Thursday, 16 June 2011

What is the term for this thread?

I have been tatting for a while now, just about to reach 10 years.  I have learned many things, and I know that there are many more to learn.  I have come across tatting techniques and tatting terms that makes tatting so much easier. 
But, for the life of me, can someone please tell me what is the term for that loop of thread that is place round the fingers in shuttle tatting?
Is it a
  • finger thread?
  • hand loop?
  • working thread?
  • flipping thread?
  • thread round the fingers?
Now, the thread that is holding the flipped double stitches is the core thread, I think, and the shuttle that holds the core thread is the working shuttle (?)  Now, by my confused logic, is this core thread also the working thread, since it is from the working shuttle?

Please, I am not about to create any confusion in the tatting community. I am just getting some patterns written out and want to make sure that I get the terms right, something that can be easily understood by most tatters.


  1. I've always understood that the "working thread" is whatever the shuttle is going over or under, or in other words, the thread that is flipped to become the loops in the stitches. In this case, it doesn't matter whether you're doing chain work or ring work, working thread is whatever the shuttle goes over or under.

    Out of all those options you list, I would definitely choose working thread or hand loop. I have seen working thread in several patterns, but I don't believe I've seen the other terms. I haven't looked at patterns from too many different people, though.

  2. Thread around the fingers, well thats what I would call it, well done for tatting for 10 years, I have been tatting for 40 years this year and still have things to learn, I want to try Celtic next.
    Have a nice tatting day

  3. Oh... I've never thought about that!
    I like working from charts and don't bother what the thread is called. Only sometimes I need a hint to switch shuttles or something like that.
    But I guess you will make it just perfect as always! All of your patterns are quite clear to me every time I look at one.

  4. I would think the core thread is the core in the middle, and the working thread is the one coming off the shuttle, making the stitches. So wouldn't that make the thread wrapped around the fingers the core thread?

    You explanations are always so clear, Jon. I'm sure we will be able to understand what you mean, no matter what terminology you use!

  5. hi Jon!

    of those options, i'd call it the working thread, since, once the flip is made, it does the actual work of tying around the core. i usually call them the ring (or chain) and shuttle threads, respectively.

  6. I have always called it the core thread. I guess you could call it the ring thread for rings. I really don't have an answer.

  7. ....hmmmm, now you got me thinking. I thought the core thread was something else.. but I only assumed, so I never really knew. This would be a good time for me to learn this too! (I have been tatting just under a year)

  8. Thank you for all your feedback.
    I am inclined to agree with my first commentor, J Alan Atherton and use the term 'working thread' for the thread around the fingers. This applies for either chain or ring since that is the thread which forms the knots.

  9. I would have called it the "ring thread." I typically think of "working shuttle" as the one in my hand at the time I make the stitch, and the "working thread" is the one that comes out of that shuttle until it hits either the ring or chain thread.

  10. This is a great topic. I have also been confused by the terms. It would be nice if they could be clarified!

    For me, the confusion comes from the rings, where the thread on the left hand (for right-handed shuttle holders) is also, of course, attached to the shuttle, so the shuttle is PROVIDING both the 'working' thread and the 'core' thread.

    And in split rings, the shuttle (in thr right hand) 'makes' the unflipped knots on the second half of the ring, whereas the left hand formed the knots on the first half. Confusing to explain, for sure!

  11. I have always considered the thread that carries the stitches the core thread the the stitches are formed with the working thread.

    so the thread coming off the shuttle is the core thread and the thread around your hand, either ring or chain is the working thread.

    when forming a ring, the name of the thread changes in the pinch.

  12. In Sweden we call it the ring thread.

  13. I have always called it the core thread..but you have certainly given me time to think of other terms

  14. I've always found it less confusing when it's called the core thread. However if you want a name for the loop in the thread that goes around the finger, the name that would make the most sense to me would be the 'tension loop" that is made with the core thread by wrapping around a finger. Adjusting that loop is where the thread tension comes from so that would be my suggestion of a specific name for that 'loop'.

  15. I have always known it to be called the working thread. For the same reasons as your first poster, also because of its location being in the "working area". I am sure that in the books I studied from it was called the working thread. Perhaps terms have changed since then.


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