Tatting is a traditional skill employed by women around the world to create intricate lace details using either a shuttle or a needle. Through the creation of a series of loops and knots, lace patterns are created and are often used to decorate the trimmings of shawls, headscarves, and collars. Dating back to the early 19th century, this skill is believed to have originated in France where similar lace patterns have been found.
Although there is no direct evidence of when the skill of tatting was introduced to women in Egypt, anecdotal evidence collected from the women in Damietta indicates that it was introduced by German and Dutch nuns. The women of Damietta are known for their skills in tatting. Markaz plays a role in reviving this local craft by further modernizing it to make it more appealing and desirable to contemporary markets. This entails the use of new designs, colors and shapes. Tatting is typically used to decorate head scarves, prayer scarves, handkerchiefs, towels, table cloths and napkins. The work is sewn onto the edges of these items or on sleeves and hems of traditional dresses.