I had a serious bout of tatting during most of May, after ordering heaps of lovely tatting thread in various colours and thicknesses.
I really wanted to make some of those old fashioned handkerchiefs, with tatted lace edging, but wasn't really sure about what size of thread to use, and what size the handkerchief itself should be. I asked around online, and got answers from some nice ladies who owned antique ones. I wasn't even sure if the edging should be tatted directly onto the fabric. I opted for making the edging first, and then making a customised piece of fabric. That way, it is easier to get the corners to sit right.
The fabric is cotton batiste, densly woven, lovely and feathery light!
All edges are hemmed by hand.
|Dainty little flowers, they look complex|
but they were rather quick once you got going.
The thread most commonly used are size 80 to 100, which are very fine threads, and you get very dainty lace. It is also a pain to see in a poorly lit living room, and if you loose concentration, and make mistakes, they are harder to correct than thicker thread tatting. But the end result is stunningly beautiful!
Tatting has been around since the beginning of the 19th century, and it was very popular in the Victorian era. I would imagine every Victorian lady would have loads of these delicate embellishments on their undergarments, in their living rooms on small tables, tatted bookmarks and small beaded doilies over their milk jugs to keep flies off. And they surely had handkerchiefs!
This border pattern is free online, and is called "Iris". Designed by Joelle Paulson.
You can find it here, along with other lovely patterns on Le Blog De Frivole.
After making the edging, my shuttles were still half filled with thread, so I tried my hand once again on the Frauberger doily I made earlier. It is such fun to see the differece in size just by sizing down the thread!
|The first Frauberger doily on the left measures 6.5".|
The small one is only just over 3" across.
Stitch count is the same.