Tatting may have developed from fishermen's knotted nets, and is certainly related to the art of
netting. Tatting is composed of rings and chains and, because its stitches are basically knots, is
more sturdy than knitting or crochet.

Tatting is not easy to learn, as the worker's hand has to learn to increase and decrease the size
and tension of the ring of thread. Once learned, though, tatting is often quickly worked. I can tat
without looking in many cases.

My great-grandmother taught me to tat using a shuttle when I was around 10 years old. When I
made a knot, she made me pick it out with a pin.  Today some needlewomen use more modern,
easier, methods to tat.
This traditional pattern, called "Chicken
and Biddies," is made of rings.
While I like to tat using my antique wooden shuttle, modern metal shuttles with hooks on the end are
more convenient.
Tatting wasn't only used for dresser scarves and pillow cases. This 19th century
French doll's elaborate dress is trimmed with tatting.
Next Page   Previous Page   Lace Home Page