Monday, March 6, 2017

Attaching Tatted Edging to Pillowcases

As a tatter, I mostly tat edgings that I apply to handkerchiefs and pillowcases. Typically, handkerchiefs, especially vintage hankies, are treated delicately when washed. Pillowcases are another matter. They are usually thrown in the wash along with the sheets and other household linens. Because of this, my method of attaching edgings to pillowcases involves two practices: (1) I always attach the edging a few inches from the pillowcase edge, and (2) I always sew down (usually by hand) both sides of the edging. The photos below show three methods of attaching edgings to pillowcases and the results after years of washing in a top-loader washing machine.

Example 1: traditional attachment on the pillowcase edge

After years of being agitated in a washing machine, this hen-and-chicks edging has not only become detached from the pillowcase in several places, but the tatting itself has broken apart. At this point there is very little that can be done to salvage this edging.

Example 2: attaching the edging a few inches beyond the pillowcase edge and sewing down one side of the edging

Here's another hen-and-chicks edging that has held up quite well in many washes, but the unsecured side curls and bunches up after drying. Of course, one could simply iron the curly edge down, but do you really want to spend time ironing pillowcases instead of using the time for tatting?

Example 3: attaching the edging a few inches beyond the pillowcase edge and sewing down both sides of the edging--my method

This edging lies flat with no ironing needed, unlike Example 2, and doesn't take a beating in the washing machine unlike Example 1. Yes, it does take twice as long to attach the edging using this method, but the results are literally years of enjoying using your beautiful tatting without having to hand wash it.


Madtatter80 said...

I love the excellent lesson for tatting and pictures too. Tatting is lots of work and we do want it to last longer, so taking this time from the start is great advice.

Jane McLellan said...

I do that too, with tatting on clothes as well as pillowcases.