Tatting is the craft of making lace with a shuttle. Often thought to
be a difficult lace to learn, it is based almost entirely on two
movements and, once mastered, can become a pleasant relaxing hobby.
Much of its charm lies in the repetition of simple motifs. When
working in fine thread, it is aptly described by its French name
'frivolite', although it is surprisingly strong, being formed of knots
rather than stitches. This title traces the development of tatting
from the eighteenth-century pastime of knotting, through its emergence
as a craft in Victorian times, to more recent innovations. The text is
illustrated with examples from museums and private collections. A
description of the basic technique and elements of construction will
assist the reader to recognise and identify tatting.