Weaving is one of the oldest industries in the state and Assam is well known for its rich textures and designs leading Gandhiji to compliment Assamese weavers as artists who could weave dreams in their looms. So important is this ancient craft it is customary for all young Assamese girls to learn to weave in order to make a marriage match. The industry has been kept alive by the many tribes residing in Assam, which boasts the largest number of weavers and handlooms in the whole of India.
Traditionally every handloom fabric created was unique because the colours and designs varied from weaver to weaver who poured her own personality into the creation using images of birds, animals, creepers, flowers and people in the pattern as well as embroidering motifs on the finished article. Each ethnic group has its own distinctive design and style. Today, however, designers do incorporate patterns and designs based on market demand and the Regional Design Centre at Guwahati supplies new designs and colour patterns to the indigenous handloom societies in the state.
The raw materials mainly used are cotton, the world famous muga or golden silk,pat the white or “mulberry” silk and the warm eri or endi.