Gota Patti and the appeal of applique

 

The royal heritage of Rajasthan is inclusive of diverse arts and crafts which over centuries have reached a place of immense pride and prestige. Gota Patti, also known as ‘Lappe ka kaam‘, was a favourite amongst royal families and court members for its glitz and glamour. It has an aura of luxury and creates a rich look without being too heavy for the wearer. Dextrous artisans from Bikaner, Ajmer, Jaipur and Udaipur are experts in this vintage applique work whose look and feel is said to resemble the grand meenakari jewellery.

Gota refers to the technique where shimmering gold and silver lace/ribbon of different widths are woven together in a satin or twill weave. This delicately woven gold cloth is embossed over silk, satin, georgette, bandhani and other fabrics to create distinctive textures where it is often complemented by a 'kinari' style border. Adding on to its extravagance, zari, beads and special cut stones are incorporated to create exquisite patterns.

 

Understanding how this beautiful art is brought to life brings a renewed sense of appreciation. A time-consuming and complex process, Gota Patti involves a series of steps that begins with stretching out the fabric between wooden frames and cords. Next is a process called Chapaayi where the intricate designs are traced on the fabric using a perforated stencil and a paste made from chalk powder. This is followed by the applique process where the Gota or lace is folded and cut into different shapes based on the design and is called Takaayi. The lace is almost always cut into rhomboid-like leaf shapes or 'Patti' which are hemmed together to form the signature motifs of this craft. Encompassing patterns inspired by diverse flora and fauna, a few of the prominent motifs include peacock, parrot, human figures(bani thani), elephant, paisley, palanquin, flower pot (Gamla), Keri (Mango) and geometrical patterns.

In the present day, this versatile and lightweight ensemble is an integral part of occasion wear and wedding trousseaus. While sarees are the most well-known and featured fabric, Gota Patti has found a way into our wardrobes through salwar suits, lehengas, turbans, juttis and clutches. It is also becoming increasingly popular across home decor pieces such as cushion covers, bed sheets, rugs and torans as a treasured embellishment. Keeping this legacy alive, we at Sundari Silks have a whole range of products that feature the gorgeous Gota Patti work which can be found at our showrooms in Chennai/Mumbai and our online store.

Share on