Early Beginnings of Crochet

Like a young child growing into adulthood, crochet has come a long way since it first started. To understand the future of crocheting, it’s important to first understand its past.

Crocheting can be traced back as far as 1500 B.C. as part of nun’s work, including needlepoint lace and bobbin lace. The origin of crochet has three theories from where it began. The first theory suggests crocheting originated in Arabia and from there went east to Tibet, Spain and Mediterranean countries. Others believe it started in South America through primitive tribes. Another theory originates crocheting in China where it was used to make dolls.

The combining of yarn and needle first became most noticeable in the mid 1800s. It was a combination of Chinese needlework, embroidery from Turkey, India, Persia and North Africa. The trend came to Europe and became known as tambouring.  The idea was chains could work together in a pattern and create a product without needing a background fabric. People were able to use less material and at the same time create a new way of knitting fabric together.

By the end of the 18th century, the French renamed it from tambour to crochet in the air, with crochet meaning “hook.” Mlle Riego de la Branchardiere made crocheting even more popular with her ability to take needle lace and bobbin lace designs and transform them into crochet patterns that could be replicated. She also founded Irish Crochet, a lace-like crochet.

Fast-forwarding into the 21st century, crochet has come a long way and continues to grow across the globe.

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