The History Behind Crochet

Crochet is assumed to have been a part of the nun’s work as back as 1500 BC and has a complicated history.  The earliest crochet works were made with fingers instead of hooks that are used in the present day crochet.

There are three significant stories behind the origin of crochet. Many are of the belief that it was first practiced by the Arabians, before moving on to easterners all the way to Tibet and then traveling westward to Spain- all through the Arabian trade routes to other countries within the Mediterranean. Alternatively, some believe it to have originated from a primitive tribe in South America, who used crochet adornments for conducting puberty rites. The last origin story can be traced back to China where crochet was believed to be the main art for making dolls.

A long Existence

Funny enough, even today there is no substantial evidence as to the origin or the beginning of crochet practice, although it is argued to have to be in existence since the sixteenth century. However, there is no reliable evidence as to how old crochet is or where it originated. The evidence of it appearing in the sixteenth century is slight and hotly disputed. There are traces of a type similar to “chained trimming” made roughly around 1580. It appears to have been a type of cord, sewn onto fabric like a patterned braid for a better effect. Around that time women also crocheted numerous strands of threads, connecting them and making fabrics that are similar to lace.

The proof of crochet can be seen in the second half of the eighteenth century. Crochet may have originated from Chinese needlework, an old form of embroidery known in North Africa, Persia, Turkey, and India, which got to Europe in the eighteenth century and was referred to as tambourine. The most critical assumption behind the origin of crochet seems to be that it started when it was recognized that chains which are worked in a pattern can very well hang together without background fabric. During the later days of the eighteenth century, tambour advanced into what the French called crochet in the air. The background fabric was discarded, and the stitch worked on its own. Tambour hooks were as thin as sewing needles, and thus the work must have been done with excellent thread.

Early Century’s

In the early nineteenth century crochet emerged in Europe and was boosted by Mlle Riego de la Branchardiere, who was predominantly known for her ability to turn needle and bobbin lace designs into easy crochet patterns. She produced numerous patterns and also claimed to have conceived the lace-like crochet, known presently as Irish crochet. A type of lace known as Cheyne lace was first made with a hook during the late eighteenth century and an ancient form of crochet called pjonting can be traced to about 1820.

There is a large history behind the art of crotchet that many do not know about. But now that we are aware, we might as well get ready to crotchet our own pieces of clothing! Prepare for the cold and start making your own warm sweaters to bundle up in.

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