Hand tatted lace is seldom seen being made. When I was growing up I only saw 1 person tat lace. However, there was a time in our history when the pioneers crossed America in horse-drawn wagons that tatting was the most common hand-made lace. Most likely because tatted lace can be made with a single thread and a hand-made shuttle. Tatting tools are basic and have remained basic for more than two hundred years. Tatting methods today remain similar to the old world ways.
No one knows the true origin of tatting. Tatting is a knotted lace. Believed to have originated in the early 1800’s, it may have developed from netting and decorative ropework as sailors, seamen and fishermen created motifs for loved-ones at home. Tatting shuttles and knotting shuttles are similar so some believe it originated from knotting. No one really knows. What we do know is Tatting has been created around the world. In England, this lace was called knotting. In France it was called frivolet. In America it was called tatting. In German, it’s known as Occhi, Schiffchenarbeit or Frivolitäten. In Italian, it is called chiacchierino, meaning "chatty."
In the mid-1800s Mlle. Eleonore Riego de la Branchardiere, also known as Mlle. Riego, was appointed Artiste in Needlework to Her Royal Highness, the Princess of Wales. Mlle. Riego authored more than 100 books on lacework. She wrote 11 tatting books. Mlle. Riego methods and innovations warrant her to be considered the “mother of modern tatting”. Today’s modern tatting is created very similar to Mlle. Riego’s tatting.
In the 1800s the tatting shuttle was used as a symbol of status and wealth. During this time it was fashionable to have precious gems mounted to gold or silver shuttles and flaunted at lace gatherings.
Lace has been a fashionable, sought-after item. Fine lace has adorned church alters. Royalty has worn elaborate laces. Lace was smuggled from country to country. Women’s intimate apparel was and still is trimmed with lace.
Tatting is one of the laces not reproduced by machine until recently. Embroidery machines make what appears to be the tatted knot. This knot, the tatted knot, is known as a “double stitch”. It is a double half-hitch, or Lark’s Head, knot.
A row of tatted knots can form a straight chain or a circular ring. Creative tatters form rings and chains into any shape and project imaginable from baby bonnets to lace collars to trim blouse necklines, from table doilies to dainty earrings, from a lacy flat Stanley to a 3-dimensional Minion, from a petite doily for a collector’s miniature house to a full-size table cloth. The creations are unlimited!
Tatting is my passion. Come. Let me share it with you.