How to Do Tatting With a Needle

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Needle and thread size should be similar for the best tatting results.
Needle and thread size should be similar for the best tatting results. (Image: Steve Allen/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Tatting is a technique that uses loops and knots to create decorative doilies and lace edging. Tatting can be recognized from the arched chains or small rings included in the lace. A common hobby in the mid-19th century, colors used in the technique usually are white or off-white. Thread thickness can range from a very fine thread to something a little heavier. Tatting also may be done with a shuttle, a tool that uses am embedded hook.

Things You'll Need

  • Thread
  • Needle

Cut a piece of thread at least 40 inches long. Insert the thread through the eye of a needle. One end should be about four inches long, while the other side should be at least 36 inches in length.

Hold the needle in your right hand. Move the longer piece of thread behind the needle using the left hand. Hold the piece of thread to the needle. Wrap the bottom three fingers of the left hand over the longer piece of thread.

Wrap the thread clockwise around the finger. Slide the needle up so that it is at the end of the index finger. Wrap the thread around the needle. Remove the finger once finished.

Secure the stitch on the needle by holding the thread with the index finger. Wrap the piece of thread counterclockwise around the index finger. Bend the finger, sliding the needle up to the finger tip.

Move the thread down the needle again, sliding the second stitch to fit against the first stitch. Repeat the steps, sliding each completed stitch to the end of the needle.

Tips & Warnings

  • If left-handed, reverse the directions to use the left hand instead of the right.

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