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The Differences Between Tatting And Macrame - Macrame Lovers Blog

The Differences Between Tatting And Macrame

by Macrame

Needle Tatting

By No machine-readable author provided. Dmeranda assumed (based on copyright claims). [GFDL or CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Although both crafts make use of knotting and stitches, tatting differs from macrame largely because it is purely decorative. It was developed mainly to imitate point lace, which was popular during the 19th century when dresses and curtains were often decorated with lace edgings.

Macrame, on the other hand, is more practical than decorative, although some people have used knotting to decorated balls, canes, chairs, lamps, and even, knife handles. Macrame is mainly about creating a stand alone piece out of cords. Beading and other accessories, such as wires, may be used to enhance the appearance of the final product.

Another difference between tatting and macrame is the tool used to make the piece. Tatting shuttles and needles are used to guide the threads through the pattern. Macrame does not need any tool to create the knots; only agile fingers and a creative mind are required.

Lastly, tatting uses really thin threads to create their lacy patterns. Macrame uses larger cords. Even if they are 1 mm in diameter, the cords would still be too large for tatting.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

AVIMALEK September 30, 2010 at 4:31 am

HI.
I’M TRYING TO FIND A PLACE TO BY MY MACRAME SUPPLIES IN ORLANDO FLORIDA. I GUESS NOT MANY PEOPLE KNOW WHAT MACRAME IS. MAY BE YOU CAN SUGGEST ME WHERE I CAN FIND ALL THIS. IF YOU HAVE AN IDEA. OR A WEB SITE THAT I CAN ORDER IT .
THANK’S.
AVIMALEK ( VIMA )

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Macrame February 19, 2011 at 4:30 pm

Hi, I would recommend buying online, as it is really hard to find macrame supplies locally these days. Your best bet is usually Amazon and if you don’t find everything you need there check out our blog post:

Good luck with your macrame projects!

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Wires Accessories Wholesale May 7, 2010 at 1:36 pm

One is with one shuttle and ball thread, and this is the method commonly used for this technique until at least the mid 1980s.

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Macrame May 11, 2010 at 9:09 am

Thanks for that tidbit! That made me think of writing an investigative foray into the history of tatting and macrame.

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InTatters May 5, 2010 at 6:39 am

RT @macramelovers The Differences Between Tatting And Macrame: Although both crafts make use of knotting and … http://bit.ly/bM3OH6

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Sewicked May 5, 2010 at 5:25 am

I enjoy your macrame & tatting comparison; however I do differ with you on one point. Commonly, macrame is made using larger threads while tatting uses smaller threads. I have seen lovely macrame jewelry using smaller threads and I’ve seen large scale tatting made; once I saw tatting using boat rope.

I’m coming to this comparison from the tatting end of the spectrum. I have done a little macrame. It’s a skill that I admire but I would not say that I had mastered it. I am happy to see it making a popular comeback.

Tatting uses basically one knot, aka a larkshead knot; although sometimes half a larkshead is used. Macrame uses the larkhead, as well as other knots.

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Macrame May 5, 2010 at 7:58 am

Oh, thank you so much for sharing this comment, Sewicked! I’m very glad you pointed that out. I know my article on tatting and macrame is generalized. This is the kind of information that can help readers differentiate between these two crafts. They are so similar that it is easy to get them confused with each other.

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Sheryl May 5, 2010 at 5:22 am

Lots to not agree with in this post, but great to see you here!

The main difference is that tatting uses only one knot, known as the “double stitch” (as least to tatters) and (at least generally) only variations on that knot. The other difference being in how the thread/cord is held and the knot formed.

One can tat or do macrame with any size thread or cord. (Check my web site for some tatting examples.) I attended a lace event once in Spain where I saw a gorgeous example of a woman macrame-ing (is that a verb?) a table centerpiece using with what looked like about a size 10 crochet cotton. You can sometimes see examples of that kind of mini-macrame in older needlework books.

Also, in tatting (shuttle tatting, that is) the shuttle just holds the thread like a bobbin. Most experienced tatters are also pretty skilled at finger tatting – which it what I tend to do with 1 -3 mm cord when creating jewelry.

So glad to see a new macrame blog! And welcome to Twitter too!

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Macrame May 5, 2010 at 8:03 am

Oh my! I know my article is a tad generalized and it did not cover the evolution of the two crafts. Tatting and macrame have many similarities because the crafters have become more creative and bold with their designs. It is easy to confuse one with the other! That is the reason why tatting and macrame lovers should share information like these to enlighten other readers of the differences between the two crafts. Thank you so much for your comment, Sheryl!

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Melissa Cordstone May 4, 2010 at 5:46 pm

The Differences Between Tatting And Macrame: Image via Wikipedia

Although both crafts make use of knotting and … http://bit.ly/bM3OH6

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