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Gota Patti – in a new ‘avataar’

I must begin this post by mentioning the fact that the word ‘gota’ was enough to send tremors through my body, when I was younger! However, today it’s a different story altogether. Delicate ‘gota’ work excites me, gets my imagination going wild and I can now imagine it on the prettiest of dresses, lehngas and sarees, simply ‘cos it’s no more loud and ‘so in your face’ but beautifully subtle, classy and shouts out celebration in the most elegant way. It’s been a part of Northern India for a long, long time and would invariably be a part of most North Indian weddings…I must confess that I always dreaded the idea of having a ‘gota’ border saree but thankfully the one I had to wear for one of my wedding rituals was stunningly put together by lovely aunts. The wedding Gods were kind to me 🙂 Since, then I have been dipping my hand off and on in ‘gota’ inspired work. I have been meaning to write about this for a long time and what better occasion, then the month of festivities with ‘teej’ and ‘saavan’…I say, bring on the ‘gota’ work…

The Naila village at Jaipur district of Rajasthan in India is well known for ‘Gota Patti’ work on formal wear and fabric. Rajasthan is much known across the globe for it’s glitter, glamour, history, food, as a popular wedding destination and above all for its bright, cheerful clothes. ‘Gota Patti’, a type of appliquĂ©-embroidery, is uniquely prestigious; is also called ‘Lappe ka kaam’ or work of appliquĂ©, it can be found on just about any royal garment and the artisans initially travelled from the markets of Gujarat to Rajasthan to create the famous ‘gotta patti’ work. Today, Jaipur is the believed to be the hub of ‘gota patti’ work and about sixty thousand odd men are known to work on this, just in the town of Naila alone!

Gold and silver metallic wires were traditionally used as the ‘Gota’ ribbon. The ‘Gota Patti’ was cut according to motifs inspired by nature, and birds, animals and human figures were attached to fabric decorated by gold and silver wire.  However, due to the high cost of these precious metals, most ‘gota patti’ is done using artificial fibres. The production of placing ‘gota patti’ work onto fabric begins with ‘chapaayi’. This is the process of printing the pattern of the desired design onto the base fabric. ‘Khaat’ or a wooden frame is set up to which the fabric is tied using thick cords. Then, a tracing paper with perforated pattern is placed on top and rubbed with chalk powder to print the outline of the design on to the fabric and voila, the pattern is ready!

In the days gone by, the ‘gota patti’ was sewn straight onto the fabric but in this modern day and age, it is now stuck using an adhesive paste onto the  fabric, which makes the whole production process so much quicker. After the ‘Gota’ work has been complete, ‘patti’, which is nothing but the trim is incorporated into the tapestry.  This process is referred to as ‘takaayi’.

The final stage, ‘silaayi,’ is the tailoring of the fabric onto a finished garment and then, there you have it – an exquisite masterpiece using ‘gotta patti’ work is ready! A peep into some out of this world pieces:

Pink Lehnga with some 'gota paati' - for a very special occasion via

Pink Lehnga with some ‘gota paati’ – for a very special occasion via

Isn't this amazing applique work? Or shall we just call it good, old 'gotta patti' magic via

Isn’t this amazing applique work? Or shall we just call it good, old ‘gota patti’ magic via

Just the perfect outfit for the day.. a perfect day with an extremely perfect 'gotta patti' ensemble via

Just the perfect outfit for the day.. a perfect day with an extremely perfect ‘gota patti’ ensemble via

Not just for celebrities but good for you and me too ... perfect 'gotta patti' work via

Not just for celebrities but good for you and me too … perfect ‘gota patti’ work by Vikran Phadnis via

A modern twist to the traditional 'gota patti' ? Absolutely; right here via

A modern twist to the traditional ‘gota patti’ ? Absolutely; right here via

gota patti suit

Anarkali with very subtle ‘gota apatti’ via

Are you all impressed and looking for a ‘gotta patti’ specialist? Look no further, here are our favourites:

– Swati Ubroi : Find her at:  C-25 Bhagwandas Road, C-Scheme, Jaipur.

Anita Dongre: Click away here and see what she is creating

Amrita Thakur: See what she is up to, right here

Vikram Phadnis: A wedding in the near future, look no further, just here

Use the above or get your favourite artisan to create your very own ‘gota patti’ outfit. Life is colourful and good with some ‘gota patti’…Happy Celebrations!!!

Shilpa xx

Cover Image: via