HNW - Crochet

Carolyn Kayta Barrows kayta at
Sat Sep 19 07:36:35 PDT 1998

>I have just received a letter from Santina M. Levey, author of "Lace: A
>History" (London:  Victoria and Albert Museum, 1983) which contains some
>information which I think might be of interest to others.  
>She says, "I can say ... that I have never found any evidence of crochet (in
>the modern Western sense) before 1600, nor indeed before 1700.  The technique
>of using a hooked needle in various crafts (mostly lace and embroidery) does
>seem to have been adopted in the late 17th century - possibly in imitation of
>the hooked chain stitch embroideries coming in from India.
>"It was used in bobbin lace to hook together separately-made motifs or to
>secure the mesh ground to the edges of the motifs.  In France, this was
>referred to as crochetage.  There is then a great gap until crochet in a
>recognisable modern form emerged in France in the early 19th century.

My own (unrsearched) theory is that crochet developed out of tambour.  Sort
of like "tambour-en-aria".  Tambour is really big in the late 1700's-early
1800's, then in the 1940's 'nobody' is doing tambour anymore but
'everybody' is doing crochet.  No doccumentation on any connexion here, but
it's a really interresting co-incidence.

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