Crocheting and It's Origin


Crochet is a process of creating fabric from yarn or thread. The word is derived from the Middle French word croc or croche, meaning hook. Crocheting, similar to knitting, consists of pulling loops of yarn through other loops. Crochet differs from knitting in that only one loop is active at one time (the sole exception being Tunisian crochet), and that a crochet hook is used instead of two needles.


Origins Some theorize that crochet evolved from traditional practices in Arabia, South America, or China, but there is no decisive evidence of the craft being performed before its popularity in Europe during the 1800s. The earliest written reference to crochet refers to shepherd's knitting from The Memoirs of a Highland Lady by Elizabeth Grant in 1812. The first published crochet patterns appeared in the Dutch magazine Pnlop in 1824. Other indicators that crochet was new in the nineteenth century include the 1847 publication A Winter's Gift, which provides detailed instructions for performing crochet stitches in its instructions although it presumes that readers understand the basics of other needlecrafts. Early references to the craft in Godey's Lady's Book in 1846 and 1847 refer to crotchet before the spelling standardized from 1848 onwward. Many find it likely that crochet was in fact used by early cultures but that a bent forefinger was used in place of a fashioned hook; therefore, there were no artifacts left behind to attest to the practice. These writers point to the "simplicity" of the technique and claim that it "must" have been early.


Irish crochet lace, late 19th Century. The design of this example is closely based on Flemish needle lace of the 17th century.Other writers point out that woven, knit and knotted textiles survive from very early periods, but that there are no surviving samples of crocheted fabric in any ethnological collection, or archeological source prior to 1800. These writers point to the tambour hooks used in tambour embroidery in France in the eighteenth century, and contend that the hooking of loops through fine fabric in tambour work evolved into "crochet in the air." Most samples of early work claimed to be crochet turn out to actually be samples of nlebinding.


Beginning in the 1800s in Britain, America and France, crochet began to be used as a less costly substitute for other forms of lace. The price of manufactured cotton thread was dropping, and even though crocheted laces took up more thread than woven bobbin laces, the crocheted laces were faster to make and easier to teach.


During the Irish potato famine of 1846 to 1850, Ursuline nuns taught local women and children to thread crochet. It was shipped all across Europe and America and purchased for its beauty and also for the charitable help it provided for the Irish population.


Hooks ranged from primitive bent needles in a cork handle, used by poor Irish lace workers, to expensively crafted silver, brass, steel, ivory and bone hooks set into a variety of handles, some of which were better designed to show off a lady's hands than they were to work with thread. By the early 1840s, instructions for crochet were being published in England, particularly by Eleanor Riego de la Branchardiere and Frances Lambert. These early patterns called for cotton and linen thread for lace, and wool yarn for clothing, often in vivid color combinations.


About the Author:


Sebastian Foss Writes Articles and Reviews on Various Information Products, For information on Crocheting, visit:Master Crocheting



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