Mishings are a riverine tribe which live close to the river Brahmaputra, they are the second largest indigenous tribe after the Bodos. The women are expert weavers and compulsorily weave clothes for themselves and others.
Mishing handloom is characterised by vivid colour combinations and extra weft weaving. The Mishings are born weavers and are expert in weaving motifs and patterns inspired by nature. They weave mostly with cotton, locally cultivated eri and mulberry yarns.
The Mishings weave mostly on throw shuttle looms with a width of upto 40″. They weave chadar, mekhela, gero and other local outfits. The weaves have two main components- the ghai and konger, Ghai is the main pattern whereas konger is the repeat pattern.
From time immemorial the Bodo women have been weaving their own traditional wear at home. The Bodo women are expert weavers with artistic sensibility and deft hand movements. The handloom uses the extra warp technique and includes cotton textiles of various colours and silk fabrics of the finest quality. So, it is natural that each and every household have their own handloom. The traditional garments woven by them with great enthusiasm and floral work are: Dokhona, Fali, Indisi, Aronai, Rege-regang, Janji Khanai Fali, Gamsa etc.
Eri silk is a unique silk cultivated mostly in Assam (about 96%) and some cultivation is done in other North Eastern states and some parts of Chhatisgarh. Eri silk, also known as endi or errandi in India, is a multivoltine silk spun from open-ended cocoons, unlike other varieties of silk. Eri silk is the product of the domesticated silkworm, Philosamia ricini that feeds mainly on castor leaves.The white/muddy red silk is often referred to as the Ahimsa silk or the fabric of peace as the process does not involve the killing of the silk worm. Moths leave the cocoon as soon as it is ready to be spun. The eri silk worm is completely domesticated.
The isothermal quality of Eri silk makes it a suitable fabric for the winter as well as in the summer, which is an unique property compared to other fabrics. Also, because of its soft texture and moisture absorbent quality, fine Eri silk is comfortable in the summer.
Fine eri silk of thickness 140-210 Nm are used for all the fabrics, which have been woven into beautiful yardages using handlooms with traditional elegant motifs in red eri or embellished lightly with other colored thread.