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What is tatting?

Tatting is a method of making lace with a shuttle and thread by producing knots. This method is quite different to other lace making methods such as crocheting, embroidering, bobbin lace-making and knitting lace.

Mavis's Luncheon Set

Mavis’s Luncheon Set



What is tatting made with?

Tatting for beginners is usually made with a cotton thread which is mercerised, although some tatted lace can be made with other types of threads. As you gain more confidence you will be able to work with other types of thread.

Robyn's edging and tatting shuttle

Robyn’s edging and tatting shuttle

How do I tat?

Tatters use both hands to hold the shuttle and work the thread. The tension of their work is produced by holding and winding the thread around their fingers so that it is automatically tensioned. Once the tatter is able to hold the shuttle and thread correctly, then they are usually able to work at greater speed.

Members demonstrating tatting at the Castle Hill Show 2013

Members demonstrating tatting at the Castle Hill Show 2013

Can I learn to tat if I come to the Guild?

Yes, there will be one of our members who will be able to teach you to tat.  They will sit with you and give you one-on-one tuition.

Members having fun at the show

Judith demonstrating tatting techniques

What materials do I need to bring if I want to learn?


You will need to learn using a shuttle which does not contain a moving bobbin in the centre of the shuttle and a crochet hook on the end.  These shuttles are not very easy to use when learning.  The shuttle you should bring with you should contain a central fixed post on which the thread is wound.

Mabel's Doily

Mabel’s Doily



Learners need two contrasting colours of thread to help them recognise errors in their tatting. Also you should bring crochet thread which is mercerised and which is a size 20 thread.

Scissors and a crochet hook are also useful tools when tatting and a small container to carry your work that is enough to start you off.


Anne's Needle Lace and Scissors

Anne’s Needle Lace and Scissors


How long will it take me to learn?

This is not an easy question to answer, as students are all different in the manner in which they learn and also in the time that they take.  Some people are very quick and others will be slower. Also, each student will be different, depending on the amount of time that they use to practice what they have learnt.


Mavis’s Booties

Do you have correspondence course where I can learn, improve my skills or become a tatting teacher?

Not at the moment,  but we can direct you to local and overseas correspondence courses that will help you improve your skills.


Lois’s Seahorse

My eyesight is not so good. Can I still tat?

We have a number of members who are elderly and they are able to tat whilst wearing glasses. Some of the very fine threads may not be so easy to work with if your eyesight is not so good, but you should still be able to work with a number of threads that produce fine work.

Omar's Maple Leaf

Omar’s Maple Leaf

I have arthritis and stiff fingers. Can I still tat?

It may take you a little longer to learn, but if you really want to learn then you will achieve that ambition. Mostly we find that new tatters who are determined to learn, will achieve that goal if they practice and have a realistic approach. Being able to tat must help in preventing stiff fingers as you age.

Clare's Christmas Sun Catcher

Clare’s Christmas Sun Catcher

How much does it cost to buy the requisites for learning to tat?

It costs approximately $20 for shuttles and threads.

Omar's Aeroplane

Omar’s Aeroplane

When and where do we meet?

The Sydney group meets at 10 am – 2pm. on the third Saturday of every month at The Epping Creative Centre, Dence Park, Stanley Road Epping  

At Lake Haven, Central Coast there is a Tatting and Bobbin Lace group meeting at our Vice President’s home every 2nd Thursday of the month. Please email info@tattinginaustralia.org if you would like to attend.


Bev's Cup of Tea Earrings

Bev’s Cup of Tea Earrings

How can I become a member?

Please email info@tattinginaustralia.org us with your contact details and we shall send you a membership application form to complete which may be then posted back to our Membership Secretary.

Tatted Hat

Tatted Hat