Mekhela chador

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A lady in mekhela chador
On display, a hand woven mekhela chador in pat silk depicting an exquisite pattern of wildlife in Kaziranga

Mekhela chador (Assamese: মেখেলা চাদৰ) is the traditional Assamese dress, worn by women of all ages except children.


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 (Assamese: মেখেলা). It is in the form of a sarong, a very wide cylinder of cloth that is folded into pleats to fit around the waist and tucked in. The folds are to the right, as opposed to the pleats in the Nivi style of the saree, which are folded to the left. Strings are never used to tie the mekhela around the waist, though an underskirt with a string is often used.

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. Unlike the pavadai dhavani, the chador is tucked in triangular folds. A fitted blouse is often worn, though in the past another garment called a riha was worn. A riha is still worn as part of the Assamese bridal trousseau, but over a fitted blouse.


Traditional motifs on a mekhela chador

Ornamental designs on the mekhela-chadors are traditionally woven, never printed. Sometimes a woven pattern, called the pari, is stitched along the sides of a chador, or along the bottom of a mekhela.

Weaving materials[edit]

Traditional mekhela chadors are made from the following materials:

Some modern low-budget sets are also made with varying blends of cotton and muga or pat silk with synthetic materials.


The mekhela chador is available in many stores across Guwahati and other cities of Assam. They are also available through various websites.[1][2][3][4]

External links[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Mekhela Chador". Archived from the original on September 26, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Mekhela Chador". Assam Silk Shopping. Retrieved April 2015.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  3. ^ "Mekhela Chador". Rajmati Sarees. Retrieved April 2015.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  4. ^ "Mekhela Chador". Sri Sai Tex Art. Retrieved April 2015.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)