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Introduction to Crochet

Aug 17, 2007
Some people say the craft of crocheting came from some parts of South America, Arabia and China, but there has been no evidence to support this claim. Crochet became popular during the 1800's in Europe. There are those that believe the process used in crocheting was present during the ancient times before the hook itself was in existence. People in those times, supposedly used their fingers which were bent in order to make loops and chains.

It's somewhat agreed upon that crocheting as we know it today was first observed sometime during the mid 1700s. This was about the time when tambour embroidery reached Europe as well. At that time, tambour embroidery was done using a smaller crochet-like hook. The earliest evidence of true crocheting dates to around 1800. It is deduced that crochet samples should have been present in archaeological finds should it have existed before then. Some people claim that crochet pieces were found in Egyptian tombs and others say that nuns used crochet works to beautify the early churches of history.

In the 1800s, crocheting surfaced as a lace substitute. Laces back then were extremely expensive, and people turned to crocheting to be able to produce less expensive fabrics. After all, crocheting didn't need much equipment or other tools, and people of every kind can master the art. People then began to crochet natural fibers and used hooks which were made of brass, ivory and hardwood.

As history went on, crocheting gained popularity and found its niche as a cottage industry. The craft supported many communities at a time when their livelihoods were threatened by imperialism. The items were often purchased by the middle class, or those who were emerging in society. Some believe that fabrics which were made out of crocheting were seen as a mere imitation of the symbol of richer families. The people who were able to afford the more expensive fabrics that were made from more expensive methods seemed to hate crochet actually.

Evolution

Crocheting was done mostly with thread from 1800 to 1950s. The most common kinds of crochet methods were the filet crochet and the crochet in the round. They were worked in rows of closed or open mesh to build patterns. Steel hooks were mass produced and were popular beginning 1900.

In the 1950s, crocheters were starting to use thick yarns to be able to create less detailed clothing and fabric. The popular patterns began to emerge such as the granny squares. These were worked in round and incorporated bright and fun colors. The interest of the younger generation in the 1960s gave crocheting a much needed boost in terms of popularity.

Method

In the modern sense, crocheting is done by doing a slip-knot on the hook, and this is pulled with another loop. The second loop is pulled through the first one and this pattern is repeated to create a fabric. The chain is worked in rows or turned to create a pattern. Rounds are built by pulling many stitches through one loop. These methods distinguish crocheting from other kinds of fabric making methods.

Crochet is a fairly young kind of art if one compares it to other fabric-making procedures. It has gone through several evolution steps to be able to become the art it is of today. With the advent of different technologies and modern ways of making fabric, crochet is in danger of being wiped off its existence. However, there are still many people who love crochet and hopefully, these people will pass on the art to the generations after them.
About the Author
C.S.Cox published the acclaimed instructional book, "Crocheting Made Simple" which has taught numerous people how to crochet. Find out how to sign up for the FREE Crocheting Made Simple Newsletter at http://www.crochetmadesimple.com
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