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Vintage Crochet Patterns

Crochet has been a popular craft for centuries, and vintage crochet patterns have a certain charm that still captivates people today. These patterns are not only beautiful but also carry a sense of nostalgia and history. In this blog post, I will explore the world of vintage crochet patterns, their history, and their appeal.

What makes a Crochet Pattern Vintage?

Vintage crochet patterns are patterns that were designed and published in the past, usually before the 1960s. These patterns have a distinct style that reflects the fashion and design trends of their time. They are often characterised by intricate lacework, delicate stitches, and detailed designs. Vintage crochet patterns are not only decorative, but they also serve a practical purpose. They can be used to make clothing, accessories, and household items. The earliest printed crochet patterns in my collection date from 1910, where the stitches are described as lace work.

Page of a 'Lady's World' Magazine dated 1910

History of Vintage Crochet Patterns

Crochet has been around for centuries, and vintage crochet patterns reflect the evolution of the craft. Crochet as we know it today originated in Europe in the 19th century. It was used to create lace, edgings, and other decorative elements for clothing and household items. The first crochet patterns were published in the 1820s, and the craft quickly gained popularity in Europe and the United States.

In the early 20th century, crochet patterns became more widely available, and crochet became a popular hobby for women. Vintage crochet patterns from this time often feature intricate lacework and delicate stitches. During World War II, crochet became a popular pastime for women at home to support soldiers on the front line. Many vintage crochet patterns from this era feature practical items such as hats and gloves. The Victoria Albert Museum in London has some vintage knitting patterns available to download from their website from 1940's.

Vintage Crochet Patterns Today

Today, vintage crochet patterns are still popular among crocheters of all ages. Many people enjoy the sense of nostalgia that comes with making a vintage pattern. Vintage crochet patterns also offer a unique challenge, as the patterns may use stitches or techniques that are not commonly used today. Some people even collect vintage crochet patterns as a hobby (I am some people). I personally love the fashion history and stories you can gleam from the handwritten notes inside. It is a joy to find vintage patterns with a shop stamp and someone's name on a pattern. You can start to imagine their life at that time in history.

Vintage crochet patterns can be found online, in books, and at antique stores. Charity or thrift shops are always worth a look as pattern collections are often donated when someone passes on or is no longer able to continue crocheting.

There are also many websites and social media groups dedicated to vintage crochet patterns, where enthusiasts can share patterns, tips, and ideas. Some crocheters even adapt vintage patterns to create modern designs, incorporating new colours or adding embellishments.


Vintage crochet patterns offer a glimpse into the past, reflecting the fashion and design trends of their time. They are not only beautiful but also practical, and can be used to create clothing, accessories, and household items. Vintage crochet patterns continue to captivate people today, offering a sense of nostalgia and a unique challenge for crocheters. Whether you are a seasoned crocheter or just starting out, vintage crochet patterns are a wonderful way to explore the rich history of this beloved craft.

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