One of the biggest trends in Pre wedding bridal jewelry scene in India last year was Gota Bridal Jewelry. Though flower jewelry was the “IT accessory” in 2015 and 2016, by end 2016, gota jewelry got caught over. With Gota embroidery being a staple in Rajuputani Poshak (wedding dress of Rajput women) and in certain places in North India, the trend quickly went up the fashion curve. However, the unavailability of raw material (Gota ribbon) in other parts of the country put a dampener on the trend. Though NRI brides could export pieces from Pakistan or Bangladesh, Indian brides had little choice in the matter. Now that Gota embroidery is becoming popular all over the country due to availability of material, Gota jewelry too, by extension is becoming fashionable. Before I move on to trends, let me explain what Gota is.
What is Gota?
Gota or Gota patti ( ribbon) is a metallic ribbon typically found in gold, bronze, silver and copper colors. It has a twill weave or a satin weave with a solid color base like orange or white. It is typically folded in triangles to create bunting style laces. Gota is also used to create floral appliques for clothing especially those meant for bridal and party wear. Wider ribbons can be gathered or heat set with pleats to create small circles. It can also be sewn with pompom, pearls and other beads to create Gota Bridal Jewelry. Both the heat set circles and the bunting style lace can be seen on the jewelry set on this page.
The specialty of gota is that it creates a luxurious look but it is extremely light to wear. Hence it is preferred in places that are dry and hot. In the days of Maharajas, gota used to be made out of real silver or gold plated zari. Then it reduced to copper threads that were plated. Now it is only polyester combined with lurex.
Gota embroidery referred to as Lappe ka Kham (metal ribbon work) in Rajasthan forms an important part of their wedding attire known as Poshak. It is also used extensively in Lucknow and other parts of Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh as embellishment in both silk and cotton clothing which is worn during weddings. Though traditionally gota was cut and sewn by hand it is now increasingly being done with machines. Consequently both the cost and the quality of the materials used and the final finish has come down. In the olden days, Gota work was done only on Silk or cotton but as you can see in the above picture collage it is now done on Chiffon, Georgette and even net. Using polyester as the base fabric brings the cost down making it accessible to the middle class who simply cannot afford the same embroidery on silk.
Gota Bridal Jewelry
Recently, one of my colleagues approached me to help her make Gota Bridal Jewelry for her bride-to-be niece. The bride (the niece) had gotten a beautiful outfit in yellow and sea green with gota work but she couldn’t find matching jewelry. She had even gone to the extent of sourcing for gota circles, pompom, and ribbons at the local market. However, they couldn’t put what they had in a manner that was aesthetically pleasing.
Happy to help the bride look like a princess, I jumped in. Along with some felt, rhinestones, ball chain, pearl chain, and findings, I added a liberal sprinkling of my creativity. I created a pair of earrings that are alomst 4″ long yet weigh almost nothing. The half matha patti, though very jazzy frames the face beautifully while giving a “Princess of the yore” look. I also used a combination of both silver and gold gota to balance the white of the rhinestones and the beads. This, my colleague later said, brought a lot of brightness to the bride’s face. Understandably, they were very happy with it. I too felt that it was quite an improvement over my earlier gota jhoomars
Though this little project started as a favour, I took it on to help me get out of the rut that I was stuck in. The work was very simple as I am used to working with these embellishements but I learned a lot. Additionally doing something new helped me get my mojo back. Eventually Blue Gold happened and for that I am very thankful.
Working on this project I learned that you do not need a lot of materials, money or even a lot of time to make something beautiful. What you need are the right kind of materials, creativity and skill and most importantly, the willingness to make it all work. What do you think?
Have you ever incorporated a textile embellishment technique to make jewelry? Or have you ever worn embroidery or embellished jewelry? Do tell me in the comments.
I hope you found it interesting