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Techniques for working with a needle -knitting, netting, weaving, twisting, braiding, knotting - have been called by many names throughout history.

They include needle-coiling, knotless netting, cross-knit looping, looped needle-netting, vatsom, coptic knitting, naalebinding, Tunisian crochet, tambour, needle lace, lace making, tatting, macrame, sprang and shepherd's knitting.

One: Crochet originated in Arabia, spread eastward to Tibet and westward to Spain, from where it followed the Arab trade routes to other Mediterranean countries.

Research suggests that crochet probably developed most directly from Chinese needlework, a very ancient form of embroidery known in Turkey, India, Persia and North Africa, which reached Europe in the 1700s and was referred to as "tambouring," from the French "tambour" or drum.

Other forms of handwork - knitting, embroidery and weaving - can be dated far back in time, thanks to archeological finds, written sources and pictorial representations of various kinds.

But no one is quite sure when and where crochet got its start. According to American crochet expert and world traveler Annie Potter, "The modem art of true crochet as we know it today was developed during the 16th century.

It was impossible to find evidence of crochet in Europe before 1800.

A great many sources state that crochet has been known as far back as the 1500s in Italy under the name of 'nun's work' or 'nun's lace,' where it was worked by nuns for church textiles," she says.

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