View Full Version : Japanese Hook Tatting vs Cro-tatting

05-10-2010, 01:27 AM
I've been seeing a bunch of stuff on Japanese Hook tatting and think I'd like to learn, but I'm trying to figure out what the difference is between it and cro-tatting. I read somewhere that cro-tatting had a hook on one end of the "needle" and stop on the other and Japanese hook tatting has a hook on both end, but that doesn't seem to be what is being label as Japanese hook tatting in the needle section of the Lacis Catalog:


I had thought they were the same thing, but maybe I'm wrong.

ALSO, I once saw a tool with a hook on one end and a needle eye on the other. Does anyone know what it's for? I've never seen it again. (I think I saw it while visiting Spokane for the Shuttlebirds workshop at the yarn store next to the adult bookstore... Sorry, can't remember the name of the store and that's the only distinguishing feature.)


05-10-2010, 01:32 AM
Well, I can't answer your question about the Japanese Hook Tatting, but I can answer the last question. The tool that has a hook on one end and an eye on the other is called a Locker Hook and is used (it looks like in Nordic Needle's catalog) making rugs.

05-10-2010, 01:36 AM
Thanks Carolivy, So not a tatting tool, huh? Ok then, I guess I don't care about it. :)

05-10-2010, 09:22 AM
ALSO, I once saw a tool with a hook on one end and a needle eye on the other. Does anyone know what it's for? ... I think I saw it ... at the yarn store next to the adult bookstore... Sorry, can't remember the name of the store and that's the only distinguishing feature.)

Ohh that was slick! :shifty::innocent:

05-10-2010, 04:22 PM
Yeah, but any tatter in Spokane will probably know what shop I'm talking about.

06-10-2010, 09:20 PM

There's overlap between cro-tatting and hook tatting, and some distinctions: here are some, in no particular order:
1. You can tat chains in hook tatting, but not cro-tatting
2. You can intermix tatting and crochet stitches with both, but I prefer a crochet hook for doing crochet, not the tatting hooks, in most cases.
3. Cro-tat "needles/hooks" typicall have a recessed/depressed hook on one end and a stop on the other.
4. Hook tatting "needles/hooks" have recessed/depressed hooks on both ends.
5. You can make tatted rings or Josephine rings/chains/picots using either hook tatting or cro-tatting.
6. Both result in a double core thread (a thread loop) around which the tatting double stitches are formed (needle and shuttle tatting have single core threads)

Lacis catalog -- check the website for pictures of these tools:
* Tatting Hook Set, "Takashimabari".
A set of 4 different size hooks. Each hook is a straight 10" shaft with a recessed hook on each end. Instructions included. Crochet hook sizes 8, 3, 1, 00 US, (0,2,4,6 Japanese) (JP45) $60.00

...I have a set of these and they have hooks on both ends. These are what I use for Hook Tatting. There are some other brands available.

* Crochet Bullion Hooks
These are fine inline steel crochet hooks with depressed hook to facilitate the withdrawl of wrapped threads. Set in a bone or rosewood handle with directional flat they are available in crochet hook equivalent sizes of #10 (1.20mm) , 11 (1.10mm) , 12 (1.00mm) and 15 (.70mm) . (LF73) $12.00

....These Crochet Bullion Hooks could be used for cro-tatting. I've not done bullion crochet, but Lacis catalog shows this book:

LE81 - THE ART OF CROCHETING WITH RELIEF CROCHET, Butterick. (http://www.lacis.com/catalog/data/CB_CrochetReference.html#LE81) $24.00 Reprint of early source material offering many rare and unusual techniques including bullion stitch.

As for the "hook on one end, needle EYE on the other", From Lacis:
TS91 - LOCKER [HOOK/EYE] NEEDLE, BONE (http://www.lacis.com/catalog/data/AC_RugMaking.html#TS91) $7.50 A 5.5" bone needle, 4.0mm dia, with crochet hook on one and an eye on the other end. Used for locker techniques on mesh canvas. (TS91)
...I have no idea what "locker techniques on mesh canvas" amount to, but it is probably what carolivy is talking about above.

Why the recessed / depressed hook for cro-tatting and hook tatting? This facilitates sliding the tatting stitches/hitches off the needle/hook. Some crochet hooks have bulbous hooks on the end (many, but not all crochet hooks, afghan hooks, tunisian crochet hooks) which facilitate crocheting (pushing the hook in and pulling it out of previous crochet stitches). Try cro-tatting with an afghan / tunisian crochet hook sometime and see if you can slide double stitches off one of those bulbous hooks without making a tangle: it is not impossible, but it is tricky -- ergo, the recessed/depressed hooks, which make sliding the tattings stitches off very easy.

Probaby more than you wanted to know, probably not as organized as I'd like it, but it goes to show that needlework distinctions sometimes dissolve into almost a continuity of techniques.

06-10-2010, 09:44 PM
That's a huge help, thank you!

The hook set I'm planning on getting from Lacis is the cheaper Lacis brand one (hooks are also smaller sized, though it has the same number of hooks.)

* Lacis "Hook Tatting" Set.
A set of 4 different size hooks. Each hook is a straight shaft with a recessed hook on each end. Instructions included. Crochet hook sizes 4, 1, 0, 00 (LF25) $34.00

I never really got into thread crocheting, but I assume those hook sizes will let me work with most standard sized tatting threads.

I'm also going to get the three Japanese books, and I'm wondering if anyone's try them out before and what they think of them? I took Japanese when I was in high school so I'm sort of hoping this will help me get back into it. Plus my friend who also wants to learn hook tatting (she's a crocheter, not a tatter) speaks Japanese fluently, so I'm not VERY concerned about the language barrier, but I am wondering if there are new techniques in each which make it worth getting all three.

As a side note, I also love the way that needlework has no real boundaries between techniques. I know people always say that tatting is a "dying art" but really, it's only just starting to be developed.

07-10-2010, 12:14 AM
When I do thread crochet I am usually using a size 10 crochet thread and probably would not use a hook larger than a size 1 for that thread (so I might use the size 4 also). Have used a size 7 hook with size 10 crochet thread at times. (And I use a H or I hook for worsted weight yarn if that gives you an idea.)

07-10-2010, 09:51 PM

I have two of the three books on hook tatting. Don't worry about reading the Japanese, but hey, if you can read it, enjoy! The drawings and diagrams speak for themselves. The patterns in these books are basic ones, and great for beginners. I haven't purchased the third book yet, so I can't speak to it.

Also, I have an older hook tatting book (purchased in the 1980's I think), also in Japanese, that I couldn't tell you the title of. If I get a chance in the next few days, I'll scan the cover and post it in this thread to see if you can read the title for me -- don't worry if you can't.

On hook size: Sherongb's posting -- great information, BTW -- prompted me to compare hook sizes between the two sets of tatting hooks. The are different. The LARGER the number, the SMALLER the hook:

Takashimabari: Crochet hook sizes 8, 3, 1, 00 US
Lacis: Crochet hook sizes 4, 1, 0, 00

I've highlighted the the differences: bold, underline are different sizes; bold green are the same size.
The hook sizes across the sets are different. I've made the most use of the size 8 hook in my set for use with size 10 Crochet Cotton or Tatting Thread, a smaller hook than is included in the Lacis set, assuming no typos in the Lacis catalog. I would expect the "Speed Cro Sheen" crochet cotton (thread size 3 or 5, I can't remember which now) might be the finest thread you would want to work with using the size 4 hook. Crochet looks fine done loosely, but tatting doesn't necessarily look better done loosely, but there are exceptions.

The tatting hooks work with slubby, hairy yarn, too, whereas tatting needles and shuttles might not, unless you use a smooth shuttle/needle thread and the slubby stuff as a ball thread. The slubby stuff looks better tatted loosely on the hooks, which also facilitates sliding the slubby loop of core thread through the double stitches.


09-10-2010, 08:29 PM
This japanese hook tatting sounds interesting because chains are possible. Im wondering, how to do the chains.
I never tryed it out or read a book about.
I would leave a bare thread forming a loop/big picot (in the size the chain should have) before starting to put the doubleknots on the hook.
Then I would pull the loop through with the right hookend. So I would do in my imagination. Is that a possible way to do?

Happy Tattting

09-10-2010, 10:31 PM
You are a genius: that's exactly what you would do. For accuracy, the instructions I have recommend making a paper "template" or gauge whose width is the length of the chain -- sort of like a picot guage helps make picots the same size.

10-10-2010, 09:04 AM
Thank You BlueDode! I just imagined how I would do.
This is really a cool technic for making clothes with one single thread.
I think, I have to puchase some of these hooks :)
Here I found a german site about.



20-02-2011, 09:20 AM
I understand principle how I should work with japanese tatting hooks, but I am not able realize it. I wanted work with knitting threads and mostly I am not able return with thread through stitches - doesn't matter what size of tatting hook or what tension I am using. Thread is pilous (I don't know if it is right word.. it isn't so smooth as crochet thread) and I always catch thread of some stitches on hook ;-(
What am I doing wrong? Do I need smothy threads, or is there some tricks how to do it?

20-02-2011, 09:46 PM
I did Japanese hook tatting. Learned it from the Japanese ladies, who are coming to the Exposition in Horstmar(Germany). The thread goes twice trough the knots, also in the chains. They have 3 nice books about it. It is in Japanees, but with very clear drawings. you never reach out of thread, because they work everything from the ball. I did it with the usual thread, 10, or 15 or 20. They have a few little tricks to handle it. I think you must see how it works.

20-02-2011, 09:53 PM
This is my first work in the Japanes technique9962

21-02-2011, 12:10 AM
Very nice Sonja! It looks great.

21-02-2011, 01:37 AM
....for puling double stitches off tatting hooks: here are sone suggestions:
0. gently make the double stitches on the hook: avoid making them real tight / snug: for slubby thread (thick and thin or lumpy or "hairy") be sure that the double stitches are fairly loose.
1. position the hook so it points towards the "caps" of the double stitches NOT the "wraps" of the double stitches
2. gently pull back on the loop of thread in the hook to keep that thread in the hook
3. with the same hand as in (2.), pull down on the "caps" of the double stitches next to the hook: as you pull the hook through, tug lightly on the next few caps to pull the hook throught them: this is a bit tricky
Good luck!

Nice work Sonja! Good choice for a first pattern.

21-02-2011, 11:29 AM
Thanks to both, now it goes really better.. But when I see your bookmars, Sonja, I think I will train with crochet threads too. When it will be perfect (now my chains are everything, but not perfect), I will try it with knitting threads again.

06-01-2013, 05:42 PM
Hello Bluedode,
I am trying to make a tutorial on Japanese needle tatting. Are you still working with the takashimabari?
Georgia Seitz

21-01-2013, 06:34 PM
Now I bought these hooks...
In Middias Blog I found a good picture how to work these chains.



06-03-2014, 05:36 AM
Thank you all for the information posted here. It's helping me to understand a bit more some differences between cro-tat and japanese hook tatting.
I have both types of hooks, and I learned how to tat faster with the Takashima hook tatting set than with the Prym cro-tat hook. I also have a set of Lacis' double hook tatting set (I think they are a rough imitation of the Japanese hooks), but I had a hard time learning with them, since the tip of the hooks are not as smooth as the Japanese hooks.
I have practiced cro-tat with other types of hooks, such as crochet, and yes! , it's Possible but tricky. Depending on tension used, number of stitches and so on. I finished a crochet sweater and used the same crochet hook to tat rings for the edging. I used a loose tension and I like the finished look of the tatted rings. The holes of the rings work great as buttonholes.

For chains, I was able to make chains with the cro-tat hook by leaving a long tail as in needle tatting, but then I thought what's the point of doing this if I can do it faster with a needle tatting. Also, my chains got twisted at the base cro-tatting with a tail thread.
Anyways! I am still learning and figuring out new things with practice.

Happy tatting from Denver :)