All You Need to Know About Tatting Just In 5 Minutes

Introduction to Tatting

Tatting is a type of old and vintage lacework. If you love embroidery, digitizing, crochet, knitting, and sewing then there are good chances that you will love tatting as well.

And you will find tatting more thrilling if you like thread crochet, in particular. With tatting, you can make lace edgings and doilies. They are similar to crochet.

In this article, we will talk about tatting – what it is and what you can make with tatting. Let’s get started!

What is Tatting?

Tatting is a technique in which we use tools and threads to create knotwork that is both delicate and elegant. Tatting is a precursor to a variety of different crafts in which we combine various techniques, all that can be seen in this single method. For instance, you make knots, but to create the tatting fabric texture, you draw from weaving.

Initially, tatting was used to add detailed design and edging to garments for increasing their value.

A Brief History of Tatting

Tatting is likely to have originated from some thousands of years ago when the fishermen and sailors used to make nets working with different knots.

However, it became famous in the nineteenth century. Tatting had different names in different regions: tatting in America, knotting in England, frivolity in France.

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The technique was popular in Ireland during the period of the potato famine. The Irish people struggled in distress to get by. They used to create beautiful laces using the thread, needle, hook, or shuttle. They sold those places to the wealthy in England for supporting their families.

Just like the other forms of needlework, Tatting was popular in America in the 1930s-1950s. Apart from making tatted doilies, women used to make lace collars using the tatting method. You will find the tatting instructions and patterns if you get a chance to take a look at the vintage women’s magazines of that era.

Tatting Types

There are different types of tatting. Each type is dependent on the tools you use. Once you dig deep into the craft, you will discover:

l  Cro-tatting

It is a fusion between tatting and crochet. A small crochet hook is a primary tool for this method. The knots you make are derived from tatting. This method is ideal for someone who is a crocheter and wants to learn to tat.

l  Shuttle Tatting

This type is considered as the original version of the craft. Then, this artwork was handed down from the knotwork that sailors did. The sailors used a tool that was identical to a weaving shuttle but was smaller in size.

l  Needle Tatting

As the name suggests, needle tatting is a type of tatting that uses a needle rather than a shuttle. For many, this method is the easiest of all tatting types. Especially, if you are a knitter who is aware of the cast-on which is pretty close to how you will start a project in needle tatting.

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Tatting Stitches

If you are new to tatting, you might get frustrated. You will feel like you have to learn a new language. But remember, it is similar to how you start crochet or knitting.

You will get on the track quickly. In the beginning, you will probably get puzzled by the phrases “pull-through”, “yarn over” or abbreviations such as “HDC”. The more you practice, the easier it gets to learn the language and gradually, it becomes easy to read the instructions.

Like the other crafts, tatting has its own core stitches that you will need to learn when you dig deep in the craft. There are some prerequisites to get started.

Tatting has a variety of loops, chains, rings, and stitches. You have to make knots, combine them precisely to get great designs. Use spacing to make different types of elegant designs.

The most common tatting stitch is the double stitch that is basically a half hitch knot. When you make a loop with the double stitch, it makes a picot.

Other terms that you might come across in tatting include:

  • Chain (it is a series of double stitches)
  • Center ring
  • Separate (it is the amount of space you will leave between picots)
  • Ring (it is a group of double stitches forming shapes such as circle or oval)

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What You Can Make With Tatting?

At first, tatting was used for edgings. It is perfect for adding vintage-inspired lace edging to your garments or any home decor items. Alongside that, you can also use tatting to make an amazing array of lace projects. Moreover, tatting is ideal to make fine thread jewelry.

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Tatting is also perfect for working on lavish projects. If you are creating a wedding veil, then tatting is what you should give a go-to.


This is all you need to know about tatting. If you have any questions about the topic, or anything related to custom digitizing, in general, you can reach out to us at Migdigitizing. We will be happy to assist you.

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