Square Rings
Pattern Surfer
Shuttle vs. Needle
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About Dreams of Lace

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© 1996 Christiane Eichler
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Tatting is a form of lacemaking made up of knots, which are done over a carrier thread. The knots are then formed by the carrier thread into rings and chains. Usually a shuttle is used to form a stitch, but you can use your hands only or a needle as well. For more complicated patterns two shuttles are needed, but special techniques require 3 shuttles or more.

Shuttle made from purpleheart wood by offsite David Smith.
The centerpost on which the thread is wound is well visible on this photo. Photo by courtesy of David Smith.
A shuttle is basically a bobbin in a special form, which keeps the thread from unwinding itself. Simple shuttles today are made from plastics, and are about 4-8 cm long. Shuttles made from wood, metal, silver, bone, horn and other materials are available.

Tatting is a craft which is not very old, at least not in the form we know it today. It is not mentioned earlier than during the 18th century. The invention of chains dates back to the middle of the 19th century, while split rings are an invention of the 20th. And the development hasn't stopped yet. There are still new elements of tatting being invented.

The invention of the chain and the join by Mlle Riego de la Branchardiere was revolutionary (mid 19th century). It brought so many more design possibilities, and made "neater" designs possible. Many patterns were published, but about the turn of the century the craft was almost forgotten again. During the 20s of our century there was a revival with many new patterns dating from that time. The josephine knot was introduced (Therese de Dillmont), the onion motif (Tina Frauberger) and the split ring (Ann Orr). The newest additions to the technique of tatting are the widespread use of split rings (Tery Dusenbury), cluny tatting (Monica Hahn, Jay Botchelet), and Creative Tatting (Helma Siepmann). These are just a few.