An Introduction to Crochet
Crochet came from the word croc, which is French for hook. Crocheting is an art of fabric creation from a thread, cord or other materials using a crochet hook.
Some say that the craft of crocheting originated from some parts of South America, Arabia and China. However, there has been no true evidence of this claim. It eventually became popular in the 1800 in Europe. Some say that the process used in crocheting was present during the ancient times but the hook itself which is used in crocheting was not yet in existence. People back then used their fingers which were bent to be able to make loops and chains.
It’s somewhat clear that crocheting, as we know it today began to be seen during the mid 1700s . This was the time when tambour embroidery, reached Europe. Tambour embroidery was done using a smaller crochet-like hook. The earliest evidence of crocheting dates to around 1800. Samples should have been present in archaeological finds and missions if crochet existed before th e 1800s. Some claim that crochet pieces can be found in Egyptian tombs and some say that there were crochet works which were made by nuns to beautify early churches. It has been argued that crocheting is a very simple technique and it most probably had its beginnings during the ancient times. But it is a fact, no pieces have been found to legitimize these claims about ancient times crocheting.
In the 1800s, crocheting became a lace substitute. Laces back then were quite expensive, and people turned to crocheting to be able to produce less expensive fabrics. Crocheting didn’t need much equipment and other tools and people of every kind can do it. People started to crochet natural fibers and used hooks which were made of brass, ivory and hardwood.
As history went on, crocheting became more and more popular, finding its niche as a cottage industry. The craft supported some communities when their livelihoods were displaced by imperialism. The items were purchased by the middle class, or those who were emerging in society. Some say 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 which were made from more expensive methods hated crochet.
Queen Victoria somewhat mitigated the bad impression of the people against crochet. She purchased crochet laces which were produced by the Irish and learned crocheting herself.
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 already using thick yarns to be able to create less detailed clothing and fabric. The craft of crocheting using thread was popular up to the 1960s. Homemakers were so much involved in crocheting but during the 1960s, more and more people became hooked to crocheting, especially the younger generations. 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.
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 which we know 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.