View Full Version : Bone shuttle (and chrochet hook)
15-03-2012, 07:19 PM
Hello everyone! I am new to the site (and to tatting) so this is my first post.
I am self-taught via you tube videos and have been tatting since the Superbowl :wink: I am not awesome and will sometimes tie myself to my work but boy do I like tatting.
Anyway, the other day while antiquing, I found a shuttle and crochet hook carved from bone. They are each shown in this image above, as well as my first complicated tatting piece (pattern from http://free-tatting.com/?p=15#more-15).
I would love any information regarding regarding the history of tatting shuttles (for example, when bone shuttles were common and when they fell from favor.)
16-03-2012, 02:43 AM
Some tatting history books include:
Tatting Technique and History by Elgiva Nicholls
The Complete Book of Tatting by Rebecca Jones
Tatting by Rhoda Auld
One tatting history website -- there are probably others:
Martha Ess' website:
Expect some differing information / opinions here.
Bone shuttles: you can still buy them at www.hhtatting.com (http://www.hhtatting.com) (one version) and www.lacis.com (http://www.lacis.com) (several versions): there are probably other sources, too. Bone is more costly now: plastic is of recent invention; metal is now relatively cheap but in historical times may not have been so. Not sure the histories cover bone shuttles though -- you would need to check them out.
16-03-2012, 02:51 AM
Did you find the shuttle and crochet hook in Huntsville?? I've been looking for one since I started tatting a year ago. I thought I'd find one when we visited Maine, but no luck. I now have shuttle envy!:sad:
(I live in College Station, but don't know many tatters here.)
16-03-2012, 06:08 AM
I'd be more concerned about whose bone it's made from!!
16-03-2012, 03:03 PM
Thank you so much, BlueDode! Martha Ess' website was very informative and I am happy to know about it. I will look for the books, too.
16-03-2012, 03:11 PM
Yes, janet6567, I did find them in Huntsville! If you were to drive from College Station to Huntsville and do not turn at all you would end up in our square. On the left are 2 or 3 antique shops, and I found them in that cluster of shops. There were several crochet hooks, bone bobbins (like the ones used for bobbin lace) and bone needles. If I ever see any more, I will let you know.
I hear tell that there is a thread arts meet up in the Huntsville Hastings on Wednesdays at 6 pm. It is rumored that there are tatters at the meet up but I have yet to attend. Maybe I will have to be out going and see!
16-03-2012, 07:35 PM
Bone was the go to material before even the earliest plastics and less expensive than ivory. Preparing bone is a messy, smelly enterprise and the thigh bones are the usual ones used to make objects because the bone is thick enough. Man-made materials entered at the end of the 1800s. Since I also turn on a lathe, I can tell you that bone is still used at times because it looks great, turns easy and isn't restricted like ivory is. My husband, lucky duck, had a class with David Springett, who make bone bobin lace bobbins. David sent him some bone blanks to play with. I had the terrible choice of a bobbin lace class with Christine Springett or the bone turning class with David. Sigh.....
19-03-2012, 08:54 PM
oops...link I posted no longer shows shuttle history -- sorry.
19-03-2012, 09:23 PM
My DH is so sweet. I was telling him about sibyl finding a bone shuttle in Huntsville (not too far from where we live.) He found one on e-bay and bid on it for me. I think I'll keep him!! :yes:
19-03-2012, 09:59 PM
i have an old post on here from several months ago about a bone shuttle I had special made for me while we were in the Dominican Republic last summer. If you are interested in reading it it's under tools of the trade and you can search for "bone shuttle" and read about it. I also have some pictures in my album.
20-03-2012, 06:30 PM
janet, that is awesome!! I hope you won! Keep us posted.
gahorsley, I will check it out ASAP and thank you!