Saturday 25 July 2020

Vintage Tatting

I was recently contacted by a young woman who had inherited a vintage piece of tatting made by her great-great-grandmother (isn't that exciting?).  She was after some advice on how to reproduce it.  It was a pleasure to be able to help her out.

This is one of the images she sent me.  

Luckily it is not a very complex design so it was definitely achievable to make this again.  They are one shuttle medallions with bare threads joined together.

These were my first samples.
I could see the number of stitches for the rings
but it was getting the right length for the picots and bare threads which was a little trickier
so that the medallions lay flat nicely.

If you were wanting to tat these medallions, they start with a centre ring of 12 stitches separated by a picot (or rather 11 picots and the last one is a mock picot to climb to the second round without cutting and tying) and the second round is small rings of 3+3, bare thread approx ¼in long and a larger ring of 5-5-5-5.

I was keen to find a way to tat the whole thing without cutting and tying and hiding threads ends along the way too!  I was excited to find a new way to hide one end in the second half of the small ring... but then realised I needed that bit of thread to join back to the last large ring at the end.  So for now, it's still best to hide both ends in the last ring.

Here are four of them joined together.
On the original sample, more decorative picots are added to
the medallions that have free edges (the ones that are not joined on all sides).

Apparently the original piece dates back to the 1800s!
I think that's pretty neat.

I hope the person can now enjoy making a new piece to match her great-great-grandmother's.

Best wishes,


  1. Fabulous!! You did an awesome job helping!! :)

  2. What a lovely piece and so kind of you to figure it out for her!

  3. That’s an interesting project! How wonderful to see such an old piece of tatting and be able to reproduce it.

  4. That is a pretty medallion! I tend to stay away from pieces with bare threads. No matter how hard I try, I can not get a consistent length. Still, if I had such a cherished piece, I would want to recreate it also.

  5. Congratulations on sorting out the pattern and working out the stitches, I hope she can reproduce the doily, and it brings her great joy
    I too have a very old piece of tatting from my Grandmother, which I have already thrown into the washing machine and it came out prefect, wont be doing that again, but I dont feel I want to reproduce it.

  6. Beautiful piece of tatting history! I had no doubt you would figure it out for her. Wonderful work!

  7. I made some of these and some laid flat but others rounded like a bowl. I thought how fun to use the rounded ones to use as a wrap for a Christmas tree bulb.

  8. Is a pattern of this ,it’s is so beautiful l love to make for myself .please can somebody help me l love to make it

    1. Hello, the pattern is written under the image of the medallion. Maybe I'll make a video of this design.


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