You don’t need many tools for tatting, but it’s important that you choose dependable ones to see projects through from start to finish. In addition to thread and a pair of scissors, this art form requires just a shuttle or a tatting needle. Both help hold your thread so you can create knots and loops with ease, and choosing one is really a matter of preference. Shuttles are more traditional tools, and you can use them with all sizes of threads; needles will be able to handle fibers that fit their eyes, but they have less of a learning curve. You might also find it handy to use crochet hooks to achieve certain knots. Assemble your tatting arsenal with our picks below.
1. Clover Tatting Shuttles
A good shuttle should be easy to wind with thread, comfortable to hold, and easy to maneuver. Clover’s reliably does all this and more. Made of acrylic, these shuttles are relatively small, with a 2.5-inch length; this makes them feel almost like an extension of your fingers, although you might encounter a small learning curve to get acquainted with them. But despite this size, they still hold a good amount of thread. They also feature one satisfyingly sharp end that is pointed enough to help you pick apart threads but isn’t prone to getting caught on your threads as you work.
2. Handy Hands Tatting Needles
If you prefer tatting with needles, choose Handy Hands’ option. This set includes three needle sizes—0, 1, and 2—to use with fine or chunky yarn. Each features a smoothly manufactured shaft with no burrs so your threads don’t catch while you’re knotting. The needle eyes are quite oversized, which might take a while to get used to, but they make threading a breeze.
3. Butuze Tatting Shuttle Kit
Choose this option to enjoy more shuttles at a fraction of the price of the competition. The ten included shuttles have an attractive contemporary look and are made of a sturdy plastic, with slick surfaces that aren’t likely to get tangled in your work. They are larger than Clover shuttles—measuring over three inches long, so they can hold a lot of thread—and are particularly user-friendly for bigger projects. But they lack any kind of gripping ridge, so they can slip from your fingers from time to time.
4. Lewhoo Complete Thread Crochet Kit
This is an excellent option for newbies to tatting. In addition to a bag to keep you organized, it includes crochet hooks, two good-quality shuttles, a pair of snips, and 16 balls of mercerized cotton thread. The tools feel sturdy in the hand, and the shuttles in particular have smooth edges for seamless passes. You’ll likely want to upgrade, but this kit will allow you to get a feel for the tatting process without breaking the bank.
5. Boye Metal Needle Tatting Shuttle
Made of metal, Boye’s shuttle is the most durable one on our list—and the only one with a removable bobbin for quick and easy winding and unwinding. However, its drawbacks place it lower in our ranks than Clover’s shuttle. While metal makes for an attractive finish, the edges on these shuttles are noticeably rough, which makes it less comfortable to hold over time. They can also damage your thread, if you are not careful. We do like their size—in between Clover and Butuze’s shuttles, they feel substantial but aren’t unwieldy.