Some believe that tatting lace originates from the knot techniques used by Egyptian and Chinese weavers and introduced in Europe by Dutch traders in the seventeenth century. Tatting lace as we know it today is believed to have been born in Italy following which the technique was lost in oblivion for many years.
The technique was extremely popular in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries among high society ladies, such as Queen Mary of England, Madame de Pompadour and Madame Adelaide. In the eighteenth century, Eleanor Riego de Branchardière improved the tatting lace technique by creating a way to attach rings together. She also developed a technique to integrate a central motif in a work that previously remained open. Another high society lady, Josephine de Beauharnais Charlotte also contributed to the evolution of tatting lace by inventing a new knot known as the Josephine knot.
The technique reappeared in the eighteenth century edging clothing items, collars, handkerchiefs or placemats and tablecloths among others.
Tatting lace is a lockstitch lace composed of a sequence of double knots and loops, realised with one or more shuttles made of metal, wood, bone, horn, ivory, tortoiseshell, amber or even mother of pearl. Some ancient pieces are real gems made of precious metals and set with precious stones.
The works you will see have been executed with"special DMC 50 or 40 cord", with thread or with "DMC 7 embroidery cotton thread", this thread having been split prior to being used.
All these patterns can be used to create tablecloths, placemats, curtain borders, blouse trims, or bridal couture among others.
Pearls, buttons and shells can also be inserted into tatting lace allowing for a great variety of styles.