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BellaOnline's Tatting Editor


Tradition of Free Tatting Patterns

A Tradition of Free Tatting Patterns

It was a common practice among the early manufacturers of thread, flax, cotton wool or silk to also publish patterns which called for the use of their products.

One of earliest companies to share this way was the Barbour Brothers Thread Co. There is a short article available for you to read.

Another set of brothers, the Belding Bros., also developed crochet, embroidery and needlework pattern books in order to tempt tatters and other needle artists to try their thread. One Belding Bros. booklet with tatting patterns was posted on BellaOnline.come tatting patterns section over the weeks of July 17 through August 7, 2011. This book has been broken into four part for easy downloading.

Although Nonotuck Silk and "Brainerd & Armstrong" Silk were two different turn of the century silk thread manufacturers, they worked closely together. By 1922, the Nonotuck Silk Company merged with the Brainerd and Armstrong Company to form the Corticelli Silk Company.

And then ten years later, the Corticelli Silk Company merged with the Belding-Hemingway Company. Yes, the same Belding Bros. mentioned above.

Corticelli is a name certainly familiar to tatters. The booklet "Corticelli Lessons in Tatting" Book 3, 1916, by Nellie Ellison and Melvia Stoddard has long provided patterns for us to use. This book included a full instruction section and gave us 170 patterns to tat. It also combined tatting with the specialty braids of the era, such as coronation braid, turtle braid and rick rack.

turtle braids seen in the Corticelli 1916 Lessons in Tatting book turtle braid

sample of coronation cord coronation braid

sample of rickrack braid rick rack

The history of tatting is endlessly fascinating to me.

A decade later the Corticelli Silk Company merged with the Belding-Hemingway Company. This company closed in 1930. You will remember the Belding Bros. Co from the patterns posted in July. Belding Brothers & Company merged with Heminway Sons Silk Company in 1925 and did business as Belding-Heminway.

From "Corticelli Lessons in Tatting" Book 3, 1916, by Nellie Ellison and Melvia Stoddard" edging 57.

standard miror image tatting insertion from the Corticelli book

Samples of patterns from the Hemingway book may be found here on

As my research into vintage tatting information continued I found a surprising statement online in several articles. 'General Meritt Heminway of the Heminway Silk Company in Watertown, CT, est. 1821, was the first person to ever wind silk on a spool.' According to a History of Litchfield County, CT, he expanded this silk thread business in 1849 to include "sewing silks of all kinds." The first person to ever spool thread?? Wow! that surprised me.

These silk threads were intended for embroidery, especially floral "needle painting", which was so very popular at that time. There are a number of Heminway Sons Silk Co. pattern booklets available for free download online.

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Heminway Sons Silk Company & Tatting
Dexter Yarn Co. & Tatting
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Content copyright © 2018 by Georgia Seitz. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Georgia Seitz. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Georgia Seitz for details.


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