Traditionallytextile designs from Assam have been based on inspirations from the epics and MotherNature, with prominent geometrical/ floral designs produced in brilliant shadesfor the ethnic costumes. Brindavani cloths were the most famous traditional Assamesefabrics produced with designs depicting the different incarnations of GodVishnu. Major textile designs presently used for ethnic fabrics includeKimkhwab, Boro diamond, Ohol jonberi, Cosa sazia, Miri and Hatipati designsconsisting of geometrical, floral, inspired by nature and traditionalfestivities. Evolution of traditional textile design in the dominant handloomsector has been witnessed during couple of decades post Indian independenceperiod, with adaptation of jacquard fitted looms. Major traditional costumes ofthe region include Mekhla-Chadar, dhoti-kurta, dokhna, sarees, riha and japiwhich profusely use the traditional Assamese designs for fabric ornamentation.A review of traditional textile designs of Assam, their usage in the handloom industryfor the ethnic and tribal costumes of Assam state has been reported in thisarticle.

Assamis a land of rich cultural heritage where weaving is not just an occupation butalso a way of life. Almost every home in rural Assam bustles with the sound ofhand loom weaving.

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This article was originally published in the Textile Review magazine,March, 2013, published by Saket Projects Limited, Ahmedabad.

Aboutthe Author:

NaveenV. Padaki and Brojeswari Das are associated with the Central silk TechnologicalResearch Institute of the Central Silk Board, Bangalore.

A.K.Barman is associated with the Regional Silk Technological Research Station,CSTRI of Central Silk Board, Guwahati.

SaratDeori is associated with the Regional office of Central Silk Board, Guwahati.

Surendra Kumar isassociated with the Indian Institute of Handloom Technology at Guwahati.