The Art of Tatting
This dressing table set was made by Edith Harnett 1902-1973 as a wedding present for Jackie Embury’s parents in 1934.
Edith served an apprenticeship in the Drapery Department of DH Evans Oxford Street together with her elder and younger sister. Apprentices lived in dormitories above the shop.
DH Evans became part of the Harrods Group and in 2001 it was rebranded The House of Fraser. One of the Oxford Street sites was sold to the John Lewis Partnership.
In the early 1900s girls served apprenticeships learning how to use the various material in the Drapery Department so that they could demonstrate and advise customers. They learnt pattern making, sewing, embroidery, tatting, crochet, knitting, millenary and many other skills some of which are lost to today’s world.
This is a good example of tatting. To achieve the eau de nil colour (water of the Nile) which was very fashionable in the 1930s they were dipped in cold tea.
This set graced Jackie’s parents’ dressing table for many years, they were passed on to Jackie and for 40 years graced her dressing table in Ashwell.