BAHURANNGI calls for endless celebration for the craftsmen who are bent over for centuries in numerous workshops creating exquisite artifacts with their magical fingers.
Handicraft sector continues to be the largest employer after agriculture in our country. However it is not just about livelihood for thousands of artisans who have kept communities together by keeping alive the mythological, religious, social, historical and artistic expression of all citizens in their craft, that are both objects of utility and beauty. We at BAHURANNGI are committed to recognizing and providing a platform to these artisans and craftsmen. In this endeavor we will be talking about a craft or technique every month and also incorporate it in our products.
Let’s talk about GOTA WORK this time. India is world famous for its magnificent workmanship and produces the most beautiful hand spun and hand woven textiles .These textiles are then further enriched by various surface ornamentation techniques like dyeing, printing, appliqué, patchwork, embroidery etc. Gota Patti or Gota work is a type of Indian embroidery that originated in Rajasthan. It uses the appliqué technique. Small pieces of zari ribbon are applied onto the fabric with the edges sewn down to create elaborate patterns. It is also known as gota-kinari work and lappe-ka-kaam. The embroiderers of Jaipur, Bikaner, Ajmer, Udaipur ,Khandela and Kota are world famous for their uniquely styled Gota work.
At this point it will be interesting to understand what exactly is GOTA? Gota is a gold or silver ribbon or lace which is woven in a satin or twill weave on looms. It consists of cotton in warp and a metal in weft. Originally real gold and silver metals were used to embroider but were eventually replaced by copper coated with silver as the genuine way of making it was very expensive. Nowadays there are even more inexpensive options available. The copper has been replaced by polyester film which is further metalized and coated to suit requirements. This is known as Plastic Gota and is highly durable as it has a good resistance to moisture and does not tarnish as opposed to metal based Gota. So a different set of artisans are involved in this process, they are basically weavers who work on looms to create these beautiful gota laces. However it is interesting to note here that the metal threads used in this weaving are manufactured by yet another sect of skilled artisans.
GOTA MAKERS OF LUCKNOW
In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the northeastern Indian city of Lucknow was well-known for the production of a wide range of metal threads. Some of the threads were used for weaving, while others were intended for various types of embroidery. It would appear that metal workers, embroiderers (zardozi makers; metal thread embroiderers) and a group that are often called ‘lace makers’ (gota makers) were invited to come to Lucknow from various Indian cities, including Agra, Delhi, Lahore and Varanasi. This took place with the support of the then ruler of Oudh, Saadat Ali Khan II (r. 1798-1814). These gota makers were known as Kandilakash. This was a highly organised industry with its own mint. The kandilakash worked with a small set of tools or machines like a charkhi or wheel and jantari or iron plate. He invariably used his fingers and toes to make wires by beating thin sheets of gold and silver and running it through holes in the jantri several times to make thin wires called muqaaish or kamdani ka taar. These wires were used to make laces like tashbadla and for kalabatun and filigree embroideries.
Metal thread production became a staple industry of the city. Apparently the main dealers in Lucknow of metal threads and products were Muslims, called gota wala, who, because of the valuable nature of their goods, were organised into official groups, each under a supervisor called a darogha.
GOTA EMBRIODERY PRODUCTION PROCESS
The Base fabric is tied on four sides with thick cords and is attached to a wooden frame known as Khaat. For tracing design the tracing paper is placed on the Fabric. White paste made of safeda or chalk powder is spread over it. The Design will appear on the fabric. According to the outlines of the design Gotta is cut and folded into different shapes or it may be stitched in a simple line. To create different designs Gotta is cut and folded and is attached in various geometrical or in figured form with Hemming, running and Back stitch on the fabric.
Attractive designs consisting of flowers, leaves and decorative motifs could also be made on gota by pressing it under block. In Jaipuri dialect, this is known as chatapati work. Gota has maintained its popularity even today among the women, the only difference being that the hand-operated loom on which it was formerly made is now power-driven. Thus using gota and other materials like Dori, Sitara, Kundan etc., artistic products are created by Rajasthani artisans.
There is no better choice than ‘Gota Work’ when rich & heavy look is desired in light weight. It is also low cost & durable.
Various types of Gotta are :-
- Sikhiya gotta
- Lehru Gotta
- Chip G
The work was previously done on pure Georgette, Chiffon, Velvet ,Voil & Silk whereas as in recent years synthetic fabrics are also used for the production. The colors commonly used were Red, Orange, Pink, magenta, Maroon & Yellow which are nowadays available in all possible shades as per the customer demand.
Some sections of the pattern are filled with colored satin, thus resulting in a rich design that resembles the enameled jewellery of Rajasthan region. Men and women of all communities wear garments of Gotta work or Lappe ka kaam, as it is auspicious and indispensable during ceremonial occasions.
Married women wear the Gotta ornamented attire in religious, social and festive occasion’s men, and children also dress sometimes in their finest clothes that are often ornamented with Gotta work. Gotta lacing is generally done on odhni and turban edges. Printed or embroidered ghaghras are also trimmed with gota. Traditional articles like Kurti, kaanchli, Sari, Lehanga, Poshaak, Dress for idols are adorned with Gotta work. Contemporary articles include Kurtis, Salwar suits and saris, decorative panels and cushion covers are also in fashion