Tatting and Lace Making

Tatting, one of the easisest ways to create handmade lace, is an easy art form to pick up-- and quite addictive. Thought to have originated in Italy in the 16th century, it gradually made its way across Europe until, in the late 18th century, it could be found decorating all types of items from reticules to bonnets, caps and handkerchiefs. Imitation tatting can be purchased, but nothing beats the real item. Costume designer Andrea Galer supports this dying craft as she uses handmade lace in her items. All the lace as seen in Miss Austen Regrets, Mansfield Park and Persuasion is made by hand by craftswoman in Sri Lanka. The women had lost everything in the Tsunami and the lace making project allows them to rebuild their lives as well as the incredible craft. You can view and purchase your own Austen garments, made by Andrea Galer, at our online shop. Click here. Handwork allowed a woman to sit still and be useful at the same time. It enabled her to show off her industriousness, good taste and delicate hands. Small piece of work such as lace making, were acceptable items to occupy one's time with, while visiting, and could be brought to a friend's house for a cosy bit of work over tea and conversation. At the time when tatting was introduced in England, Netting was already a popular past time and many ladies, including Queen Anne, Queen Charlotte and Madame Pompadour chose to be painted with or holding their netting shuttles. These shuttles were larger than those used for tatting, but used in a similar manner. Although the world "tatting" is not found in printed text until the 1840's, in 1781, Parson Woodforde mentions buying a pair of small ivory shuttles for his niece for one shilling. Netting shuttles were quite a bit more expensive than this, due to their size, so it is safe to assume that the parson's neice was tatting. Tatting On account of a similarity in their construction, a chapter on tatting seems to form a natural sequence to the one on crochet and is in some ways a preparation for that on macramé which succeeds it. The English name of tatting is said to be derived from "tatters" and to denote the frail disconnected character of the fabric. By the Italians it was formerly called "occhi", whilst in the East it still bears the name of "makouk", from the shuttle used in making it. In the eighteenth century, when tatting was in great vogue, much larger shuttles than our present ones were used, because of the voluminous materials they had to carry, silk cord being one. Shuttles.—The tatting shuttle consists of two oval blades of either bone, ivory, mother of pearl or tortoise-shell, pointed at both ends, and joined together in the middle. A good shuttle contributes materially to the rapid and perfect execution of the work and attention should be paid in its selection to the following particulars: that it be not more than 7 c/m. long and 2 or 3 c/m. wide: that the two ends be close enough to prevent the thread from protruding; this is more especially important in tatting with two shuttles and lastly, that the centre piece that joins the two oval blades together should have a hole bored in it, large enough for the thread to pass through. In filling the shuttle, be careful not to wind on too much thread at once, or the blades will gape open at the ends and the thread get soiled by constant contact with the worker's hands. Materials.—A strongly twisted thread such as Fil d'Alsace D.M.C, Fil à dentelle D.M.C, or Cordonnet 6 fils D.M.C, is best for tatting. We particularly recommend Fil d'Alsace, as forming the best shaped knots and picots. A soft material such as Coton à tricoter D.M.C, can also be used where it suits the purpose better. First position of the hands (fig. 486.)—The construction of the knots or stitches, appears at first sight to present great difficulties but will be easily mastered by attention to the indications here given. One thing, to be constantly borne in mind is, that when the right hand has passed the shuttle through the loop, it must stop with a sudden jerk and hold the thread tightly extended until the left hand has drawn up the knot. After filling the shuttle, take the end of the thread between the thumb and forefinger of the left hand, and the shuttle in the right, pass the thread over the third and fourth fingers of the left hand, bring it back towards the thumb and cross the two threads under the fingers, as indicated in fig. 486. Pass the thread that comes from the shuttle round the little finger of the right hand, and give the shuttle the direction shown in the engraving. FIG. 486. FIRST POSITION OF THE HANDS. Fig. 486. First position of the hands. Second and third position of the hands (figs. 487 and 488).—Make the shuttle pass between the first and third fingers, in the direction indicated by the arrow in fig. 487, and bring it out behind the loop. FIG. 487. SECOND POSITION OF THE HANDS. Fig. 487. Second position of the hands. Here the first difficulties for beginners arise and until they have sufficiently mastered the movements of both hands not to confuse them, we advise them to pay careful attention to the following instructions. As soon as you have put the shuttle through the loop, place the right hand on the table with the thread tightly extended, leaving the left hand perfectly passive. FIG. 488. THIRD POSITION OF THE HANDS. Fig. 488. Third position of the hands. Then, raising the third and fourth fingers of the left hand with the loop upon them, pull up the loop, stretching the thread tightly in so doing by extending the fingers. By this movement a knot is formed, the first part of the "double knot", which is the most common one in tatting. Remember that the right hand must be kept perfectly still as long as the left is in motion and that the knot must be formed of the loop thread that is in the left hand. The right hand, or shuttle thread, must always be free to run through the knots; if it were itself formed into knots it would not have the free play, needed for loosening and tightening the loop on the left hand, as required. Fourth position of the hands (fig. 489).—The second part of a knot is formed by the following movements: pass the shuttle, as indicated in fig. 489, from left to right, between the first and third fingers through the extended loop; the right hand seizes the shuttle in front of the empty loop and extends the thread; the left hand pulls up this second part of the knot as it did the first. FIG. 489. FOURTH POSITION OF THE HANDS. Fig. 489. Fourth position of the hands. Single or half knots. Josephine picots (figs. 490 and 491).—The Josephine picot or purl, as it is also called in tatting, consists of a series of single or half knots formed of the first knot only. These picots may be made of 4 or 5 knots, as in fig. 490, or of 10 or 12 knots, as in fig. 491. FIG. 490. SINGLE OR HALF KNOTS.<br />
SMALL JOSEPHINE PICOT. Fig. 490. Single or half knots. Small josephine picot. FIG. 491. SINGLE OR HALF KNOTS.<br />


I am interested in learning tatting, shuttle and needle.

Lacyloki July 26, 2020

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Wow, I&#8217;ve been wondering if the pattern to this bag (seen here: www.janeausten.c&#8230; &#8211; One Like Site July 26, 2020

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