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Tatting

Pair of girls' gloves, early 20th century; crocheted cotton with tatted edging. Pair of girls' gloves, early 20th century; crocheted cotton with tatted edging. Copyright Victoria and Albert Museum, London, acc. no. B.947:1-1993.

Tatting is a knotting technique used to make a form of lace with a series of knots and loops (picots or purls). It is made using a small shuttle. In Western Europe this technique seems to date to the late eighteenth century and may be a development of knotting. It became popular in the late nineteenth century.

Tatting was sometimes used in the nineteenth century to imitate ragusa gimp laces and knotted laces of the sixteenth century. The English term tatting is said to be taken from the word ‘tatters’ (Caulfeild and Saward 1882:476), indicating its fragile, piece-meal nature. The French term frivolité also indicates its fragile nature.

  • Dutch: frivolité
  • French: frivolité
  • German: Schiffchenarbeit (‘work of the little boat’)
  • Italian: chiacchierino (‘chatty’)

Sources:

  • CAULFEILD, Sophia Frances Anne and Blanche C. SAWARD (1882). The Dictionary of Needlework, London: Upcott Gill, p. 476.
  • EARNSHAW, Pat (1984). A Dictionary of Lace, Aylesbury: Shire Publications Ltd, p. 169.
  • GROVES, Sylvia (1966). The History of Needlework Tools, London: Country Life, p. 89.

V&A online catalogue (retrieved 29 June 2016).

GVE

Last modified on Wednesday, 24 August 2016 14:33