What is a Mekhala chadar?
The Assamese mekhala chadar, as we have said, is a traditional attire of a woman of Assam. It mainly consists of Muga or the golden silk fibre. Muga servers as the material base for the traditional costume called Mekhala chadar. The Mekhala chadar resembles a sari but is yet not a sari. The distinction lies between the fact that Mekhala chadar is composed of two main pieces of cloth that are drapped around the body, whereas a sari is a single piece of cloth. The bottom portion of the mekhala chadar is drapped from the waist downwards and upper or top portion of a long length which has one end tucked into the upper portion of the Mekhala and rest is draped around the body. The mekhla is usually plain but sometimes strewn with small patterns called buta. Chadar is usually decorated with sprays of flowers and elephant designs interspersed with leaves and sprigs, and numerous combinations of geometrical patterns.
Weaving materials used to make Assamese mekhala chadar
Assam is the home of several types of silk among which the most prestigious is MUGA or golden silk fibre. Apart from Muga different types of silk are produced called Assam silk - Paat (jute) and Eri silk. The main materials of mekhala chadar is jute. But some modern low budget sets are also made with varying blends of cotton and Muga or Paat silk with synthetic material. The delicate designs of Mekhala chadar woven on the saris cater to patterns in nature. Embroideries are also incorporate and culture-related things, such as architecture and stone-sculptures on the Madan Kamdev Temple in Assam.
Mekhala chadar wearing Tips
Confused about how to wear a mekhala chadar? The mekhala chadar is composed of two main pieces of cloth that are drapped around the body. It is in the form of a very wide cylinder, to wear Mekhala chadar it is folded into pleats to fit around the waist and tucked in. Mekhla is the long flowing skirt up to the ankles and Chadar the upper wrap called Riha. The red colored pattern at the end of the Riha is graceful and symbolic. Wearing Mekhala chadar is not a tough job though. One half of the Mekhla is worn as the skirt or Lungi, while the other half, Chadar, is worn similar to the saree's anchal, used as the upper garment for the skirt. The chadar is worn in a criss-cross pleated-form, down the front side. Added to it, Blouses are worn below Chadar, to complete the dress. A mekhla is a mix and match of aanchal and lungi. Mekhala chadar is like a gush of fresh air in the festive season and for occasions like weddings.
If you are interested to buy Assamese mekhala chadar, online or offline, consider taking a look at our review of top mekhala chadar designs to help you choose a good mekhala chadar.