I am interested in spreading the word about tatting. So many of the people I work with are beginning tatters. Some newbies have never before tried needlework. The following is basic information for newbies.

Needlework Tips for the Complete Newbie



The color of your fabric for a card should be plain. It may have tiny printed motifs on it, but not large enough to see. This makes the fabric appear like a solid color which shows off your tatted motif.

Fusible Web:

There are several weights and manufactures of fusible web. Double sided fusible web allows you to adhere materials to both sides of the fusible web. Single sided fusing allows you to adhere a fabric only on one side.

For making a fabric card, use double sided, very heavy, fusible web. I like Steam-A-Seam 2.


There are many types of glue on the market. When working with fabric, make sure your glue includes “fabric” in its list of appropriate surfaces. If it doesn’t, then over time your motif might work itself loose.

When working with tiny bits of glue, it is easier to use a flat toothpick to pick up a dab of glue and place it on a motif.


When the instructions say to “press” something, then do not move the iron side to side in a scrubbing motion. Instead, place the iron on the fabric. When you are ready to move to a new place, pick up the iron in a vertical direction. Then place the iron on a new section of fabric. Pressing is an up and down movement. Ironing is a side-to-side movement.

If you try to iron (push side to side) fabric and fusible web, the fabric moves. Exposed web will melt on your iron. This will make your iron messy.

To prevent this, place a piece of 8″  x 11″ copy paper on top of the fusible web and fabric. Make a sandwich by laying down card, fusible web, and then fabric. Place white paper on top of the sandwich and press. (You may also wish to place paper underneath the sandwich to protect your ironing board/surface.)

If you do get fusible web on your iron, you can remove it with “Iron Off” or another remover.

Pinning Board:

A pinning board is where you pin out your laces. Pinning boards can be made of styrofoam. Just recycle the styrofoam that come inside boxes shipped through the mail. Or you can use a piece of foam core board found at your craft store. Or even a thick piece of cardboard box. Just lay a piece of waxed paper on top of your board. Pin the four corners of waxed paper. Then lay your tatting on top of the waxed paper. Spray starch onto the tatting according to starch manufacturer’s directions.


Use fabric scissors on only fabric. Cutting other materials with fabric scissors will dull them.

Embroidery scissors are small enough that they can cut thread very close to a knot without damaging the knot. Or they can enter a small space and clip off a tiny imperfection.


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