Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Purpose of Tatting

There's been some talk of the purpose of tatting. I, for one, wonder why it needs a purpose. I'd like to think of tatting (as well as other laces, that may also lack a purpose) as the candy of the needlework universe. I'm sure you're all aware that candy doesn't fit into any of the four food groups. However, it still exists. Why? Because it tastes good, and (for the most part) looks good too. That is the purpose of tatting. It looks good. It makes other things look good. And, like candy, can make us feel good. And, the act of doing it (um, tatting) can even help ease pain. That was a big one for me when my older sister passed away three and a half years ago; she was 30. It kept me focused during that hard time. I tatted a bunch of small angels; blue in colour (it was her favourite colour), a plastic rhinestone in the colour of her birthstone, and a white ribbon. These were given to my aunts, mother, and grandmother. This is the first time I've mentioned my late sister, and it will probably be the last until such time that I have designed something worthy enough to have her name attached to it.

I just wanted to voice my opinions about this topic. As a community, I believe we are modernizing the art of tatting. New techniques and patterns are continually being created. And we can't forget the new threads we have access to. That includes the HDTs that are being created as well. I'm not sure why some people think that tatting needs to have a purpose. That need seems a bit old fashioned to me. We have lots of stuff in our world that only have a single purpose. What's wrong with that??

PS: I was going to include this rant/opinion voicing in a regular post. It seems better on its own.


  1. Well another good thing about tatting is that it doesn't make you put on weight - unlike chocolate!!!! Me? I'll stick to BOTH!!!!!
    Excellent post.

  2. Nicely put, Jeff. What's wrong with adding a little beauty to our lives?

  3. I already posted somewhere (don't remember where now) that at its very least, tatting is therapy. It's productive and useful in intangible ways. The fact that we make something beautiful in the process is secondary, IMO.

  4. I wear a ring - I forget the artist's name - that I bought before I started tatting. A while back I realized how appropriate to tatting it was that I had purchased this ring. It says:

    "If eyes were meant for seeing, then beauty is its own excuse for being."

    Says it ALL, I think!
    Fox : )

  5. I'd say it's for beauty and enjoyment! What IS that piece you did??? It looks like bunk bed tatting! LOL!
    It's nice. Yes, tatting is definitely eye candy for sure!
    ~TattingChic ♥

  6. Well said, Jeff.
    I tat because it is therapeutic. I feel calm when tatting, and there is a sense of pride and fulfillment whenever I finish a piece. I tat for enjoyment, and I share that enjoyment by surprising someone with a gift of my tatting pieces.

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  8. Isdihara said...

    Jeff, it was I who who posed the question after reading Daylillies blog post titled, "Making Tatting More Modern?" I get asked why I practice such an old-fashioned art ALL the time. And not once has a person been satisfied with my answers. So I solicited other's opinions.

    Thank you for your thoughtful and engaging post. I love the analogy "candy of the needlework universe." Must try that one out on the naysayers!

    As for your lovely blue angel, *hugs* when my sister died at the age of 38 I choreographed a veil dance to a lovely French song. And then couldn't bring myself to perform it. Some day I will. *more hugs*