Tat Fact #5 The Dirty Dainty…making your whites brighter!

Snappy Tatter lace-work comes in a variety of colors. I try to steer clear of white for everyday jewelry unless it is requested because whites will discolor from the oils and cells from your skin. I think white is fabulous for small work that can easily be cleaned like a Dainty Flake Pendant P1110479 or for earrings that are not close to your skin.P1110487 I enjoy using white and light colors in my Couture designs, like the Winter Gala shown here, because they are not meant to be worn frequently and with proper storage, stay clean for a long time.  wingala1


The Angel Couture is backed with sheer gold organdy for a shimmery natural effect and to protect the white lace from your skin.


Snappy Couture “Angel”


Designs like Chardonnay, Princess and Chantilly are stunning in shades of white.

To me, keeping these gorgeous pieces of jewelry looking new should be simple. Spot cleaning is all that is usually necessary but there is a tip that can help prevent the need to clean:

Keep your hands and skin clean and dry!

Easy Peasy. Try to avoid moisturizers on skin that will be showcasing your glamorous jewelry. Moisture will make it easier for skin to stain the fiber. There are a couple of things I have tried and found success with when it comes to cleaning your whites and light colors. I will use the “dirty Dainty” as an example. I had made a little snowflake and found a dark fiber trapped in the knots so, to me, it was unusable. So I abused it. I put a little dusty dirt on my fingers and rubbed it on half and touched my oily, makeup-laden, face and rubbed that on part of the Dainty Flake as well. Then I let it sit around for months. Seriously. I forgot about it on purpose.

Here’s what the Dirty Dainty looked like before my attempts to clean it: P1110466

When I found the dirty Dainty a few months later, it looked filthy. Ew! Determined to bring this Flake back to it’s original non-color I first worked with Hydrogen Peroxide. Nothing special. The same stuff you get at the drugstore for a dollar that most everyone has in their medicine cabinet. Hydrogen Peroxide has gentle bleaching properties. I saturated a Q-tip (a cotton ball for larger areas) and gently rubbed the stains, moistening the area with the H2O2. I let it sit for a few minutes, repeated the gentle rubbing and rinsed well with cool water. A little stain remained but the Dainty had become mostly white. The top right ring was still dark and I knew that was where I had applied the skin oil/makeup from my face. So I chose Rubbing alcohol on a Q-tip rubbed into the fibers in the same manner as the Peroxide. P1140609

Voila! A crisp white Snowflake. No editing needed for this photo! The background was pretty dirty too, so I switched to a darker cloth that gives better contrast.  I think the Flake may be whiter than it was originally! And now I can’t find the dark fiber that was tangled in the knot.

I suggest Hydrogen Peroxide for most stains and dirt. Rubbing alcohol seemed to work well with the greasy stain. I would also use rubbing alcohol around metal jewelry components and beads because of its ability to evaporate quickly. That way your Sterling or gold is not exposed to moisture for a prolonged period which can cause it to oxidize.

These suggestions are only meant for my own handmade lace jewelry. Other tatters may have different suggestions for their tatting. I would contact the designer to find out what they recommend. I send simple information on TLC (tatted lace care) with every order from my Etsy shop. And I am always available to answer questions just send me a message!

I hope this is informative and helps ease the minds of my peeps who enjoy buying light-colored tatted jewelry.

Live, Love, Tat!


Tat Fact #4 -TLC = Tatted Lace Care, caring for lace jewelry

A great fact about tatted lace is that it is knotted so it is extraordinarily durable. This is one reason many of you have a delicate handkerchief from older generations that has lovely tatted trim around the edge, or those little note cards with hand drawn stems and tiny tatted flowers glued on them. I call those Teeny Tats and have been making them when I can, trying to get their tatted sweetness back into circulation. I frequently enclose blank, hand decorated Teeny Tats in my sales.


To begin with, I have care instructions at the bottom of my receipt that people receive with their purchase. For some of my work such as Fiber Art, heavily beaded or sculpted work I leave this information off because I would prefer that people contact me about the care of these special items. In which case, I will give my email or hand written instructions on the receipt.

My sales receipt currently reads:

Tatted Lace Care: Press gently between two warm, moist cloths of similar color with hands. Something thin such a tiny crochet hook, bobby pin, or paper clip can be used to reshape the loops. Allow to dry flat. Polish metal with a Silver polishing cloth. Inhibit tarnish-Store in a sealed plastic bag with paper or a Silica Gel package. Please contact me with any questions.


Here is a full explanation, with pictures, of the process of rejuvenating your lace.

Like most people, I like jewelry that is easily taken care of. These instructions for care and storage should help everyone keep their tatted lace in fabulous shape for pretty much an eternity!

This Tat Fact is about storage and pressing beaded tatting. I plan to talk about cleaning lace at a later time after I have had a chance to do some experiments to have photos and accurate descriptions.

Continue reading

Tat Fact #3 The time it takes to Shuttle-Tat.

Tatting can take 3-5+ times the amount of time it takes to crochet something similar in size and design.

Tatting is a knotted lace, whereas crochet and knitting create looped lace. It still shocks me and is a little fun when I pick up my crochet hook and crochet something at the speed of light! But even though shuttle-tatting was difficult to learn and is a slow technique, I truly enjoy the finished look and admire the durability and the firmness of the lace. Continue reading

Tat Fact #2 Shuttle Tatting History

The History-tell your man…
One theory is that modern tatted lace originated in the early 19th century from fisherman. The fisherman used the hitch knot (cow-hitch and half-hitch) to make their fishing nets and create decorative netting with intricate designs for the ship. Then they began to make small gifts using the same technique to give to their wives and girlfriends (you know how clever a man in love can be). The women started to embellish their linens and clothing with their own shuttle-tatted lace edgings, collars and cuffs using a finer cord. So shuttle-tatting comes from love. 🙂

Wikipedia’s information

Tat Fact #1 Tatting technique

The Shuttle Tatting technique is actually closest to micro macrame.

Tatting is a knotted lace technique. Hundreds and sometimes thousands of tiny double knots called Hitch, Cow Hitch, Double Hitch or Lark’s Head, are tied to form rings, chains and picots.