Assam is famous for its traditional attire Mekhela Sador and many also name it as a two piece Saree. The heart of Assam beats through this beautifully weaved hand loom clothing.
When we think about Assamese silk, the first destination that comes to our mind is Sualkuchi. Sualkuchi is the major hub of the traditional hand loom Mekhela Sador of Assam. To reach Sualkuchi, it takes abour 45 mins. to 1 hour from Guwahati. It is the weavers destination of Assam. The video gives the glimpse of the different outlets and the shops in the Sualkuchi market that sells the traditional attire namely Mekhala Sador and also some of them have the manufacturing unit at their homes and other nearby venues.
Assam is famous for its Assamese silk and also the design patterns weaved on the cotton thread, these are very attractive and low priced. The Mekhela is the cylindrical attire that is worn below as a front pleated skirt and the Sador is a lengthy cloth that is wrapped around the body leaving a piece hanging from the shoulder.
The Kesa Paat silk which is also called the raw silk. When the silk thread is boiled it is the Mulberry Silk and after weaving it is a solid silk fabric. Whereas when the Kesa Paat (raw silk) is weaved, the finished fabric remains like a look a like of the tissue clothing, it is more or less like a see through fabric. When the Assamese silk is boiled, 1 kg. of such silk thread looses approximately 300 gms. of its weight.
All the Mekhela
Assamese silks come in variety like the Mulberry Silk, Toss Silk, Kesa
I visited a manufacturing unit wherein there were 4 hand loom machines, out of which 2 were busy and the threads were laid out. In the hand loom machine, the design cards are laid through the machine and there exist 120 thin rods that punches down the design through the holes on the design cards. A regular pair of Mekhela Sador takes approximately 1 week to finish weaving.
The weavers work from morning 8:30 am to 12 pm. Then again after a lunch break, they start working from around 4 pm to 10 pm. It is so mesmerizing to watch the weavers putting in so much of efforts, counting each and every threads. Thus some beautiful designs are created!
All of you who have watched the video, I’m sure that you must have loved the effort, dedication and time put into to accomplish a set of traditional hand loom Mekhela Sador. If you happen to visit Guwahati, do not forget to visit Sualkuchi and purchase a pair of this beautiful traditional clothing.
Pranaame Bhagawati is an accomplished danseuse, choreographer, actor, writer. poetess and cultural activist. She has done her Masters in Mass Communications from Guru Jambheshwar University of Science and Technology, Hisar (Haryana) and and have showcased her artistic potentialities and collaborative works at places like Germany, USA, Guyana, U.A.E, UK, Tanzania, Maldives, Dubai, etc. She made her State Assam proud by attaining 2 Gold Medals at the national front for her Kathak dance performances by Govt. of India and have been honoured several times at the national and international level.