Things go into style just as they fall out, some for longer times than others. Tatting, unlike leather jackets and scrunchies, has been "out of style" for about 60 years. Sure, some people do it. But bring up the term "tatting with most people and they won't have a clue what you're talking about. Most likely, they'll assume that you're referring to tattooing. But tatting is quite different-- its a delicate, lovely to the eye and touch, rewarding, and impressive craft.
A long while ago, lace was incredibly expensive, but around the year 1800, tatting came into fashion as an inexpensive way to create intricate lace for your family. It was all the rage and nearly all of the sophisticated women knew how to do it. At the time, the shuttles were very large because the craft originated from net-making, something the sailors brought home to their wives. And the thread was very coarse, difficult to work with. But as time went on, the shuttles got smaller and and the thread smoother. With that came the even more beautiful pieces you'll see in museums. In the early 1900's, as you've probably learned in history class, factories began to dole out lace very quickly and cheaply-- this ended the need for homemade lace. Still, some people enjoyed making doilies and the like for their home, but the number of tatters had been greatly depleted.
Anika, you may be thinking, if we can just BUY tatted lace, well, why should we make it?! This is a question I've asked myself. My reason is quite noble, I think. People absolutely cannot get enough of hand-tatted lace! Therefore, it makes a fabulous gift. Sure, it takes hours, but it's very cheap, enjoyable to make, and they will appreciate it very much. Its also something that you can pass down for generations and be proud of. This is why I encourage all the tatters to make something big, very hard, or time-consuming once in their lifetime, because it will awe people for generations! I plan on soon doing a piece about two feet by three feet, it will probably take me several weeks, but I'm excited to start. It's like leaving a small legacy.
It's too girly and degrading.. NO it isn't! Tatting is no small feat, it's a skill that basically no one knows and pretty much everyone will be impressed. Also, it has been taught to boys in the past as a necessary skill, so for a man to tat something beautiful for his wife or girlfriend, that will leave a great impression.
That is my two-cents for the day. I'll be blogging every day hopefully (: