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Everything you desired or needed to know about Tatting

Tatting is a technique for handcrafting a particularly resilient lace constructed utilizing a number of knots and loops. Tatting could be used to  make lace edging together with doilies, collars, and also other decorative pieces.

The Tatting Lace is formed by way of a pattern of rings and chains formed using a series of cow hitch, or half-hitch knots, named double stitches (ds), over a core thread. Gaps might be left within stitches to make picots, which might be employed for practical construction as well as decorative effect.

Tatting dates in to the early 1800s. The term for tatting in many European languages is derived out of French frivolité, which describes the purely decorative nature of the textiles created by this method. The technique began to mimic point lace.

Some consider that tatting patterns may have developed from netting and decorative ropework as sailors and fishers would created motifs for girlfriends and wives back home. Decorative ropework utilized on ships includes techniques (esp. coxcombing) that relate striking similarity with tatting. An excellent description about this may be found in  Knots, Splices and Fancywork.

Some believe tatting originated over 220 years ago, often citing shuttles observed in eighteenth century paintings of women for instance Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Madame Adelaide (daughter of Louis XV of France), and Anne, Countess of Albemarle. A detailed inspection of such paintings demonstrates that the shuttles involved are far too large to be tatting shuttles, and they are really knotting shuttles.

There is absolutely no documentation, nor any examples of tatted lace, that date earlier than 1800. Most of the available evidence demonstrates tatting originated in the early 19th century.

Older designs, especially through the early 1900s, have a tendency to use fine white or ivory thread (fifty to one hundred widths in the inch) and intricate designs. This thread was either manufactured from silk or maybe a silk blend, allowing for improper stitches to be easily removed.

Newer designs out of the 1920s and onward often use thicker thread in one or maybe more colors. The ideal thread for tatting is often a “hard” thread that does not untwist readily.

DMC Cordonnet thread is a very common tatting thread; Perl cotton can be an instance of an exquisite cord that is nonetheless a lttle bit loose for tatting purposes. Some tatting models incorporate ribbons and beads.

Since many fashion periodicals, and home economics magazines out of the first half of the 20th century attest, tatting stood a substantial following. When fashion included feminine touches including lace collars and cuffs, and inexpensive yet lovely baby shower gifts were needed, this creative art flourished. As the fashion moved to a more modern look and technology made lace a simple and inexpensive commodity to purchase, hand-made lace started to decline.

Tatting has been used in occupational therapy to help keep convalescent patients’ hands and minds active during recovery, as documented, for example, in Betty MacDonald’s The Plague & I.

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