Date of this Version
Published in Textile Society of America Symposium Proceedings 2018
Presented at Vancouver, BC, Canada; September 19 – 23, 2018
Tapestry crochet was historically done in just a few countries, but globalization and the internet have spread this versatile art form around the world. Publications and online groups have helped keep this tradition alive and have inspired many innovative uses-from designer accessories to contemporary museum installations. Tapestry crocheted fabric is solid and smooth with motifs and imagery, much like tapestry woven cloth. Because of the similar look and feel, most people cannot tell the difference between the two. Techniques vary from place to place, perhaps because they developed from different types of looped bags, gloves, and bags. For instance, in Guatemala the hook is inserted under both loops and extra colors are carried inside tight single crochet stitches. In Finland the hook is inserted into the back loop of the single crochet stitch, which produces a horizontal line across the front. Back loop half-double crochet and double crochet stitches are popular in Turkey. Jewish kippot are crocheted with tight single crochet stitches and carried colors. Both slip stitches and single crochet stitches are utilized in Morocco. Innovations include bead and felted tapestry crochet. Beads of the same color are loaded onto individual threads and then switched back and forth to form motifs. The beads fall to the back of the stitch, so the face of the crocheted fabric is a colorful pattern formed by the multiple threads and the other side has the beaded motifs. With felted tapestry crochet, imagery is incorporated into the piece as it is being crocheted. This survey will include actual samples and many of my original photographs from around the world to show how tapestry crochet has evolved through time and space.