History of crochet – part 1

miniature lavender sachets
© F H Powell 2015

Where crochet all began is somewhat uncertain. There are at least three possibilities for the origins of crochet: Arabia, South America and China. Similarly there is no agreement on when crochet started. It is almost certain though that the first work of crochet was done on fingers rather than by way of a hook. Crochet as a word has its roots in the French word ‘croc’ which literally translates into English as ‘fang’. Early crochet hooks would be a simply bent piece of wire possibly with a protective handle of wood or cork. Later more elaborate designs of hook became available using various metals, woods or even ivory. Crochet as we recognise it today was not found in Europe before 1800, though there are reports of crochet work being seen in the late 1500’s, but this is thought to have been a decorative braid sewn on to garments.