The making of a textile by interlocking loops of thread using a crochet hook. (See also knitting)
|Historic area of significance||UK|
|Area currently practised||UK|
|Origin in the UK||19th Century|
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|Current no. of professionals (sideline to main income)
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|Current total no. serious amateur makers
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In the nineteenth century crochet became a thriving cottage industry, particularly in Ireland and northern France. Women and sometimes even children would stay at home and create things such as clothes and blankets to make money. From the late 1940s until the early 1960s there was a resurgence in interest in the craft, with many new and imaginative crochet designs published for colourful doilies, potholders, and other home items. These patterns called for thicker threads and yarns than in earlier patterns and included wonderful variegated colours.
Although crochet underwent a subsequent decline in popularity, the early twenty-first century has seen a revival of interest in crafts, as well as great strides in improvement of the quality and varieties of yarn. There are many more new pattern books with modern patterns being printed, and many groups now offer crochet lessons in addition to the traditional knitting lessons. Today crochet is primarily practised as a hobby rather than as a commercial activity.
Crocheted fabric is begun by placing a slip-knot loop on the hook, pulling another loop through the first loop, and repeating this process to create a chain of a suitable length. The chain is either turned and worked in rows, or joined to the beginning of the row with a slip stitch and worked in rounds.
- Irish crochet lace – a type of lace made as an income generating activity in nineteenth century Ireland
Tunisian Crochet – a type of crochet using a long hook which is worked in two stages: Stage 1 the stitches are picked up and the loops left on the hook; stage 2 the loops are removed until only 1 loop is left. Tunisian crochet is gaining in popularity but has numerous names including Tunisian knitting. ‘Tunisian’ is a misnomer as there is no evidence that this style originated in Tunisia.
- Amigurumi – the Japanese art of crocheting small, stuffed yarn creatures and objects. It has been growing in popularity in recent years, particularly amongst younger makers.
Issues affecting the viability of the craft
Craftspeople currently known
Pauline Turner provides an international diploma in crochet.