The state of Assam to the North East of India is popular for its silk hand-looms and precisely for its golden silk fibre known as the muga. Assam is one of the Indian states that retained its dressing customs even today. A visit to the place will help you realize that they were right when they said India is a colourful and varied country in geography textbooks. The most popular piece of clothing from the state, however, remains the Mekhela Chador worn by women of Assam.
Mekhela Chador refers to two separate pieces of garments that together make a popular combination. Mekhela is worn along with “Riha”, upper body apparel. It is a long skirt designed in intricate patterns and is pleated around the waist. The bottom of the Riha is artistically decked with red colored designs. This gives an extremely elegant look to the complete apparel. The top portion of the two-piece dress, called the chador, is a long length of cloth that has one end tucked into the upper portion of the Mekhela and the rest draped over and around the rest of the body. The garment resembles a saree most nearly. The embroidery on this clothing item borrows inspiration from the local architecture and sculptures on many occasions.
One of the amazing facts about this garment is that the designs on it are never printed. They are always woven on Mekhela Chador. Mekhela other than the traditional Muga fiber comes in cotton and pat fabrics. It is worn by women across all ages in the state and one can spot the colorful patterns and designs in a great variety of this clothing item during the state festivals.