Mekhela Chador (also spelled as Mekhela Chadar, Mekhela Sador or Mekhla Chadar), is a type of Saree comprising two pieces of cloth, draped on the top and bottom, which is the traditional attire worn by the women of Assam.The bottom half of this distinct dress is called the ‘Mekhela‘ which is round fit and is used waist downwards over a petticoat. The top portion of the dress is called Chador, which is let loose at the end like in a saree.
The mekhela is folded into pleats to the right around the waist and is tucked in. The chador, on the other hand, is tucked into the mekhela’s upper portion at one end and the other end is draped around the upper portion of the body. These days a fitted blouse is worn, unlike earlier times when another piece of fabric known as the riha used to be worn.
Mekhela Chador in Daily Life
Mekhela Chador is being influenced by both daily lifestyles as well as special occasions. You can use a Mekhela Chador in the house while doing various household tasks or you may choose to wear its more recent and fancied versions to a wedding and any other special function.
The Production of Material
It is the women weavers of Assam who are the genuine people behind the production of the Mekhela Chadors. The primary hub of these Mekhela Chadors is a small town called Sualkuchi, situated at 35 kilometers from the city of Guwahati. Sualkuchi is responsible for most of the Mekhela Chadors that are being manufactured in Assam. The Mekhela Chadors made in this village are highly sought after by ladies in Assam and the rest of India, alike. Sualkuchi is also called the Manchester of Assam.
The Various Types of Mekhela Chador
The Mekhela Chadors are usually found in three varieties and are differentiated on the basis of the silk being used in its manufacturing. The different varieties of Mekhela Chadors are:
Muga Mekhela Chador: These Mekhela Chadors are the ones that are being made by using the Muga Silk and are believed to be so durable that they often outlive their owners.
Eri Mekhela Chador: These Mekhela Chadors are the ones that are being made by using the Eri Silk and are usually soft and warm in nature.
Pat Mekhela Chador: These Mekhela Chadors are the ones that are being made by using the Pat Silk and are generally white in color, ranging from brilliant white to off-white.
How to wear a Mekhela Chador
This following video will show you how to wear a Mekhela chador.
How to Maintain and Style Mekhela Chador
The Mekhela Chadors are typically very low maintenance dresses, particularly the ones made from Muga Silk. They can quickly be hand cleaned and are understood to get the appeal with every subsequent wash. The Muga Mekhela Chadors are so resilient that they typically even outlast their owners.
The Mekhela Chador can quickly be accented with lockets including huge, colorful pearls, earrings of medium size and large silver bangles which not only improves the charm of the user however also adds grace to their character.
Present Day Scenario of Mekhela Chador
As of today, the majority of the Mekhela Chadors produced in Assam are being manufactured in the small town of Sualkuchi. They are then distributed throughout Assam and are also shipped to various parts of India. The Mekhela Chadors are now catching the eyes of the women across India with its continuous showcase being in the Lakme Fashion Week (LFW), Goa Fashion Week by Fashion Designers Sanjukta Dutta and Vaishali Shadangule.
The Mekhela Chadors are generally two-piece clothes including the mekhela and the chador made from Muga Silk, Pat Silk or Eri Silk. However, in the Lakme Style Week (LFW) Designer, Sanjukta Dutta and Vaishali Shadangule re-invent this traditional Assamese clothes and offer it a more contemporary look through evening dresses, kurtas, and pants.
The Mekhela Chadors made of Muga or Pat Silk are usually the more fancied ones and can be used nearly throughout the year at special occasions. The ones made of Eri Silk are soft and warm in nature and for this reason are much better fit for chillier climatic conditions whereas the Cotton ones are best suited for everyday usage at home.
Where to Buy Mekhela Chador
You can easily buy Mekhela Chador in Assam. Shops like Silkalay, Assam Silk etc are most popular in Guwahati. They sell even online also, so if you live outside Assam you can order online. If you are looking for designer Mekhela Chador then you can contact designer Sanjukta Dutta’s studio “Sanjukta’s”
You can also find a mekhela chadar store in Delhi and Bangalore as well. There are various shops available in Connaught Place, New Delhi. There is a silkalay store available in Dwarka Sector 4 as well.
Buy Mekhela Chador Online
You can buy Mekhela Chador online from popular shopping sites like Amazon, Flipkart, and Snapdeal.There are a few sellers sell online
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