Corticelli Silk Co. & Tatting

Corticelli Silk Co. & Tatting
Corticelli is a name 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.

The entire booklet is available for free download from

Apparently there was an early attempt to establish sericulture in the state of Massachusetts. This did not succeed but the manufacturing of silk thread continued. Samuel Lapham Hill (1806 - 1882), a member of a society of Abolitionists and Utopians [ed's note: Sojourner Truth, former slave and advocate for civil rights was also a member there in Florence, MA], invented a machine which could spin silk fine enough to be used in sewing machines. His company was called the Nonotuck Silk Co. At the 1876 Centennial Exhibition the story is told that Hill supplied thread to Mr. Singer used a spool on his machine. After this testing, "machine twist" silk thread by Nonotuck made that company the premier manufacturer.

Mergers were popular in those days, so it is not surprising for us to read that by 1922, the Nonotuck Silk Company had merged with the Brainerd and Armstrong Company. The new company was called the Corticelli Silk Company. A decade later Corticelli Silk Company merged with the Belding-Hemingway Company. The company closed in 1930.

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

Insertion No. 57.
*R 4 - 4 - 4 - 4 close ring rw
CH 2 - 2 - 2 - 2 rw
R 4 + 5 - 5 - 4 close ring leave no space
R 4 + 5 - 5 - 4 close ring leave no space
R 4 + 5 - 5 - 4 close ring, tie, rw
CH 2 - 2 - 2 - 2 rw
Repeat. from * desired length, cut and tie. Repeat on opposite side, joining center p. of cluster to small R. and the small R. to the finished cluster.

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