Crocheting beyond gender: A Goan man’s story

While many might assume that crochet is solely a female-dominated craft, Gautam Naik defies stereotypes as a hair, beauty and spa professional, who has been captivated by the art of crochet at the age of 12. “I developed a passion for crocheting at a young age after observing my aunt’s crochet work at home. She taught me the basic stitches, which I quickly grasped due to my keen interest. In Class 5, I noticed my teacher crocheting during her free time, so I expressed my ability to work on basic stitches and asked if she could teach me more. She generously lent me her crochet book, and I made photocopies to explore and learn different crochet patterns. And that is how my journey in crocheting began.”

Ever since then, Naik has been making and selling crochet items to his acquaintances. His first work was a duck-themed tablecloth, which he sold for Rs. 250. Presently, Naik specialises in creating an array of items, including torans, bunny caps, duck tablecloths, mobile pouches, sweaters, handbags, monkey caps, and patchwork on jute bags and fabrics and sells them under the brand Gomzy1982, which is also his Instagram handle. “Granny square pattern is my favourite as I can create various items out of it, such as handbags and mobile pouches. I also create patchwork on jute bags using Granny’s square.”

And despite not being a professional tailor, Naik navigates the challenges of transforming crochet patterns into finished products with determination. While he occasionally faces difficulties in attaching chains to items like mobile pouches, however, his commitment to delivering the best results enables him to overcome such obstacles. He also accepts customised orders to meet the requirements of his customers.




Recently, Naik made his debut in the public eye by showcasing his crochet works at the Festive Consumer and Lifestyle Exhibition in Margao. He says, “I never thought I would be exhibiting my works but it so happened that when I went to teach crochet to tailoring students at Margao Government Industrial Training Institute (ITI), there were so many talented girls doing stalking and cloth flowers, scrunchies and many more items. So when I asked where they sell, they told me they do not sell it anywhere. Hence, I told them that I will arrange a stall at an exhibition to give them a platform.”

He adds that the experience at the exhibition was “awesome” and he got good exposure. “A lot of people at the exhibition who saw me doing crochet appreciated that a male is doing crochet. I was also approached by some teachers from special schools to teach students. I love to teach and whenever I get time from work I do visit ITI Margao to share my expertise and experience with students. I’ve taught special children as well at ITI Margao who were there for a summer camp and they made handloom flowers really well,” he says, adding that he and those students got a very good response for the exhibition. “All my crochet items were totally sold out. I had nothing left to sell on the second day so I spent a whole night making new items.”




The Ribandar-based has been working in the hospitality industry for the last 20 years and after his 10-7 job, he stays awake until midnight and works on crochet projects. His tip for youngsters and everyone who loves doing crochet is to never give up and to keep practising. “I would like to address boys specifically and emphasise that there may be individuals who question why you engage in activities that are kind of gender defined. However, it is important to understand that there are no gender limitations in pursuing one’s interests. When I first began crocheting, I faced numerous challenges, with many people in my surroundings suggesting that crochet was exclusively for girls. Despite these discouragements, I chose to ignore them and persist in pursuing my passion for crochet. During this time, my parents, brother, and neighbour’s support, encouraged me to persevere and not give up.”

Naik envisions establishing a small training hub in the future, open to anyone interested in learning the techniques and art of crochet from him. “It is my wish to have a place where I can impart my knowledge to anyone interested,” says Naik.


Article By: Ramandeep Kaur | NT

Picture Credit: Hemant Parab