Tatting Shuttle Collection

I officially started my tatting shuttle collection on June 12, 2012.  Even though I already owned 2 plastic tatting shuttles since I was around 12 years old, it was not until then that I decided to collect them and started spending hours online learning more about the history of tatting and the different shuttles out there. I will post pictures of my tatting shuttle collection here, hope you enjoy them.

LAST PAGE UPDATE: February  24, 2013

The firsts Milward tatting shuttles were produced in England around the 1930s in plain black.

The Milward tatting shuttle was later produced between the 50s and the 80s in black and white plastic with an orange sticker with the Millward name on the center.

These shuttles were sold with a crochet hook.

In 1933 a very light aluminium tatting shuttle was produced marked "AERO ENGLAND". This shuttle was most commonly found without a pick, as a pick was not very popular int the UK.

This shuttle could still be found until the 1960's.

The AERO model is very special for me, it is the tatting shuttle that Ceci uses for her tatting work.

The aluminium Aero shuttle was later replaced with a plastic Aero tatting shuttle, originally produced in England. This shuttle is made out of plastic, has  a built in crochet hook and detachable bobbin.

Shuttle is marked "MADE IN ENGLAND"

I don't have much information on this shuttle, it came from the UK and can be seen on some English publications.

It is plastic and translucent.

Below are six plastic tatting shuttles produced in the UK probably from 1930 -1960. These tatting shuttles have very bright colors and very robust. Similar tatting shuttles can be found in Pam Palmer's book "Tatting Shuttles - Related Tools & Accessories" in page 66.

UPDATED 2/24/13 This clear tatting shuttle is very unique, I don't have much information on it, came from England.


These are contemporary tatting shuttles called "TATSY", they are made out of plastic and  molded with the TATSY logo and slogan: "Tatting Made Easy". The TATSY tatting shuttle is large, measuring 1 1/4 x 4 1/4 and allows for large amounts of thread. In the picture on the right is a TATSY tatting shuttle next to a clover plastic tatting shuttle for size comparison. The TATSY tatting shuttles can be found in various colors both solid and translucent.

Pearl Cotton No. 3              -31 yds.
Pearl Cotton No. 5              -53 yds.
Pearl Cotton No. 8              -95 yds.
Crochet Cotton No. 10       -101 yds.
Crochet Cotton No. 20       -122 yds.
Crochet Cotton No. 30       -140 yds.
Crochet Cotton No. 40       -145 yds.
Tatting Cotton No. 70        -210 yds.


Tatting shuttle by the Boye Company, originally produced in red, yellow, green and white, but can now be found in various other colors. (1952)

boye improved tatting shuttle

Boye Improved tatting shuttles (1923)

One marked "PAT APR 17, 23" discontinued on 1943.

Second tatting shuttle has no patent date mark, this shuttle produced starting1947 can still be found today.

Tatting shuttle by the Boye Needle Company. This shuttle introduced a swing arm to remove the bobbin. In the picture below two marked "PAT APPLD FOR" and one marked "PAT. APRIL 10, 1917" 
boye tatting shuttle

Tatting shuttle produced by the C.J.Bates company, marked "Susan Bates" " WHITE DOT", "PAT. APPD FOR", produced both with and without a pick, in red, black, white, blue and green. (1937)

These are other colorful examples of Susan Bates "WHITE DOT".

susan bates tatting shuttle

Susan Bates tatting shuttle produced after the 'Boye Improved' patent for its shuttle expired. (1940)

This shuttle, like the 'Boye Improved' can still be found today. 


Unmarked tatting shuttle made of celluloid with an art deco design. Estimated to be produced around 1920.

The pumpkinseed was produced in different colors: ivory, pink, blue, black. and different sizes.

UPDATED 2/24/13 These two pearlescent tatting shuttles are just beautiful. They both have different colors on both sides. Estimated to have been produced between 1920 and 1930. The pictures below show front and back views of these shuttles.


This tatting shuttle has an internal bobbin that can be turned using a small handle that comes with it, unfortunately I don't have the one that came with this shuttle. The first parker tatting shuttles where primary made out of bone.

In my collection, a parker tatting shuttle design in real tortoiseshell.

Side view of the parker tatting shuttle

This shuttle design was patented on April 7, 1868 with trademark No. 76512.

If you want to see the complete patent documentation you can click on the following link: PARKER TATTING SHUTTLE PATENT

In the picture below the tatting shuttle on the right is the Goddard tatting shuttle with removable bobbin. Produced in two different sizes, most commonly found in French ivory. It is marked "TRADE MARK GODDARD SHUTTLE PAT.PENDING"  (1914)

In the picture below the tatting shuttle on the left has a similar design to the Goddard shuttle, marked "PAT APL" (1917)

A side view of  two Goddard tatting shuttles, french ivory:

detach a spool tatting shuttle

Detach-a-Spool by the Justrice Manufacturing Company.

This is one of my favorite shuttles to work with. They are marked "PAR APPLD FOR", however the patent was never filled for this shuttle.

UPDATED 2/24/13"Detach-a-Bobbin"tatting shuttle produced previous to the 'detach-a-spool' that uses the long sewing machine bobbin. -  (1915-1920) I am very happy to finally have one as part of my collection.

Hero detach a spool tatting shuttle

The Detach-a-Spool shuttle was later produced by the Hero Manufacturing Co. (1948)
Justrite tatting shuttle

Tatting shuttle by the Justrite Manufacturing Company. The Justrite tatting shuttle was designed to twist apart.


pelc two bobbin tatting shuttle

Pelc two bobbin tatting shuttle. Patented in 1998 by Lauren Pelc.  It has two removable bobbins.

Antique Royal Tatting Shuttles

Royal shuttles manufactured by Justrice Manufacturing Company, different sizes. 1915-1940

Two of the shuttles have a cylindrical rivet in the center, this model was introduced around 1930.


UPDATED 2/24/13 This is a rubber tatting shuttle, is is marked 'N.R.Co' which stands for Novelty Rubber Company. These shuttles were produced in the United States in 1851 in NYC.

More rubber shuttles, all of these are unmarked.

bone c.j. bates tatting shuttles
C.J.Bates bone shuttles, given away as advertisement premiums.

These shuttles are carved with leaf shapes.
Lydia Pinkham tatting shutlte

Lydia E. Pinkham Medicine Co. tatting shuttle, was given away for filling out a questionnaire. Made out of French Ivory.

The back of the Lydia Pinkham shuttle reads "Yours for Health" "Vegetable Compound"

Carnation MARK Tatting Shuttles

These tatting shuttles were given out to promote the Carnation Evaporated Milk. 1920s

Came in two sizes, with and without a pick and in five different colors: white, black, tortoiseshell, pink and blue.

In my collection there is a tortoiseshell with pick and pink with no pick.

The Gloria tatting shuttle produced by the MCoy & Jones Co. These shuttles are found on ivory, white, tortoiseshell and black. They were produced in two different sizes, with the smaller shuttles being produced with or without a pick. Marked "Trade Gloria Mark"

In my collection, a small french ivory pick-less Gloria Tatting shuttle.

I added two more Gloria shuttles to my collection: a small tortoiseshell imitation and a large black tatting shuttle. In the picture below the three Gloria shuttles:

Tatting shuttles by the Hero Manufacturing Co. 1951-1960 . These hero tatting shuttles are in their original display cards.
Hero Red Tatting Shuttles


Celluloid tatting shuttles - various colors and sizes
Various celluloid tatting shuttles of different colors with round edges. The first two have a pick, the other three are pick-less.
Very nice plastic baby blue vintage tatting shuttle.
Tilco tatting shuttles

Tatting shuttles by the Tilco & Cook Co. (1945)

Colors black and white in my collection.


UPDATED 2/24/13 Celluloid tatting shuttles marked 'BUCILLA' 'REG.U.SPAT.OFF' Came in various sizes and different colors, pink, blue, ivory, white and black. (1916)

Assorted plastic and celluloid shuttles...

Another two plastic tatting shuttles with beautiful colors and designs, unmarked most probably from the 1940's - 1950's

No markings in these colorful plastic tatting shuttles.

Most probably produced between 1930-1960

Another unmarked tatting shuttle.

This tatting shuttle is marbled with tones of burgundy and gray. I am not sure of the age of this shuttle, a similar one can be found in Heidi Nakayama's Book "Tatting Shuttles of American Collectors" stated to be from the 1930's

UPDATED 2/24/13 A nice tatting shuttle with a very colorful confetti design.


German silver - Gersilver Tatting Shuttles

German silver shuttles. With and without a pick.
(1917 - 1920)

 Marked "Ger.Silver"

German silver shuttles. Large and small sizes. 

 Marked "Ger.Silver"

American sterling shuttles 1910-1940. Different manufactures: Nussbaum & Hunold (N&H) and Webster. Two shuttles are enameled, beautiful blue and green, hard to find.

Antique Sterling Silver and Enameled Tatting Shuttles - N&H and Webster


This is a contemporary wooden shuttle. Pretty design shaped as a fish. 

Came from South America. 

Here are five special wood shuttles. Two of them are tartanware: 
STUART- completely made out of wood, this shuttle appears in the cover of Pam Palmer book "Tatting Shire Album 323". 
MC. FARLANE - wood with metal post. 

Antique Tatting Shuttles  - Wood, Tartanware and Mauchline

Bone Tatting Shuttles

These are bone shuttles, most of them came from Europe.

This tatting shuttle came from Europe, it is bone imitation in a plastic like material.
Abalone Tatting Shuttles

Abalone shuttles, not sure if they are old. Beautiful colors, hard to capture with the camera.

The two largest shuttles are carved bone. The smallest one, probably the oldest of the set, has a more elaborated design in Cantonese style made of carved ivory.

The shuttles are beautiful in design but not practical to tat with as they do not allow for much thread. Mid-nineteenth century.

Horn inlaid mother of pearl tatting shuttle

These tatting shuttles came from England. They are horn inlaid with silver and mother of pearl. 

Common in the nineteenth and twentieth century in Great Britain. 

Tortoiseshell plastic imitation tatting shuttles

These three tatting shuttles are made out of plastic - tortoiseshell imitation.

This shuttle is vintage, real tortoiseshell.

UPDATED: June 20, 2012
Like many of my other collections, I started my search on eBay, my first buy added to my shuttle collection 6 new items:

-2 celluloid large celluid, pink and green.
-1 celluloid tatting shuttle: small and beige.
-1 Red plastic Boye shuttle.
-1 Susan Bates white dot red tatting shuttle.
-1 Royal Brass tatting shuttle.

UPDATED: June 12, 2012

My first two tatting shuttles a red and blue plastic Clover shuttles.  This is a picture of the red one, I am still looking for the blue one :(   it must be somewhere around my house.

When I started my shuttle collection I did not know much about these beautiful items. This book helped me a great deal, and I really recommend it to anyone interested in collection shuttles or just interested in knowing the history behind this needlework tool.

"Tatting Shuttles of American Collectors"
-Heidi Nakayama


  1. You have a fabulous shuttle collection! I think I may have to find time to create a similar page on my blog. You know far more about shuttles than I do. Perhaps it's time to do some studying.

    1. That would be great! There are two definite must have books that would help you a look for your collection: "Tatting Shuttles of American Collectors" and "Tatting Shuttles Related Tools and Accessories" you should be able to get them online pretty easily, let me know if you can't find them and I can send you the links from where to purchase them :)

  2. Your shuttle collection is amazing! It's great that you know so much of the dates on them as well. Thank you for sharing. I'll be coming back to see what else you have picked up.

    1. I am really glad that you enjoyed the collection pictures! I will be updating the page this week, hope to see you back :)

  3. Wow! What a collection! Thanks for posting the photos. Very interesting.
    Fox : )

  4. Beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

  5. I love your collection! I have been looking for a pretty Silver Shuttle! I love the American Sterling Silver ones! Any idea's on where I can find me one or two? They do not have to have the enlay...even tho those are pretty too but hard to find 0:(
    Please let me know where to find a pretty silver embossed one even if it is a reproduction style.
    Pamela Goulart 0:D

  6. I just started tatting and happened on to your blog; thank you for sharing your collection with us, it was so much fun looking at all the shuttles and I too will now be more prudent looking at antique shops for shuttles. Your fish shuttle, I have seen in use in a small fishing village in Belize in the Yucatan by a fisherman mending nets. He worked it so fast I could barely see the knot he was tying. I’m sure it was handmade.

    1. Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed the site, please come back soon, I'll try to make some updates int he next couple of weeks.

  7. Oh très belle collection de shuttle !!!!! Depuis peu je me suis mise moi aussi à faire du tatting, j'ai commencé avec des aiguilles (needle tatting) mais à présent j'apprends avec des shuttle.
    Le gros problème est que cet art est méconnu en Belgique et que pour trouver les accessoires nécessaires, shuttle et fils adéquats, c'est très très difficiles. J'ai fini par trouver des shuttle en plastique mais je voudrais tant en trouver de plus belles... les vôtres me font vraiment envie !!!!

    Well I'm trying to translate what I've wrote in French....

    You've a lovely collection !!! Last year, I've disovered this technique. First I learn it with needle, now I'm trying with shuttle... Here in Belgium this art "tatting" is unknown so it's very difficult to find the good accesories like shuttles and also good thread to do it. Finally I've found plastic shuttle but I would having miore beautiful like yours !!!!

    1. Thank you for your kind comments, I am glad you liked my blog. Most of my shuttles were bought online, it is difficult to find them in stores, I recommend you search on eBay and other online stores for them. Thank you again and please come back! Merci beaucoup!

  8. Beautiful collection. Nice to see and wonderfully displayed. Thank you for sharing with us.

  9. Wow, so amazing pictures and explain. Thanks for share

  10. Wow, so amazing pictures and explain. Thanks for share

  11. Inspiring. I've just started collecting shuttles despite learning this craft as a teenager. I will always have fond memories of 'Other Mother' who was my teacher. I'm sure she would be so proud that I still tat

  12. What a fabulous collection You have done a great job collecting all of these in such a short time, I am in awe of them all

  13. WOW! What a wonderful collection, being from the UK haven't seen about 80% of 'em over here... Love the one's with picks especially the confetti one - that's a wicked pick! :-) Thanks for sharing. Sue Hanson, SE London, England.

  14. I was delighted to find your website and see all of your collection! I just went thru mine and found that I had many of the same ones and a few others, too. I did learn a lot from your information though! I'm getting ready to type an inventory record of my collection of 8o shuttles, though several are duplicates. I started with my great grandmother's Justrite shuttle back in 1986. That's when I finally learned to tat. I had tried to learn 4 times before that but couldn't do it. I only had a Beginner's class, so I learned too much. I took a class on Needle Tatting but couldn't master it, after having learned it with a shuttle first! I haven't done any for many years so I don't know if I can still make it work!! Thanks for all your information. ecovault@hotmail.com

  15. What a wonderful find your blog is! I recently acquired my first tatting shuttle from a yardsale. I didn't know what it was, but I loved it. It's a Boye Improved and is marked "PAT APR 17, 23". I'm excited to see it listed in your photos. Your collection is beautiful; thank you for sharing your wealth of knowledge and informative photos. You've inspired me to start my own collection, plus, I'm looking forward to learning how to use these exquisite little tools. I'll be visiting often.

  16. I have a bone shuttle that I bought in an antique shop. It looks very similar to yours where you mention that it probably comes from Europe. It looks like it has 2 brass pins to hold it together. Would you know an approximate date that these were made?

  17. Hi - I have thoroughly enjoyed looking at your shuttle collection - AND - found right here a Tartanware shuttle with my maiden name on it - McFarlane (tho in the states it is spelled McFarland). Thank you kindly for share with us!
    Nancy McFarland Barnhart

  18. Wow......awesome shuttles.....

  19. I would love to buy a Milward shuttle. Any ideas on where I might find one?