HNW - Crochet

Carolyn Kayta Barrows kayta at
Fri Sep 3 18:18:02 PDT 1999

Chris Laning writes, in a message sent 09:43 P 09/13/99 -0700:
>>This question came up on another of my we have any
>>documentation for a starting date for crochet?
>Yup, it comes up every so often on this list, too.
>Leaving aside the use of a single loop to attach pieces of bobbin lace
>together, here's what I've been able to find.
>Briefly, the earliest *physical* evidence of any kind for the thread
>technique we now know as crochet dates to about 1800. If crochet was done

The technique which, in my opinion, immediately predates crochet is tambour
embroidery.  Tambour is basically chain stitch on sheer cloth, worked from
the back side using what looks like an early 1800's crochet hook.  My guess
is that someone started doing "tambour en aria" (a term I made up) and
that's why we have crochet as we know it.  

Tambour embroidery was really big in the late 1700's - early 1800's, when
some dress cloth was really sheer.  There are many surviving examples of
tambour embroidery.

The first crochet books start showing up in the 1840's, during which decade
several were published.  These first works do show a full knowledge of the
technique, but there are no earlier books.  Zero.  Not even a mention of
the technique, as one would expect if the technique really were earlier.
What the earlier material talks about is tambour on cloth.

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