This is a place where you can find all the information and other
resources you need to help you to learn to tat. There is more
What Is Tatting?.
The only equipment needed is a shuttle and 2 balls of thread in
contrasting colours, but not too dark. For threads available, see
Suppliers in our Links
section, or Google for more, as few shops nowadays sell them.
Shuttles: Try various sorts to find what suits you. The main
difference is that some shuttles have an embedded hook or pick, which
is very useful for joining picots. Others don't, and then you need a
separate crochet hook.
Threads: For the first lesson, Number 10 is good as you can
more easily see the stitches. But after that No 20 thread is a good
all-rounder, or try No 40, 60 or 80 for a more lacy effect.
Getting started is easier if someone shows you how. But you can
also learn with the help of books and the internet.
The Personal Touch
The Ring of Tatters can help you by:
- finding a local tatter to teach you, if possible
- giving details of a local tatting group
- giving a free lesson at one of the big shows or at a Tatting
Day, see What's On.
You can also join the Ring – beginners are welcome.
Contact Us if you want help.
Patterns for Beginners
Here are some patterns to get you started:
If you join the RoT and live in the UK you can receive a pattern
each month by snail mail from our
Pattern Club. For those outside
the UK there is a separate arrangement. This is a good way to build
up your expertise as different techniques are explained.
Many tatting books now out of print can be bought secondhand from
various dealers. For example,
abebooks have in their
catalogue more than 1,000 to choose from! Some have high prices, but
others are very reasonable.
“Learn Tatting” by Rosemarie Peel.
Very good value, this is a fold out poster/leaflet with excellent
instructions and diagrams. Good also because you may not want to
spend a lot until you know whether tatting is your thing.
“Tatting Basic Patterns” by Rosemarie Peel.
This small book, size A5, has 32 pages, full colour throughout,
teaches the beginner and has 20+ patterns. Included with the book is
the “Learn Tatting” poster described above.
“The Complete Book of Tatting” by Rebecca
Voted “the tatting bible” on email lists. Has
instructions and a wide variety of modern-style patterns: Christmas
ornaments, a cat, the tatting bug, bookmarks and more.
“Tatting 2000” by The Ring of Tatters.
A collection of patterns from our newsletters. See
Books for Sale for details.
Mary's books have been favourites ever since they were published
in the 1980s. Most of them are out of print and expensive
because of demand. But new copies of her last book can sometimes be
found at a reasonable price. Her 4 books all contain a good mix of
designs - edgings, doyleys, collars, cross bookmarks, motifs either
stand alone or joinable, bookmarks and her own signature "fragments".
Photos and written instructions are very clear.
“A Pattern Book of Tatting”, 1985. Includes how
“Tatting in Lace”, 1988. How to tat,
some historical background and 2 edging patterns from the 19th
century by Mlle Riego.
“Tatting Patterns”, 1989. Patterns as above.
“Tatting with Visual Patterns”, 1992.
Different from her other books in having colour photos and diagrams.
Lots of general tatting hints. Dictionary of tatting terms in
European languages. 3D bell flower and rose, and many other patterns
as above. Some modern experimental tatting.
“Tatting Patterns & Designs” by Gun Blomqvist & Elwy
Lots of patterns for snowflakes. Some doyleys.
Lyn Morton – several books, see her
“Easy Tatting” by Rozella Linden.
Motifs, snowflakes, motifs, choker necklaces.
“The Craft of Tatting” by Bessie M.
Traditional style edgings, motifs, doylies.
“A New Twist on Tatting: More than 100 Glorious
Designs” by Catherine Austin, 1993.
Lots of pretty pictures in colour, lacy tatting nostalgia.
“Projects in Tatting” by Sheila York, 1985.
How to tat, simple cards, jewellery, other applications.
“Tatting” by Cathy Bryant, 1992.
Baby bootees, heart, butterfly, basket, doyleys etc.
New books are being produced all the time – look at
suppliers (see links) or get
recommendations from email groups.
If you join the Ring of Tatters and live in the UK you can borrow
books from our library.
“Learn to Tat” by the Ring
a real bargain, simply by reason of it being an amateur production,
with instruction by our Chairman, Jennifer Williams.
It was created by members of the RoT Committee who have many years
of experience in teaching in schools and colleges together with many
years of teaching tatting. It is aimed at absolute beginners and
covers the basic techniques. The student is shown slowly, step by
step, how tatting works. It explains how to follow a tatting pattern
and there are instructions for a simple edging.
“Tatting” by Pam Palmer the classic
professionally-produced DVD (with booklet).
Well-known tatting author Pam Palmer has designed a basket of flowers
with patterns which introduce a wide range of basic techniques. It is
suitable for both beginners and for those who can already tat.
(120 mins). It is available from C & D Springett, 8 Strath Close,
Rugby, Warwickshire, CV21 4GA, Tel: 01788-544691. It is also available
Van Sciver in the US.
“Learn To Tat” by Janette Baker.
Book 48 pages and interactive DVD. See website for details.
Here on the internet you can learn by seeing someone tatting,
thanks to amateur videos on Youtube. The quality and the style of
tatting vary, so it is best to look at several to find one that suits
you. No doubt more will be added as time goes on, so keep looking.
Let us know if you find others as good or better.
Ring, Nobones, Lesson 1
Chain and picot, Nobones, Lesson 2
Daisy chain with joined picots, by polaricecap
Split Ring, both methods by Toptattyhead
Join an international beginners' class with
Use a thick but not too thick thread, otherwise it can
feel quite clumsy – No 10 is ideal.
Practise the knot by making a chain, and use 2 contrasting
threads for shuttle and ball thread. Then you can see instantly if
you have flipped the knot correctly – the stitch will be the
colour of the ball thread, not the shuttle thread.
Wait until you can flip the knot reliably, then move on from
chains to rings. You need to be able to make proper knots that will
slide on the thread, in order to make a ring that will
Practise for 10 minutes or so then stop for a few minutes
rest. Shake out your hands and shoulders – we can get very
tense when trying to learn a new skill. Then have another go.
Try to do some practice when fresh, not late in the evening when
Picots – how to make them all the same size? Beginners
often worry about this, but if you do a practise piece with lots
of picots and deliberately don't worry about size – then you
get more relaxed and they automatically become more
Finishing ends. There are 3 common methods:
— cut and tie the ends, perhaps adding a little touch of glue
or clear nail varnish for extra strength
— thread each end on to a sewing needle and weave in and out
of the tops of the previous few ds
— overstitch the ends on the wrong side with a needle and
For beginners, particularly, it is good to use the quick cut
and tie method and concentrate your time and energy on doing more
tatting! But it depends on what the item is, whether it will have
to withstand a lot of laundering or not, and also how perfectionist