The Fascinating History of Crochet: Unraveling the Yarn

Hello, fellow crochet enthusiasts!

Today, we’re going on a time-traveling adventure, diving deep into the history of one of our most cherished crafts—crochet. This intricate needlework has a fascinating past that spans continents and centuries, touching lives and becoming an integral part of various cultures.

Crochet is much more than a relaxing hobby or a way to create beautiful garments and decorations. It’s a craft steeped in history, with roots that stretch back centuries and across continents. Let’s delve into the fascinating history of crochet to understand its origins, its journey to modernity, and its impact on various cultures.

So grab a cup of tea and settle down as we unravel the threads of crochet’s compelling history.

Where Did Crochet Originate?

While the exact origins of crochet are shrouded in mystery, it’s generally believed to have its roots in the Middle East or Far Eastern cultures. The craft then spread to Europe through trade routes and exploration.

The exact origins of crochet are somewhat elusive, but it’s believed that the craft originated in the Arab countries before spreading to South America and Europe. Some experts also trace its roots back to China. However, the word ‘crochet’ itself is of French origin, meaning ‘small hook.’

It was in Europe, particularly in countries like France and Ireland, where crochet started to take on the form and techniques we are familiar with today.

Did Vikings crochet? When was the crochet hook invented? Get answers and more in this in-depth look into the history of crochet. Click to learn more!


When Did Crochet Become Popular?

Crochet began gaining widespread popularity in Europe in the 19th century. Queen Victoria herself was a fan of the craft and even learned to crochet, which significantly boosted its status. In those times, crochet served both decorative and practical purposes—from lace doilies that graced Victorian parlors to functional household items like tablecloths and curtains.

It became a household skill that was taught to young girls in schools. The craft was used both for decorative and functional items, such as doilies, tablecloths, and clothing. Its popularity surged again during the 1960s and 70s with the bohemian movement, and yet again in recent years, thanks to the DIY culture and the Internet.

Where Did Crochet First Appear?

While it’s tough to pinpoint exactly where crochet first appeared, historical records suggest that early forms of crochet were practiced in Arabia, South America, and China. It was only later, in the 1800s, that patterns began appearing in European publications, signaling the craft’s arrival into mainstream awareness.

Did Vikings Crochet?

The idea of Vikings crocheting is a popular myth but, sadly, not accurate. While Vikings were known for their weaving and knotting skills, there’s no concrete evidence to suggest that they practiced crochet. Their techniques and tools significantly differed from what we identify as crochet today.

There’s a romantic notion that Vikings used crochet in their ship sails and attire, but historical evidence doesn’t support this claim. Most historians agree that crochet, as we know it, is a relatively modern invention, dating back to the 19th century.

When Was Crochet Invented?

It isn’t easy to pinpoint exactly when crochet was invented because various forms of needlework resembling crochet have existed for centuries. However, the term “crochet” comes from the French word for “hook,” and it became standardized as a specific craft separate from knitting and other needlework sometime in the 19th century.

When Was the Crochet Hook Invented?

The crochet hook as we know it today was likely developed in the 19th century alongside the popularization of the craft. Early hooks were made from varied materials, including bone and wood, before evolving into the metal and plastic hooks we use today. Before that, people used their fingers or made do with other types of hooks and needles available to them.

Did Vikings crochet? When was the crochet hook invented? Get answers and more in this in-depth look into the history of crochet. Click to learn more!


Which is the Oldest Crochet Pattern?

The oldest published crochet patterns appeared in Dutch magazines in the early 19th century. However, the “Shepherd’s Knitting Book,” published in 1838 by Miss Lambert, is one of the earliest English books dedicated solely to crochet patterns.

History of Crochet in America

Crochet was introduced to America likely in the early 19th century. Its popularity took off during times of economic hardship, such as the Great Depression, as it provided a relatively inexpensive way to make clothing and household items. In the 1960s and ’70s, crochet experienced a resurgence as a part of the bohemian and DIY craft movements. Crochet became deeply entrenched in American culture, seeing resurgences in popularity alongside various social and cultural movements. Today, it continues to be a popular hobby and even an income source for many Americans.


Crochet has traveled a long, winding road to become the beloved craft it is today. Its rich history is woven into the very fabric of societies around the world, providing both artistic expression and practical use.

The Crochet story continues to evolve. Isn’t it wonderful to be a part of such a fascinating tradition?

If you’re keen to explore modern-day crochet patterns, all written in US crochet terms, do visit my Pretty Things By Katja Etsy Shop. Remember to subscribe to my newsletter! As a thank you, you’ll receive a **Free Winnie the Pooh Pillow Pattern** and a 20% coupon code “BESTOFCROCHET” for use in my shop.

And there you have it! The history of crochet is as intricate and fascinating as the craft itself.

Thank you for reading my blog.

Have a beautiful day, and enjoy Crocheting!


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