She started tatting again after years

She started tatting again after years

Sumeeta gifts and sells her tatting creations like jewellery pieces, little laces, doilies and small flowers.

Sumeeta Iyengar started tatting when she was 14 years old. Inspired by an elderly neighbour, she picked up the Victorian art of making laces, jewellery and other artefacts.

“My neighbour saw that I was fascinated by the art and offered to teach me. It takes a while to pick it up but I was a fast learner. She was very happy with my progress and taught me a lot of things. I pursued it for some time but eventually had to put it on hold due to familial priorities,” says Sumeeta.

Sumeeta Iyengar

Years later, at the age of 64, she has returned to the art. “I used to be a teacher and later worked in a bank for many years. With my children settled down now, I need something to keep my mind occupied and keep me busy. I have found this craft very entertaining and I spend a minimum of two hours every day on this,’’ she says, adding that she turned to YouTube to learn newer aspects of tatting. 

Sumeeta explains that tatting is a somewhat rare European craft. It involves different techniques that require a lot of effort.

“There are different thread sizes, like 20, 40 and 80. For smaller designs, one needs a thicker thread and one must also pick the beads wisely. You have to add the beads in the right place. The whole design must be ready in your head before you start,” she points out.

“Unlike crochet, where you can undo the knots easily, the process of untying knots in tatting, if a mistake has been made, is laborious. So the effort is quite daunting,” she adds.

Despite the effort, Sumeeta finds solace in tatting as it makes very happy and relieves her stress. There is also the unparalleled joy of creating something, no matter how small.

Sumeeta makes jewellery pieces, little laces, doilies and small flowers. Though most of these are gifted to friends and family, she also sells a few things on her online store ‘Kanda’, though sales are a bit slow. “One has to devote a lot of time to sell these things because most online shoppers don’t realise the value of the effort that goes into this craft. Online stores like Etsy
do brisk sales though they are quite expensive and unimaginable in a place like India. However, I do browse through that site for inspiration and to get an idea of what kind of things are sold,” she says.

Her daughter, Namrata, is one of her biggest motivators. She even organised a small get-together at her place and made Sumeeta showcase her talent. Her niece in USA also sells a few pieces for her.