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Published: 31 October 2020

By Andy Ross

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The craft of tatting has declined for years. Now it is due for a revival thanks to crafters looking for something different to do. 

The term "tatting" refers to both the action of using a shuttle, fingers and thread to create loops and knots, mainly for decorative edgings and applique, and to the products made by that process. Unlike Shetland's "taatit rugs" - see this blog post to find out more about these - tatting is a form of lace making and was considered, in the 19th Century, a suitable pastime for the genteel lady. It wa found on chairs and clothing, and Mrs Beeton wrote some eighty pages about the craft in her Book of Needlework.

Nowadays people use tatting for all sorts of projects, including creating jellyfish and snowflakes, and here is a designer who found his way into tatting through a medical path. It seems that there is a lot more that to this craft through mathematical and scientific applications than is apparent at first glance. 

A Shire Classics Library book, Tatting by Pam Palmer is the latest to be added to the studio collection. It explains and examines the history and technique of the craft, and will be available to read once the studio reopens.