In June, I had written about the Gota Bridal Jewelry that I made from my colleague’s niece and how I was smitten by it. I wanted to make some Gota jewelry for myself, but neither did I have materials nor I could figure out where and how to wear it. Then while shopping for my Cousin’s wedding trousseau, I came across a store selling Gota flowers and decided that the wedding would be the perfect opportunity to sport them.
Availability of Gota Products
Gota or Gota patti ( ribbon) is a metallic ribbon that can be made into shaped laces and embellishments like stars, circles or flowers. It can be embellished with rhinestones, bead chains, sequins and even felt for a little pop of color. Apart from being used at trims in clothing and fashion accessories it is also increasingly used in Home decor. I recently took a trip in the hilly region of Uttarkhand in India ( details in an upcoming travel post) and decided to do some shopping on the way back.
Ever since I started Sayuri in 2008, every year I visited Kinari Bazar in Delhi to shop for supplies. However, I have not been able to visit in 2015 and 2016 due to my work. I planned a shopping day with a hope of getting lots of beads and supplies and Gota was one of the items on my list. But when I reached the market, I had a shock. There were hardly 3-4 beads stores apart from the usual trousseau packing and sewing supply stores. The rest of the stores were selling Gota ribbon and related products.
There were huge stores selling ribbon bundles of various colors. I got a gold and white one. Gota was also used to make colorful appliques and border trims. I also bought an unstitched blouse/top pattern with gota work. I also bought a little of each of the applique shapes to experiment with and spent a lot of time and money in the process. Acrylic yarn and woolen thread were used along with gota to make it colorful and appealing. There were stores with gota and pompom streamers. Popmpoms ranging from half an inch to 5-6 inches were also being sold. We bought our neighbours a pair of streamers as a wedding gift.
Gota jewelry was also being sold for pittance – Rs.200 to Rs.400 for an entire set. It was so badly made with blobs of hot glue, unravelling thread, glue streaks and rusted hooks. It was totally unwearable. In my post on Embroidered fabric bangles, I showed the woolen bangles in red that I bought. To pick those four, I had to search an entire sack of bangles. Thankfully, the owner was very cooperative.
Gota – Cost Vs Quality
My mom and I were discussing how unfair it is the people want us to match this price for jewelry but at my quality. The raw material is cheap and is sold in packets. But a big percentage of what is in the packet doesn’t meet even basic quality standards and needs to be thrown away. Also the pieces need to be well thought of and assembled with care which is why designer Gota jewelry is many times more expensive. Still, compared to all other forms of wedding jewelry it is the cheapest. Gota ribbon that has copper in it is duller and is more expensive than the shinier gota which is made of plastic yarns.
Gota jewelry – Alternative wedding jewelry
Firstly, what all can you make with gota? Pretty much everything – Necklaces, Earrings, rings, head pieces like tikka, matha patti, jhoomar, hair clips, bangles, waistbelts, keyrings, etc. Gota jewelry is not only for the bride. It can be worn by bridesmaids, sisters of the bride or groom or even the senior crowd. At my cousin’s wedding reception, I was completely decked up in Gota and received a lot of compliments. My mom too wore a gota ring (first image of the post center ring). If you haven’t already checked out my post on our Bahubali inspired wedding jewelry, you must now to see how my mom and I looked wearing gota jewelry.
Though it is cheap and quirky, Gota can be a bit hard to pull off. If you dislike the bright finish, you can opt for colors like black, green or peach. Only downside is that these are difficult to come by. You can add lots of pompoms in muted colours to also dull the shiny metallic feel of Gota jewelry. As I was wearing them at an Indian wedding it didn’t feel blingy. However, the next time I wear them, it would be as separates and not as a full set.
Gota earrings and maang tikka for the “Devasena” look
When I started making jewelry for the Devasena look, I thought of using artificial polki stones or enamel charms as the main element with a a subtle hint of gota and silk thread (in pinks and blues) thrown in. I also refashioned an old necklace to that effect. But as soon as Gota stepped in, all my ideas went for a toss and gota reigned supreme. It became completely kitschy with Gota tikka, finger rings and pompom jhumkas. The necklace looked out of place and had to be set aside.
Seen above are the Pom Pom jhumkas that I made with Polki studs. I attached it to a silk thread hair clip that I made, with semi cut stones. Since I wanted to reuse the hair clip I joined the ear chain using jump rings to the eyepin I had inserted while making the clip. This was how it looked at that stage with gota hiding the clip that was seen through the gap. I was planning on pinning up the ear chain to my hair. But while getting dressed up for the reception, I realised that it was much better to leave it loose. Also, the center gota hindered the working of the clip so I took it off.
Though extremely light weight, the clip stayed in place even after 2 dances and a lot of running around the entire evening. It also helped my hair stay at the back without sticking on my shoulders.
The designs of Gota necklaces I saw on the net looked very tacky and I knew I wanted one that was elegant. So I edged a silver filigree disc that I bought recently with yellow gold gota. I dismantled the polki bits from the previous necklace and added them to the pendant. I added pink thread beads to match the pompoms and blue crystal beads to match the skirt. The looped pearls helped increase the length to chest level.
Wearing gota jewelry – my experience
But the time I was done with the necklace it was just two days left for the reception. My clothes were at the tailor getting altered. When they came back I realised to my horror that the gota looked out of place. Then, a brainwave struck. I asked the tailor to edge my dupatta with the same gota ribbon I used for my necklace.
When I tried my whole ensemble on – Pink blouse, blue skirt and teal dupatta, none of them went with each other. I looked like a fat gypsy. So out went the pink blouse and in came the blue blouse. This one was initially rejected because it was readymade and too loose. But I had not other option now. Thankfully, the pink accent on the jewelry matched the pink flowers on the skirt and looked balanced. The Analogous colors, coupled with the silhouette and my makeup made my look thin too.
Gota is a fun material that has a lot of uses. As it is easy to manipulate and make variation with, it makes for great bridal or baby shower party favours. Making them would also be a fun girls night in activity too. Stay tuned, for I have a tutorial on how to make Gota jewelry coming up.
Doesn’t matter where you are in the world but if you are looking to buy Gota jewelry please email me your specifications and I will be happy to make something for you.
I hope you found it interesting