Victorian Tatting the Weldon’s Way: Toilet Mat, or Pattern for an Antimacassar

Weldon’s Practical Needlework houses a wealth of information on Victorian tatting. Here’s our eleventh installment in this series from Weldon’s Practical Needlework, Volume 4. The following are instructions for how to tat a “Toilet Mat, or Pattern for an Antimacassar.” The material is reproduced here just as it appeared in England in 1889. No alterations or corrections were made.

Victorian tatting

Illustrations from Weldon’s Practical Needlework, Volume 4.

TOILET MAT, OR PATTERN FOR AN ANTIMACASSAR.

EVANS’ crochet cotton, No. 8. For the First Medallion, 1st Round— Fill the shuttle, but do not cut the cotton off from the reel; begin with a loop on the fingers, work 8 double stitches, make a large round picot this size O, do 8 more double stitches, and draw up close; reverse the work, make a loop on the fingers with the reel thread, work 2 double, 1 picot and 2 double alternately five times; * reverse the work, make a loop with the shuttle thread, and do 8 double, join to the large round picot, 8 more double, and draw up; reverse, make a loop with the reel thread, work 2 double, l picot and 2 double alternately five times; repeat from * four more times, and join round, tying the ends of cotton securely. 2nd round—This round is worked similarly to the first round, with two threads, the second thread to come direct from the reel ,—* make a loop with the shuttle thread, do 8 double, join to the second picot in one of the straight bars of preceding round, 8 double, draw up; reverse the work, make a loop with the reel thread, work 2 double, 1 picot and 2 double alternately five times; reverse, make a loop with the shuttle thread, do 8 double, join to the fourth picot in the same straight bar of preceding round, 8 double, draw up; reverse, make a loop with the reel thread, work 2 double, 1 picot and 2 double alternately five times ; reverse, and repeat from * to the end of the round, making 12 ovals and 12 straight bar scallops in the round; join firmly, and cut off the cotton. All the medallions are worked in the same manner as this first medallion. When you have done ten straight bar scallops of the second medallion, join the centre picot of the eleventh bar to the centre picot of a bar of the first medallion, and join the centre picot of the twelfth bar in the same way. The third medallion must be joined to the first, and also to the second medallions; and so on, till seven medallions are arranged, as shown in our illustration. The tatting, if for a toilet mat, should be laid over a foundation of coloured twill or washing sateen; or the pattern can be continued till sufficient is done for an antimacassar.

If you missed any part of this series on Victorian tatting from Weldon’s, you can catch up on all of the blog posts here. Stay tuned for more Victorian tatting from Weldon’s in future posts! Until then, find out more about tatting in our video download Shuttle Tatting with master tatter Georgia Seitz. If you have created any items from this series, we would love to see them. Please email us at piecework@interweave.com.

Featured Image: Weldon’s Practical Needlework, Volume 4, offers up a wealth of information on Victorian tatting.


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