Creating a fishing net (Zuiderzee Museum, Enkhuizen, The Netherlands) Creating a fishing net (Zuiderzee Museum, Enkhuizen, The Netherlands) Photograph Willem Vogelsang.

The term netting refers to any process whereby yarns are looped, knotted or twisted together, resulting in a fabric with open spaces between the yarns. It is an ancient technique that is often associated with communities involved in fishing or bird catching. Decorative (as opposed to practical) netting (or decorated netting) appears to have been practised in Europe since the thirteenth century.

Netting was especially popular in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. 

Netting consists of loops of thread, called ‘stitches’ secured by knots. These stitches are made by means of a netting needle or netting shuttle and a netting gauge, sometimes also called netting mesh. The knotted meshes are combined into a larger net, which is normally square in shape, but diamond and rounded forms also occur.

There are various methods of making decorative netting, including darning (lacis) and embroidery techniques. Decorative netting has been used for a variety of objects, such as curtains, window blinds, and a range of covers. In the late nineteenth century, many netted forms were superseded by crochet.

Many of the eighteenth and nineteenth century purses, especially for ladies, were netted. A netted bag gave rise to the development and naming of the reticule handbag. Compare Mr Bingley commenting, in Pride and Prejudice:

'All young ladies accomplished! My dear Charles, what do you mean?' 'Yes all of them I think. They all paint tables, cover screens and net purses ...'

See also the TRC Needles entries on filetand opus araneum.

Source: DILLMONT, Thérèse DE (1886). Encyclopedia of Needlework, Mulhouse.


Last modified on Wednesday, 31 May 2017 18:20
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