Join me as I explore tatting history. I may trace the development of the craft, translate old patterns into modern notation, or play detective tracking down the earliest appearance of a technique, design, or term.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

An Example of Old Style Tatting

I was recently fortunate to acquire this piece of old style tatting. Isn't it lovely? I wonder what its original purpose may have been, since it's an odd shape.

It has many of the classic features of old style tatting that were used before the invention of the join:

Sections tied together with knots...

Strips of rings sewn together by their picots...

Needle weaving inside the figures.

These rings of the outer round look sewn on rather than using lock joins as we would do today.

This square motif is very pretty.

And lastly, we have...tatted chains??

Well, there are several possibilities here. Before the invention of the true tatted chain, there was what Elgiva Nicholls called the false chain, where stitches were sewn over a core thread, similar to working buttonhole stitches. But in the examples I have seen (not that I've seen everything!) this was used to cover the bare thread between rings, not the border-like effect here.

Or, (wild flight of fancy alert), an isolated tatter somewhere could have figured out how to work a chain by herself before the method was published and popularized.

Or, in the mid 1800's a tatter could have been content with the old style methods she had been using all her life, and adopted just one of those new-fangled ideas that were coming into vogue.

Have any of you seen this sort of chains(?) mixed into old style work? I'd love to see.


Miranda said...

That is beautiful. What are the dimensions of it?

Anonymous said...

As to the shape, it reminds me very much of work my grandmother and her sisters did to make fancy lace doilies for a curved front/flat backed foyer table that their mother had.

Tece said...

Gorgeous piece :) it looks like it could have been a baby bonnet.