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.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Meanwhile, In France

Karey offers this translation from page 190 of Manuel des Demoiselles (1830), which I had written about here as the oldest tatting written instructions I had found:

Frivolité (tatting) This sort of ornament, which at one time was used as a festoon and as a lace, is something I have to put here. To make it, it is necessary to have a sort of large shuttle in ivory, partly or entirely wound with cotton, and some part left plain (UNWOUND). When you have enough cotton unwound, take the end between your thumb and index finger of your left hand; at the same time, hold the shuttle in your right hand. Hold the other fingers of your left hand aside, the cotton is twisted around them and is useful in manipulating the thread in the manner of making lace. One holds this point tightly, but not to impede the flow of thread from the shuttle. One has decided in advance, the largest number of points (I THINK THEY MEAN STITCHES) needed to make the lace. {DOESN’T THIS SUGGEST TO YOU THAT MAYBE THEY DIDN’T KNOW THE RING COULD BE ENLARGED AS THE TATTING PROGRESSED?) Certainly the thread held in the left hand is what makes these, that is the outline. (I.E. THE PATTERN OR SKETCH USED TO COMPARE YOUR WORK TO AS YOU PROCEED.) The thread on the shuttle, held in your right hand, holds the quantity of thread needed to produce lace more or less large, and an ornament may be made in a day. It’s much faster to do tatting than point lace.

Another early sighting of tatting:

In the magazine Etudes Touloises, No. 78, 1996, Anne Monnet wrote: "En France, la frivolité, pour désigner une technique dentellière, apparaît, in 1812 au Trésor de la Langue Française. La frivolité y est définie comme un feston de dentelle exécuté avec une navette et un ou deux crochets et dont l’assemblage permet d’obtenu des fleurs des rosaces." Roughly and inexpertly translated (by me), this seems to say, "In France, frivolité, to designate a lace-making technique, appears in 1812 in the (dictionary) Treasury of the French Language. Frivolité is defined as a scalloped lace with a shuttle and one or two hooks and which enables the assembly of the flowers of the rosettes." I do not have access to a copy of this book to verify her claim, but if true, a reference to frivolité/tatting in 1812 would be a new earliest known mention in print.


Margarets designer cards said...

That's also very interesting well done on finding a very old piece on tatting

Isdihara said...

I am sincerely and utterly fascinated at these new (old) references to Tatting. Super sleuthing, to you both!

ZITA said...

Gracias por mostrarnos el pasado de el frivolite.