Tuesday, April 15, 2008

What Is This Needle Tatting You Speak Of?

I've only been tatting for a couple of years and when I mention my craft I can just about count on one of three stock responses.
  1. I've never heard of that, what is tatting?
  2. My grandma used to tat, I tried to learn, but couldn't get it.
  3. Wow, that's a lost art.
I could spend hours debating the history of tatting, there seem to be a lot of myths about when and why people began to tat. If you want the history wikipedia is a good start. Instead, I'll just tell you what it is that I do. I needle tat, it's a cousin to the shuttle tatting you may have seen. It is all but indistinguishable from shuttle tatting in the finished product, but it differs in method. The closest craft to tatting is most likely macrame. Both processes involve the trying of knots. Tatting has really one trick, the double stitch. When used with picots the ds forms rings and chains that work up into fairly durable pieces of lace.

I often hear from people that they could never learn to tat. Nonsense, it's much easier to needle tat than many other fiber arts. Grandma probably tried to teach you shuttle tatting and all those wrist twists and shuttle weaving confused you to no end. Trying the same thing on a needle makes it easier to understand what you are doing. Try it, you'll like it.

Tatting is not a lost art. When I was teaching myself to tat, I went online and was bombarded with patterns and tutorials and many communities full of creative tatters. No it's not as popular as knitting or crochet, but it's far from lost. I've seen hundreds of tatters online and dozens of books for sale on the subject. Here's a few links I ran across early on, you can also just Google tatting or needle tatting and you'll be surrounded by information.

6 comments:

Rosebud Collection said...

I think the reason people say it is a lost art, in certain areas, it isn't popular..I have the shuttle, but really never got into it. Your work is wonderful and I think truly beautiful..

MyArtInProgress said...

Thanks for sharing!
I had no idea what tatting was until now :)

Kat Roman said...

Talk about having patience. I added you to my blogroll. I love your work. Would love to feature you some time.

Cicada Studio said...

Thanks for the info! With people like you doing such an excellent job, I'm happy just to look at what you do rather than try myself.

ThePeachTree said...

How incredibly interesting!

Waterrose said...

I love tatting. I have a couple of beautiful wood shuttles that I ordered from a craftsperson in 2003. I also have a tatting book that is the coolest thing...but I can't put my hands on it right now to see if you've seen it. I think that people think it's a lost art because to create a piece of any substantial size takes a while. Love your work....