and 1000 A. D; the earliest clear illustrations of the spinning wheel come from Baghdad and Europe, there is evidence that spinning wheels had come into use in both China and the Islamic world during the eleventh century. In France the spindle and distaff were not displaced until the mid 18th century; the spinning wheel replaced the earlier method of hand spinning with a spindle. The first stage in mechanizing the process was mounting the spindle horizontally so it could be rotated by a cord encircling a large, hand-driven wheel; the great wheel is an example of this type, where the fibre is held in the left hand and the wheel turned with the right. Holding the fibre at a slight angle to the spindle produced the necessary twist.
The spun yarn was wound onto the spindle by moving it so as to form a right angle with the spindle. This type of wheel, while known in Europe by the 14th century, was not in general use until later; the construction of the Great Wheel made it good at creating long drawn soft fuzzy wools, but difficult to create the strong smooth yarns needed to create warp for weaving. Spinning wheels did not develop the capability to spin a variety of yarns until the beginning of the 19th century and the mechanization of spinning. In general, the spinning technology was known for a long time before being adopted by the majority of people, thus making it hard to fix dates of the improvements. In 1533, a citizen of Brunswick is said to have added a treadle, by which the spinner could rotate her spindle with one foot and have both hands free to spin. Leonardo da Vinci drew a picture of the flyer, which twists the yarn before winding it onto the spindle. During the 16th century a treadle wheel with flyer was in common use, gained such names as the Saxony wheel and the flax wheel.
It sped up production. On the eve of the Industrial revolution it took at least five spinners to supply one weaver. Lewis Paul and John Wyatt first worked on the problem in 1738, patenting the Roller Spinning machine and the flyer-and-bobbin system, for drawing wool to a more thickness. Using two sets of rollers that travelled at different speeds, yarn could be twisted and spun and efficiently. However, they did not have much financial success. In 1771, Richard Arkwright used waterwheels to power looms for the production of cotton cloth, his invention becoming known as the water frame. More modern spinning machines use a mechanical means to rotate the spindle, as well as an automatic method to draw out fibres, devices to work many spindles together at speeds unattainable. Newer technologies that offer faster yarn production include friction spinning, an open-end system, air jets. Numerous types of spinning wheels exist, including the great wheel known as walking wheel or wool wheel for rapid long draw spinning of woolen-spun yarns.
Until the acceptance of rotor spinning wheel, all yarns were produced by aligning fibres through drawing techniques and twisting the fiber together. With rotor spinning, the fibers in the roving are separated, thus opened, wrapped and twisted as the yarn is drawn out of the rotor cup; the tabletop or floor charkha is one of the oldest known forms of the spinning wheel. The charkha works to the great wheel, with a drive wheel being turned by hand, while the yarn is spun off the tip of the spindle; the floor charkha and the great wheel resemble each other. With both, the spinning must stop; the word charkha, which has links with Persian چرخ: charKh, wheel, is related to the Sanskrit word for "circle". The charkha was both a symbol of the Indian independence movement; the charkha, a small, hand-cranked wheel, is ideal for spinning cotton and other fine, short-staple fibres, though it can be used to spin other fibers as well. The size varies, to a floor charkha. Mahatma Gandhi brought the charkha into wider use with his teachings.
He hoped the charkha would assist the people of India achieve self-sufficiency and independence, therefore used the charkha as a symbol of the Indian independence movement and included it on earlier versions of the Flag of India. The great wheel was one of the earlier types of spinning wheel; the fiber is held in the left hand and the wheel turned with the right. This wheel is thus good for using the long-draw spinning technique, which requires only one active hand most of the time, thus freeing a hand to turn the wheel; the great wheel is used to spin short-staple fibers, can only be used with fibre preparations that are suited to long-draw spinning.b The great wheel is over 5 feet in height. The large drive wheel turns the much smaller spindle assembly, with the spindle revolving many times for each turn of the drive wheel; the yarn is spun at an angle off the tip of the spindle, is stored on the spindle. To begin spinning on a great wheel, first a leader is tied onto the base of the spindle and spiraled up to the tip.
The spinner overlaps a
Bangladesh the People's Republic of Bangladesh, is a sovereign country in South Asia. It shares land borders with Myanmar; the country's maritime territory in the Bay of Bengal is equal to the size of its land area. Bangladesh is the world's eighth most populous country as well as its most densely-populated, to the exclusion of small island nations and city-states. Dhaka is largest city, followed by Chittagong, which has the country's largest port. Bangladesh forms the largest and easternmost part of the Bengal region. Bangladeshis include people from a range of ethnic religions. Bengalis, who speak the official Bengali language, make up 98% of the population; the politically dominant Bengali Muslims make the nation the world's third largest Muslim-majority country. Islam is the official religion of Bangladesh. Most of Bangladesh is covered by the largest delta on Earth; the country has 8,046 km of inland waterways. Highlands with evergreen forests are found in the northeastern and southeastern regions of the country.
Bangladesh has a coral reef. The longest unbroken natural sea beach of the world, Cox's Bazar Beach, is located in the southeast, it is home to the Sundarbans, the largest mangrove forest in the world. The country's biodiversity includes a vast array of plant and wildlife, including endangered Bengal tigers, the national animal; the Greeks and Romans identified the region as Gangaridai, a powerful kingdom of the historical Indian subcontinent, in the 3rd century BCE. Archaeological research has unearthed several ancient cities in Bangladesh, which enjoyed international trade links for millennia; the Bengal Sultanate and Mughal Bengal transformed the region into a cosmopolitan Islamic imperial power between the 14th and 18th centuries. The region was home to many principalities; as the Mughal Empire's wealthiest province, Bangladesh as part of the Bengal Subah was worth 12% of the world's GDP, larger than the entirety of western Europe. It was a notable center of the global muslin and silk trade.
As part of British India, the region was influenced by the Bengali renaissance and played an important role in anti-colonial movements. The Partition of British India made East Bengal a part of the Dominion of Pakistan; the region witnessed the Bengali Language Movement in 1952 and the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971. After independence was achieved, a parliamentary republic was established. A presidential government was in place between 1975 and 1990, followed by a return to parliamentary democracy; the country continues to face challenges in the areas of poverty, education and corruption. Bangladesh is a developing nation. Listed as one of the Next Eleven, its economy ranks 43rd in terms of nominal gross domestic product and 29th in terms of purchasing power parity, it is one of the largest textile exporters in the world. Its major trading partners are the European Union, the United States, India, Japan and Singapore. With its strategically vital location between South and Southeast Asia, Bangladesh is an important promoter of regional connectivity and cooperation.
It is a founding member of SAARC, BIMSTEC, the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Forum for Regional Cooperation and the Bangladesh Bhutan India Nepal Initiative. It is a member of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, Commonwealth of Nations, the Developing 8 Countries, the OIC, the Indian-Ocean Rim Association, the Non Aligned Movement, the Group of 77 and the World Trade Organization. Bangladesh is one of the largest contributors to United Nations peacekeeping forces; the etymology of Bangladesh can be traced to the early 20th century, when Bengali patriotic songs, such as Namo Namo Namo Bangladesh Momo by Kazi Nazrul Islam and Aaji Bangladesher Hridoy by Rabindranath Tagore, used the term. The term Bangladesh was written as two words, Bangla Desh, in the past. Starting in the 1950s, Bengali nationalists used the term in political rallies in East Pakistan; the term Bangla is a major name for both the Bengali language. The earliest known usage of the term is the Nesari plate in 805 AD; the term Vangaladesa is found in 11th-century South Indian records.
The term gained official status during the Sultanate of Bengal in the 14th century. Shamsuddin Ilyas Shah proclaimed himself as the first "Shah of Bangala" in 1342; the word Bangla became the most common name for the region during the Islamic period. The Portuguese referred to the region as Bengala in the 16th century; the origins of the term Bangla are unclear, with theories pointing to a Bronze Age proto-Dravidian tribe, the Austric word "Bonga", the Iron Age Vanga Kingdom. The Indo-Aryan suffix Desh is derived from the Sanskrit word deśha, which means "land" or "country". Hence, the name Bangladesh means "Land of Bengal" or "Country of Bengal". Stone Age tools found in Bangladesh indicate human habitation for over 20,000 years, remnants of Copper Age settlements date back 4,000 years. Ancient Bengal was settled by Austroasiatics, Tibeto-Burmans and Indo-Aryans in consecutive waves of migration. Archaeological evidence confirms that by the second millennium BCE, rice-cultivating communities inhabited the region.
By the 11th century people lived in systemically-aligned housing, buried their dead, manufactured copper ornaments and black and red pottery. The Ganges and Meghna rivers were natural arteries for communication and transportation, estuaries on the Bay of Bengal permit
Indian Institute of Handloom Technology
Indian Institutes of Handloom Technology are government run public institutes of higher education in the handloom sector. There are four in State sector. All IIHTs provide a three-year Diploma in Textile Technology; the Varanasi and Salem campuses offer a one and half year Post Diploma in Textile Processing. The Salem campus offer a four year B. Tech. Degree in Handloom and Textile Technology. Central sector IIHTs are under administrative control of Ministry of Textiles, Government of India and State sector IIHTs are under administrative control of respective state government and bodies. Notes Central Sector IIHTs are funded by Government of India State Sector IIHTs are funded by respective State Government Khadi Khādī Development and Village Industries Commission http://www.iihtjodhpur.com http://cgiiht.in/aboutus.html
A loom is a device used to weave cloth and tapestry. The basic purpose of any loom is to hold the warp threads under tension to facilitate the interweaving of the weft threads; the precise shape of the loom and its mechanics may vary. The word "loom" is derived from the Old English geloma, formed from ge- and loma, a root of unknown origin. In 1404 it was used to mean a machine to enable weaving thread into cloth. By 1838, it had gained the meaning of a machine for interlacing thread. Weaving is done by intersecting the longitudinal threads, the warp, i.e. "that, thrown across", with the transverse threads, the weft, i.e. "that, woven". The major components of the loom are the warp beam, harnesses or shafts, shuttle and takeup roll. In the loom, yarn processing includes shedding, picking and taking-up operations; these are the principal motions. Shedding. Shedding is the raising of part of the warp yarn to form a shed, through which the filling yarn, carried by the shuttle, can be inserted, forming the weft.
On the modern loom and intricate shedding operations are performed automatically by the heddle or heald frame known as a harness. This is a rectangular frame to which a series of wires, called healds, are attached; the yarns are passed through the eye holes of the heddles. The weave pattern determines which harness controls which warp yarns, the number of harnesses used depends on the complexity of the weave. Two common methods of controlling the heddles are a Jacquard Head. Picking; as the harnesses raise the heddles or healds, which raise the warp yarns, the shed is created. The filling yarn is inserted through the shed by a small carrier device called a shuttle; the shuttle is pointed at each end to allow passage through the shed. In a traditional shuttle loom, the filling yarn is wound onto a quill, which in turn is mounted in the shuttle; the filling yarn emerges through a hole in the shuttle. A single crossing of the shuttle from one side of the loom to the other is known as a pick; as the shuttle moves back and forth across the shed, it weaves an edge, or selvage, on each side of the fabric to prevent the fabric from raveling.
Battening. Between the heddles and the takeup roll, the warp threads pass through another frame called the reed; the portion of the fabric, formed but not yet rolled up on the takeup roll is called the fell. After the shuttle moves across the loom laying down the fill yarn, the weaver uses the reed to press each filling yarn against the fell. Conventional shuttle looms can operate at speeds of about 150 to 160 picks per minute. There are two secondary motions, because with each weaving operation the newly constructed fabric must be wound on a cloth beam; this process is called taking up. At the same time, the warp yarns must be released from the warp beams. To become automatic, a loom needs a tertiary motion, the filling stop motion; this will brake the loom. An automatic loom requires 0.125 hp to 0.5 hp to operate. The back strap loom is a simple loom, it consists of two bars between which the warps are stretched. One bar is attached to a fixed object and the other to the weaver by means of a strap around the back.
The weaver uses their body weight to tension the loom. On traditional looms, the two main sheds are operated by means of a shed roll over which one set of warps pass, continuous string heddles which encase each of the warps in the other set. To open the shed controlled by the string heddles, the weaver relaxes tension on the warps and raises the heddles; the other shed is opened by drawing the shed roll toward the weaver. Both simple and complex textiles can be woven on this loom. Width is limited to. Warp faced textiles decorated with intricate pick-up patterns woven in complementary and supplementary warp techniques are woven by indigenous peoples today around the world, they produce such things as belts, bags and carrying cloths. Supplementary weft patterning and brocading is practiced in many regions. Balanced weaves are possible on the backstrap loom. Today, commercially produced backstrap loom kits include a rigid heddle; the warp-weighted loom is a vertical loom. The earliest evidence of warp-weighted looms comes from sites belonging to the Starčevo culture in modern Serbia and Hungary and from late Neolithic sites in Switzerland.
This loom was used in Ancient Greece, spread north and west throughout Europe thereafter. Its defining characteristic is hanging weights. Extra warp thread is wound around the weights; when a weaver has reached the bottom of the available warp, the completed section can be rolled around the top beam, additional lengths of warp threads can be unwound from the weights to continue. This frees the weaver from vertical size constraint. A drawloom is a hand-loom for weaving figured cloth. In a drawloom, a "figure harness" is used to control each warp thread separately. A drawloom requires two operators, the weaver and an assistant called a "drawboy" to manage the figure harness; the earliest confirmed drawloom fabrics come from the State of Chu and date c. 400 BC. Most scholars attribute the invention of the dra
Spinning is an ancient textile art in which plant, animal or synthetic fibres are drawn out and twisted together to form yarn. For thousands of years, fibre was spun by hand using the spindle and distaff, it was only with the invention of the spinning wheel in India, its subsequent introduction to Europe in the High Middle Ages, that the output of individual spinners increased. Mass production only arose in the 18th century with the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution. Hand-spinning remains a popular handicraft. Characteristics of spun yarn vary according to the material used, fibre length and alignment, quantity of fibre used, degree of twist; the origins of spinning fibre to make string or yarn are lost in time, but archaeological evidence in the form of representation of string skirts has been dated to the Upper Paleolithic era, some 20,000 years ago. In the most primitive type of spinning, tufts of animal hair or plant fibre are rolled down the thigh with the hand, additional tufts are added as needed until the desired length of spun fibre is achieved.
The fibre is fastened to a stone, twirled round until the yarn is sufficiently twisted, whereupon it is wound upon the stone and the process repeated over and over. The next method of spinning yarn is with the spindle, a straight stick eight to twelve inches long on which the yarn is wound after twisting. At first the stick had a split in the top in which the thread was fixed. A hook of bone was added to the upper end; the bunch of wool or plant fibres is held in the left hand. With the right hand the fibres are drawn out several inches and the end fastened securely in the slit or hook on the top of the spindle. A whirling motion is given to any convenient part of the body; the twisted yarn is wound on to the upper part of the spindle. Another bunch of fibres is drawn out, the spindle is given another twirl, the yarn is wound on the spindle, so on; the distaff was used for holding the bunch of flax, or other fibres. It was a short stick, on one end of, loosely wound the raw material; the other end of the distaff was held in the hand, under the arm or thrust in the girdle of the spinner.
When held thus, one hand was left free for drawing out the fibres. A spindle containing a quantity of yarn rotates more steadily, continues longer than an empty one; these whorls are discs of wood, clay, or metal with a hole in the centre for the spindle, which keep the spindle steady and promote its rotation. Spindle whorls appeared in the Neolithic era, they allowed the spinner to lower, or drop, the spindle as it was spinning, thus allowing a greater quantity of yarn to be created before it had to be wound onto the spindle. In mediæval times, poor families had such a need for yarn to make their own cloth and clothes that all girls and unmarried women would keep busy spinning, "spinster" became synonymous with an unmarried woman. Subsequent improvements with spinning wheels and mechanical methods made hand-spinning uneconomic, but as late as the twentieth century hand-spinning remained widespread in poor countries: in conscious rejection of international industrialization, Gandhi was a notable practitioner.
The hand spinning movement that he initiated as a part of the Indian freedom struggle has made the handwoven cloth known as "Khadi" made from handspun cotton yarn world-famous. Women spinners of cotton yarn still continue to work to produce handspun yarn for the weaving of Khadi in Ponduru, a village in South India. A great wheel is advantageous when using the long-draw technique to spin wool or cotton because the high ratio between the large wheel and the whorl enables the spinner to turn the bobbin faster, thus speeding up production. A Saxony wheel or an upright wheel, can be used to spin wool or cotton, but are invaluable when spinning flax; the ends of flax fibres tend to stick out from the thread. The spinner keeps a bowl of water handy when spinning flax, on these types of wheels, both hands are free, so the spinner can use one hand to draft the fibres and the other to wet them. Modern powered spinning done by water or steam power but now done by electricity, is vastly faster than hand-spinning.
The spinning jenny, a multi-spool spinning wheel invented c. 1764 by James Hargreaves reduced the amount of work needed to produce yarn of high consistency, with a single worker able to work eight or more spools at once. At the same time, Richard Arkwright and a team of craftsmen developed the spinning frame, which produced a stronger thread than the spinning jenny. Too large to be operated by hand, a spinning frame powered by a waterwheel became the water frame. In 1779, Samuel Crompton combined elements of the spinning jenny and water frame to create the spinning mule; this produced a stronger thread, was suitable for mechanisation on a grand scale. A development, from 1828/29, was Ring spinning. In the 20th century, new techniques including Open End spinning or rotor spinning were invented to produce yarns at rates in excess of 40 meters per second. Yarn can be, is, spun from a wide variety of materials, including natural fibres such as animal and mineral fibres, synthetic fibres; the direction in which the yarn is spun is called twist.
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was an Indian activist, the leader of the Indian independence movement against British colonial rule. Employing nonviolent civil disobedience, Gandhi led India to independence and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world; the honorific Mahātmā was applied to him first in 1914 in South Africa – is now used worldwide. In India, he was called Bapu, a term that he preferred and Gandhi ji, is known as the Father of the Nation. Born and raised in a Hindu merchant caste family in coastal Gujarat and trained in law at the Inner Temple, Gandhi first employed nonviolent civil disobedience as an expatriate lawyer in South Africa, in the resident Indian community's struggle for civil rights. After his return to India in 1915, he set about organising peasants and urban labourers to protest against excessive land-tax and discrimination. Assuming leadership of the Indian National Congress in 1921, Gandhi led nationwide campaigns for various social causes and for achieving Swaraj or self-rule.
Gandhi led Indians in challenging the British-imposed salt tax with the 400 km Dandi Salt March in 1930, in calling for the British to Quit India in 1942. He was imprisoned upon many occasions, in both South Africa and India, he lived modestly in a self-sufficient residential community and wore the traditional Indian dhoti and shawl, woven with yarn hand-spun on a charkha. He ate simple vegetarian food, undertook long fasts as a means of both self-purification and political protest. Gandhi's vision of an independent India based on religious pluralism was challenged in the early 1940s by a new Muslim nationalism, demanding a separate Muslim homeland carved out of India. In August 1947, Britain granted independence, but the British Indian Empire was partitioned into two dominions, a Hindu-majority India and Muslim-majority Pakistan; as many displaced Hindus and Sikhs made their way to their new lands, religious violence broke out in the Punjab and Bengal. Eschewing the official celebration of independence in Delhi, Gandhi visited the affected areas, attempting to provide solace.
In the months following, he undertook several fasts unto death to stop religious violence. The last of these, undertaken on 12 January 1948 when he was 78 had the indirect goal of pressuring India to pay out some cash assets owed to Pakistan; some Indians thought. Among them was Nathuram Godse, a Hindu nationalist, who assassinated Gandhi on 30 January 1948 by firing three bullets into his chest. Captured along with many of his co-conspirators and collaborators and his co-conspirator Narayan Apte were tried and executed while many of their other accomplices were given prison sentences. Gandhi's birthday, 2 October, is commemorated in India as Gandhi Jayanti, a national holiday, worldwide as the International Day of Nonviolence. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born on 2 October 1869 into a Gujarati Hindu Modh Baniya family in Porbandar, a coastal town on the Kathiawar Peninsula and part of the small princely state of Porbandar in the Kathiawar Agency of the Indian Empire, his father, Karamchand Uttamchand Gandhi, served as the diwan of Porbandar state.
Although he only had an elementary education and had been a clerk in the state administration, Karamchand proved a capable chief minister. During his tenure, Karamchand married four times, his first two wives died young, after each had given birth to a daughter, his third marriage was childless. In 1857, Karamchand sought his third wife's permission to remarry. Karamchand and Putlibai had three children over the ensuing decade: Laxmidas. On 2 October 1869, Putlibai gave birth to her last child, Mohandas, in a dark, windowless ground-floor room of the Gandhi family residence in Porbandar city; as a child, Gandhi was described by his sister Raliat as "restless as mercury, either playing or roaming about. One of his favourite pastimes was twisting dogs' ears." The Indian classics the stories of Shravana and king Harishchandra, had a great impact on Gandhi in his childhood. In his autobiography, he admits, he writes: "It haunted me and I must have acted Harishchandra to myself times without number."
Gandhi's early self-identification with truth and love as supreme values is traceable to these epic characters. The family's religious background was eclectic. Gandhi's father Karamchand was Hindu and his mother Putlibai was from a Pranami Vaishnava Hindu family. Gandhi's father was of Modh Baniya caste in the varna of Vaishya, his mother came from the medieval Krishna bhakti-based Pranami tradition, whose religious texts include the Bhagavad Gita, the Bhagavata Purana, a collection of 14 texts with teachings that the tradition believes to include the essence of the Vedas, the Quran and the Bible. Gandhi was influenced by his mother, an pious lady who "would not think of taking her meals without her daily prayers...she would take the hardest vows and keep them without flinching. To keep two or three consecutive fasts was nothing to her."In 1874, Gandhi's father Karamchand left Porbandar for the smaller state of Rajkot, where he became a counsellor to its ruler, the Thakur Sahib.