Dating tatting shuttles
According to Mary Konior, in a 1739 edition of a German book there is mention of shuttle lace, which would differentiate it from knotted or bobbin lace.There are some chair covers from 1780 that appear to have tatted trim on them and in 1781 there was a mention of the purchase of small ivory shuttles.Within the term "tatting" there are different skills, tools, and products that result.Some are period activities and/or tools and, hence, are appropriate for living history presentations.Others are modern tools and techniques that produce products which are similar in appearance but should not be done in the context of a Civil War living history event.
Riego could possibly be called the "mother of modern tatting since she was such a prolific tatting author and was responsible for various innovations, including the modern chain.In 1707, a poem, The Royal Knotter, written by Sir Charles Sedley about Englands Queen Marys love for knotting, was published, and there were a number of paintings done in the eighteenth century picturing women knotting and holding knotting shuttles.Knotting shuttles were somewhat larger than a tatting shuttle, being about six inches long and one to two inches wide, with open ends, which formed a channel in which to wind the thread.Tatting, or at least the forerunner of what we know today by that name, was first developed in Europe and in its early stages was called knotting (a series of knots sewn onto a base which created a design).
It is only one form of knotting, with macrame, (developed in ancient Egypt), an unnamed Chinese method, and a style called purling, mentioned by Chaucer in The Canterbury Tales, being some other types.
It is made by the hand; and the material employed is a [silk or linen] thread or cotton.