Craft > Tatting
During the 1600s and 1700s, knotting was a popular pastime of the women of the European royalty and aristocracy. They used open-ended shuttles of bone, ivory or silver, often ornately adorned with elaborate carvings or jewels. With the refinement of threads in the 1800s, and the subsequent modifications of knotting shuttles, the knots took on the form we now recognize as early tatting which consisted of circles called rings made of hitches or reverse lark’s head knots, and the spaces or loops between the knots, called picots (French, meaning “spike” or “tooth”). These rings were painstakingly hand-sewn together by the picots to complete the process.
Around 1851, a way to join the rings while they were being made was devised, thus shortening the time needed to finish a piece. By 1864, tatted chains, which use a second thread but the same knot, were incorporated into pieces; thereby adding to the stability and versatility of patterns offered.
Contrary to popular belief, tatting is not a vanishing art form. The remainder of the 20th century brought additional techniques such as needle tatting, split ring and pearl tatting, (which uses more than two threads), but even modern technology has failed to create a machine to replace the human.
Lessons and instructional videos are available, and new patterns are published in books and various periodicals on a regular basis. With easy access to the Internet, many YouTube videos can be viewed and thousands of other tatters may be located throughout the world for tips and patterns, and to celebrate International Tatting Day on April 1st.
Text courtesy of Anitra Stone
Tatted bookmark & photo courtesy of Carolyn Kotlas