Wednesday, July 5, 2017
Woven Wednesday: The Lost Art of Tatting
I was recently at a Facebook party and commented that I spent my growing up years ironing my mom’s cotton pillowcases that her aunts had tatted for her as a wedding gift. Very few folks on the feed had heard of tatting, so I thought I’d share a bit about it here.
Called knotting in England, frivolet in France, and tatting in America, it is an ancient form of lace making that uses a shuttle or needle to create a series of knots and loops. Designs range from the very simple to incredibly complex. It is said that Queen Victoria of England and Archduchess Maria Theresa of Austria enjoyed the art. Doilies are probably the most commonly known tatted item, but jewelry, bookmarks, ornaments, baby caps and booties, and wedding veils can also be made. Because tatting creates chains of lace, it can be used to edge items (like my mom’s pillowcases) or purses, placemats, or clothing.
From what I can tell from researching, manual dexterity is an important component of the artform. It became very popular in the 1800s, and many women’s magazines such as Godey’s and Harper’s Bazaar featured instructions and patterns. During WWII was an inexpensive way to spruce up worn-out clothing (Make do and mend was one of many themes during the war). In addition to knitting, crocheting, and quilting, instructions on tatting were included in the 1940s publication The Work Basket.
There are still people who create tatted items, but because technology has made lace an easy and inexpensive product to purchase, the art of lace making and tatting has fallen out of popularity.
A freelance writer for over ten years, Linda Shenton Matchett is the author of several romance novellas. Under Fire, the first book in her trilogy about WWII War Correspondent/amateur sleuth Ruth Brown will be released on July 25, 2017. Visit Linda at www.LindaShentonMatchett.com