Rat-a-Tat-Tat Tatting…?


a basic tatting shuttle

a basic tatting shuttle

I discovered a new craft. It’s called tatting. Okay, not new to the world (it dates to the early 1800s and apparently, Queen Victoria and Archduchess Maria Theresa of Austria enjoyed this craft), but new to me. Basically, the tatter creates intricate lacework by tying different kinds of knots in certain ways using a tool called a shuttle.

The shuttle is a basic tool (pictured left) that seems to me similar to a bobbin but with pointed edges.

artsy tatting shuttles

artsy tatting shuttles

Of course, some really inventive people make decorative shuttles that look like anything from barrettes to Lord of the Rings Elven leather leaves.

Some people believe tatting was invented by sailors, who would create motifs for their girlfriends or wives back home while on long trips. I can understand that assertion for two reasons: (1) sailors would also knit on long voyages in order to pass the time; and (2) tatting apparently takes a really long time to do, which is part of why people don’t do it much anymore.

tatting samples from an instructional booklet circa 1908-1917

tatting samples from an instructional booklet circa 1908-1917

Well, I hope you learned something new today. I certainly did!



2 thoughts on “Rat-a-Tat-Tat Tatting…?

    1. Melanie Schaab Post author

      Yes, I have to admit, that’s what I found so amazing! It seems people who are willing and able to sit and work at something tiny and tedious for long periods of time are dwindling. 😦 I have to admit, I haven’t the patience for such a craft.



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