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Muga, The Silk of Assam Needs Your Love

Read this to know about Muga, the Golden Silk of Assam

 

It’s not just the vast tea gardens that the Assamese are proud of, but also the lovely Muga Silk. The golden-yellowish shade of the Muga silk makes it look so classy that there is rarely a chance of you not receiving huge amount of compliments while you are dressed in it.  Heard or read about Ahom Dynasty? Well, the history of the golden treasure of Assam had its production started around that time which was somewhere between 1228 and 1826. You’d be amazed that the queens of the Ahom Dynasty took the ownership and personally trained the weavers.

Muga BananiVista

The beautiful Bipasha Basu dressed in Mekhela Chadar

 

The ever glowing Muga silk has been a part of a lot of fashion weeks where renowned designers have showcased their work by this fabric being the highlight. In fact the amazing designer Samant Chauhan left the audience jaw dropped because of something unique that he did. His show took place in the National Rail Museum, Delhi. In fact, this show was also a part of the Make in India campaign by the Fashion design council of India.

Designer Samant Chauhan showcasing Muga through his work

Designer Samant Chauhan showcasing Muga through his work

 

Peep a little deep to know about how Assam makes its Muga silk.

 

The gorgeous and the rare form of silk is made from the semi cultivated silkworm called Antheraea assamenis. It’s known for the strongest natural fibre which is organic in nature, thus the fabulous texture of the Muga Silk. Mostly it is cultivated in the West Garo hills and a tiny bit of the cultivation takes place in the Khasi hills too. It is said that in just one go, approximately 400 gms of Muga can be generated in just 1 acre of land. Though it takes about 10 days to conclude the weaving process, it takes about 2 long months to produce the final product like a saree.

The golden silk threads

The golden silk threads

 

The Muga and Sualkuchi Diaries

 

The region of Sualkuchi,a town located in Kamprup district of Assam has a melodious tune all around and that is the click clack sound of the loom. It is indeed a treat for the eyes to witness how Sualkuchi weavers are preserving their art form so magnificently. In fact , Sualkuchi is the dominant area for the Assam’s Silk industry. You would observe that off late there are more migrant weavers than the local weavers at Sualkuchi. This primarily happened because there was an increase in the demand of the silk and the prices. Therefore, to keep up with the growing demand, the weaving had to be commercialized and weavers from across the town of Sualkuchi were also invited to become a part of the weaving of Muga Silk

Weavers at work in Sualkuchi

Weavers at work in Sualkuchi

 

The fall and rise in the era of Muga Silk

 

Thanks to the ever increasing pollution in the areas of Som tree plantations, the production of Muga silk has been adversely affected. However, there are few people who come out as a blessing when Government fails to intervene as much as it should. One of such human is Dulal Chowdhury, a mechanical engineer by profession who hails from Guwahati. A patent was awarded to this talented and thoughtful fellow for the technological process of Muga’s production which starts from reeling and ends in weaving. However, as humble as he is known to be, he performed a great act of handling over the patent to the Assamese local weavers.

Though the Muga silk is very expensive, it still is a dream of almost every Assamese to own an article made out of this brilliant fabric which shines a little more and get better with every wash. In the villages, people are seen wearing Mekhela Chador, the traditional Assamese dress and the women from urban side of the city prefer to invest in a Pure Muga silk saree which costs anything between 10,000 – 1,50,000.

Assam's golden silk saree

Assam’s golden silk saree

 

We all understand that in order to let our country continue to be rich in terms of art, culture and heritage, we need to preserve it and work really hard towards it betterment. Thus, there are some interesting attempts by the youth, the locals and the government too for Muga Silk.

  • The youth of Sualkuchi have shown an inclination towards preserving the Golden Silk and have come up with various plans too.
  • A textile laboratory has also been set up specifically for Muga Silk, thanks to the endless efforts by the silk mark organization
  • The Geographical Indication to Muga had been granted in order to avoid low-grade production of this silk and its products outside Assam.

Today, Muga Silk is loved by not just Indians but even by people all across the world.

We hope that Muga never misses to glitter even a notch less.

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An enthusiastic dreamer. Passion for reading and writing started in school and will end probably when I die, not so soon for sure (wink wink) .

gupta.vinisha85@gmail.com

Comments

  • Meenal
    April 2, 2018

    Interesting
    Vety well written

  • Sriram
    April 2, 2018

    Very interesting and the depth of research on the fabric and its production and history is really noteworthy.

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