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Tatting


Tatting Tatting is a technique for handcrafting a particularly durable lace constructed by a series of knots and loops. Tatting can be used to make lace edging as well as doilies, collars, and other decorative pieces.

The lace is formed by a pattern of rings and chains formed from a series of lark's head (or half-hitch) knots, called double stitches (ds), over a core thread. Gaps can be left between the stitches to form picots, which are used for practical construction as well as decorative effect.


Technique and materials

Shuttle tatting

Tatting shuttle A tatting shuttle facilitates tatting by guiding thread through loops to make the requisite knots. A tatting shuttle is normally a metal or plastic pointed oval shape less than 3 inches long, but shuttles come in a variety of shapes and materials. Shuttles often have a point or hook on one end to aid in the construction of the lace.


To make the lace, the tatter wraps the thread around one hand and manipulates the shuttle with the other hand. No tools other than the thread, the hands, and the shuttle are used, though a crochet hook may be necessary if the shuttle does not have a point or hook.

Needle tatting


Tatting pinTatters may also use tatting needles instead of shuttles to make lace. A tatting needle is a long needle that does not change thickness at the eye of the needle. The needle used must match the thickness of the thread chosen for the project.
Shuttle and needle-tatted lace look almost identical, but they differ in structure. Shuttle tatting is tighter and finer, while needle tatting can appear thick and loose.
This is due to the fact that both the needle and the thread must pass through the stitches.


Materials

Thicker thread in one or more colors. The best thread for tatting is a "hard" thread that does not untwist readily. DMC Cordonnet thread is a common tatting thread; Perl cotton is an example of a beautiful cord that is nonetheless a bit loose for tatting purposes. Some tatting designs incorporate ribbons and beads.

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