|"A lady knots while her companion reads"|
This silhouette was painted
by Mrs Delany ( 1700-1788) (1)
|Found in Godey's 1857|
Seemingly, destined to languish in moderate obscurity with its limitations in design and technique, tatting would see an abrupt change as Mlle Eleanor Riego de la Branchardiere chose to embrace it.....
|Contemporary tatting in its most basic form. Notice the rings (circles)|
and the picots (small loops at the tip of the rings).
Lace c. early 19teens - 1930s from my collection
|It is easy to see the chain in the |
above doily. They are the "arcs"
that connect the rings.
This is a pattern from the 1940s
that I tatted several years ago.
|Top: Tatted lace in the style of late 1850s - 1860s|
Middle: Gutta Percha tatting shuttle
Bottom: Tatted Lace in the style of the 1840s
Tatting became an easy craft for any of the publishers of ladies' periodicals and books to market. Women could master these techniques fairly quickly and with very little expense. Although much money could be spent on fancy shuttles made of sterling silver or carved ivory, most ladies used very basic tools. By the mid-19th century a basic gutta percha shuttle could be purchased for a few cents. A ball of cotton tatting thread was also very inexpensive. Tatting became a brand new form of fancy work to be embraced by the modern Victorian woman desiring to keep with the latest styles.
In the photo above, there are two vintage pieces of tatting from my collection. Left: Tatting on a linen table runner (c. 1860s-1880s)
Right: Doily with lace edging (c.19teens-1930s)
|1916 Tatting Pattern Book|
|Top: Vintage Doily c. 1930s-1940s|
Bottom: Doily Pattern from
1940s tatted by me.
|Tatted Lace, Shuttle and Thread from c1940s - 1950s|
Tatting has had a difficult time surviving since the 1970's. It sees peaks and valleys every few years, but has fallen into a more obscure place than its cousin, crochet.
Next up the Copycats.....
(1) Pam Palmer, Tatting, (Buckinghampshire, UK: Shire Publishing Ltd., 2004).
Elgiva Nicholls, Tatting Technique & History, (Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 1984).
Mary E. Fitch, Tatting - Series No. 6, (Brookline, Mass: 1916)
Heidi Marsh (Compiled By), Knit, Net, Crochet and More of the Era of the Hoop, (Greenville, CA: Self-Published, 1993).
Kathleen Warnick, and Shirley Nilsson, Legacy of Lace, (New York: Crown Publishers, 1988).