Tatting- The divine craft of loops


Last Updated on November 24, 2022 by Swadesi

There are various recreational activities and hobbies people follow. But, I’m sure there are really a handful of recreational activities that helps some people to earn a living, treats certain kind of illness or disorder and helps make things look more extravagant at the same time. Tatting is one of them.

Tatting basically is the technique of handcrafting a particularly durable lace from a series of knots and loops. Tatting involved and started from sailors and fishermen who netted decorative ropework in order to gift it to their girlfriends and wives. As it goes, decorative ropeworks on boats and ships closely resemble this technique as it is seen today. In German, tatting is usually known by the Italian-derived word Occhi or as Schiffchenarbeit, which means “work of the little boat”, referring to the boat-shaped shuttle; in Italian, tatting is called chiacchierino, which means “chatty”. This technique is used to make doilies, collars and accessories such as earrings and necklaces, and other decorative pieces. The lace is formed by a pattern of rings and chained from a series of interrelated to each other over a core thread.

Tatting- The divine craft of loops

Tatting with a shuttle is the earliest method of creating tatted lace. Now, there are more ways of tatting. These include Shuttle tatting (the usual method with a boat-shaped shuttle), Needle tatting (usage of doll needle or tatting needle in the place of the usual shuttle) and Cro-tatting (a combination of crochet and tatting using a tatting needle which has a crochet hook at the end).

Various kinds of materials are used in tatting and have varied from decade to decade. Like in the 1900s, fine white or ivory threads were used to intricate these designs. These were used in the older designs. In 1920s, tatting saw evolutions and new techniques and newer designs started to get produced. A hard thread was used so that it didn’t untwist readily. The Cordonnet thread is the common tatting thread. Last but not the least, tatting has been used as occupational therapy to keep convalescent patients’ hands and minds active during their recovery.


Many people confuse tatting and crochet to be the same but, there are many differences. The basic difference is in the tools used. Tatting uses shuttle and crochet means is the French word for ‘hooks’. In crochet making, people use delicate steel hooks. Secondly, tatting is a long and complicated process. It involves precision and attention because a little mistake could spoil the entire crafted material. Whereas in the case of crochet, its fast and offers more designs. The main reason why crochet is chosen over tatting is the speed and versatility it offers. The secret to the speed lies in the hook after all.

Now that you have a brief idea over it, you might try this out. You would love it and more evidently, you can decorate your house with it.


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