Today is International Tatting Day (And It’s Not What You Think)

published Apr 1, 2017
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(Image credit: Bridget Pizzo)

Maybe it’s just because I’m a Brooklynite who didn’t grow up during the Victorian era, but when I heard that April 1st is International Tatting Day (don’t laugh), I assumed it was a day to finally get that tattoo you’ve been talking about. As it turns out, the holiday has nothing to do with getting inked, but is actually a day to celebrate lace tatting. That’s right, the art of creating the elegant lace found on dress collars and old-school doilies. How do you celebrate International Tatting Day, you ask? Why, by tatting lace and eat chocolate, of course. This sounds like a holiday I could easily get behind, so let’s take a look at this mesmerizing craft.

A Brief History of Lace Tatting: A relatively new craft, lace tatting didn’t hit the scene until the early 1800s, and picked up popularity in the 1860s through 1880s, right about the time when the lace collars and intricate trim of Victorian fashion was in vogue. Today, people all over the world continue the tradition, and April 1st is their day to get together and share their love of the craft. How can you make sure you won’t miss out on International Tatting Day? Here are three simple ways to celebrate—even if you just learned what it is moments ago.

Follow These Inspiring Tatters on Instagram

(Image credit: Lovely Tatting)
(Image credit: Lovely Tatting)

Lovely Tatting

This mother-daughter lace tatting duo from Seattle, Washington has one of the prettiest Instagram accounts showing off their latest projects. Follow their account for your daily dose of lace, or check out their book of flower-inspired doily patterns. Even if you never plan to make a doily in your life, this book would make a fascinating addition to a coffee table.

(Image credit: Brooklyn Lace Guild )
(Image credit: Brooklyn Lace Guild)

Brooklyn Lace Guild

Because tatting isn’t as popular as embroidery or knitting, tatters rely on guilds (that’s right, they call them guilds) to share their skills. Naturally, Brooklyn has one, devoted not just to tatting, but also to bobbin lace making as well (shown above). Stop in at the next meeting listed on their Facebook page, or if you’re only admiring from afar, follow them on Instagram.

Watch the Mesmerizing Process in Action

If you’re looking for a meditative moment to slow down your fast-paced lifestyle—you’ve come to the right place. When you’re ready to dial it down a few notches, start with this video demonstrating shuttle tatting, and then check out bobbin lace making. You can also invest in an introductory video class at Craftsy, and watch every detailed move on repeat.

Join a Tatting Meetup

Check out Meetup (the website designed to help you find others who share your love for under-appreciated hobbies) to see if one of the 13 listed tatting Meetups in the US happens to be in your area.

Need some more zen crafting in your life? Here’s why you should pick up a pair of knitting needles.