Mekhela Chador

Mekhela chador is the traditional Assamese dress worn by women.

There are two main pieces of cloth that are draped around the body. The bottom portion, draped from the waist downwards is called the Mekhela. It is in the form of a very wide cylinder that is folded into pleats to fit around the waist and tucked in.

The top portion of 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 is called Chador. Invariably there is a blouse that is worn underneath the top half of the body.

Mekhela Chadors can be a gush of fresh air in the festive season and for occasions like weddings. “Mekhela Chador has all the ability to make a style statement as it stands out.

Usually, Mekhela Chadors carry a mono-colour look with shades of cream and gold. But Mehta has played with vibrant colours like green and red in Chadors and contrasted it with the pastels in Mekhelas.

The fabric used is the world famous Assam silk, paat. But Mehta is keen on experimenting on that too.

The traditional gold work, popularly called muga, is done by weavers of Assam who are continuing the traditional profession and have come up with spectacular Assamese motifs in zari and coloured threads.

In order to give Assam’s most favorite apparel, mekhela chador, a new look based on the current trends, Assamese designers are experimenting with different types of fabrics.

No one ever thought that, the blend of Kanjeevaram and chiffon fabrics could take the place of heavy pat and muga. It started being a part of this diverse fabric since only a few years.

While georgette, crepe and chiffon are used to make the chador, Kanjeevaram and Benarasi silk is utilised for creating the mekhela, informed, Guwahati-based designer, Kiki Bajpayee, who is soon to launch his outlet in the city. This new experiment is currently doing the rounds of young women who love to don new trends and blends.

Young women, who are bored of donning the traditional muga or pat mekhela chador, are opting for designer-crafted mekhela chador made from Kanjeevaram and Italian crepe. A new look with respect to changing market trends and the fact that, conventional mekhela chadors weigh more, owing to their material and thread work, whereas the modern ones are easier to wear, are the key reasons behind the shift in choices.

Be it anything, conventional or modern, the mekhela chador is still a leader in Assamese garments, influencing altercations and duplication, as per state’s changing textiles.


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