Textile Tradition of Northeast
• Eri silk has excellent thermal insulating property which is rare in any other textiles
• Its blends with wool, cashmere, bamboo, linen, ramie etc.
• Its anti-fungal, high moisture regain, soft and subtle
• Protects the body from cold as well hot climate, from skin allergy, skin disease, infection etc
• It is very strong and elastic and is relatively odorless compared to other fibers sourced from animal origin
• Technology today has made it possible for Eri to be spun differently, have different textures, and be available in different colors
• This makes it easier for designers to adopt Eri in their creations. From baby clothes to traditional saris to bridal gowns, this sustainable fabric is emerging as a very popular choice
• 98% of India’s eri silk is produced in Assam and the North-east. It is therefore the silk of the real silk country
• Eri shawls are offered inside the coffins with the belief that, it will protect the human being even after his/her death by some communities
• Fashion apparels like saree, mekhela chadar, kurta, tops, goens, skirts, shirts, trousers, jacket, tie etc.
• Home Decor like curtains, table runners, table cloth, cushion covers, pillow covers etc.
• Eri is used to make winter wear clothing such as shawls, stoles, and jackets due to its thermal properties
• Considered as ‘Holy fabric’, it is used by Buddhist monks in India, Bhutan, Nepal, China, Japan due to its cruelty-free process
• Sericin, a powder extracted from Eri silk cocoons can also be used in development of cosmectics
• It is a very durable fabric and is known to outlive its owner
• This silk gets more lustrous as it ages and the fabric gets softer with every wash
• Experiments on Muga silk prove that this silk can absorb close to 80% ultra-violet rays and also absorbs moisture beautifully. This makes it an ideal fabric to use as sunshield
• This fabric is not just a luxurious piece of fabric but an ecological marvel as well. The silkworms that create Muga, the Antheraea Assamensis, are as old as dinosaurs
• It cannot tolerate even the most minimum of pollution levels
• Ahom kings were known to keep many costly Muga sets in the royal storehouse for presentation to distinguished visitors to their court
• Queens were personally involved in training weavers. The fabric was also a chief export of the Ahoms
• It is known for its resilience. It can be given a fine texture by dry ironing it in a damp state or it can attain a crushed look by not getting ironed
• Extensively used for making apparels like mekhela chadors and sarees. The Muga mekhela-chador is a traditional dress of Assamese women for Bihu dances and weddings
• It is used in making various items like hats, caps, scarf’s, wraps, stoles, quilts, bridal wear, upholstery, mens kurtas etc.
• It is also in great demand in Japan to make kimonos and other traditional garments. Also countries like U.S., Greece, Germany, South Africa and France are keen in using Muga due to its UV ray protection property
The synthesis of both tribal and non-tribal techniques have contributed greatly to the development of the handloom sector in this region. The glory of handloom products has been seeping across our domestic borders and are present worldwide. Some pieces have even been lionzed and placed in the world’s most prestigious museums. One such example is that of the Vrindavani Vastra. This historic textile was first developed by Sri Sankardeva at the request of the Koch King Naranarayana in the 17th century. It depicts the life of Lord Krishna, the fun and frolic of his time in Vrindavan. Legend tells us the Vastra was so long, broad and heavy, it took 60 people to spend, roll back, tie and lift it. It is known to be 60 yards long and 30 wide. It remains a mystery as to where its remains can be found today, as fragments of it have been discovered in Tibet as well as far flung Europe.