Here’s what I learned about Coronation Cord

Yesterday, I posted a photo of a doily I got recently, and asked about the edging. Yes, I know the outermost edge is crocheted, but I wasn’t sure about those fuzzy things in between the crochet and the fabric. Several people told me it was coronation cord.

Well, color me confused. I was familiar with coronation cord used in embroidery, but not with crochet. This collar (photo below) up for auction on eBay right now is a good example of what I thought of. You can also see a page of the Woman’s Home Companion, from May 1908, with other ideas. But was it used with crochet? Hmm.

coronation, Lori East Quilts

So, I did what any of us would do when posed with a question…I asked Mr. Google (and Mary Corbet) about it. Well, I actually didn’t ask Mary, I just hopped on her site, figuring she’d have something to tell about it. By the way, if you are at all interested in embroidery, go visit Mary Corbet’s Needle n’ Thread. You’ll learn a lot!) I was right. I learned some things and wanted to share with you, just in case you’re curious (or confused) too.

Mary says that coronation cord, “is probably better known by its uses in crochet and tatting projects, and in fact, it’s more common to find it on vintage linens as part of a tatted or crocheted edging and insert.” Whew! Okay, so I was getting somewhere, but as usual, what I had seen was the less-common method.

I wondered how it was attached to the crochet and came up with this, which doesn’t actually tell how, but seeing the different variations helped me see that it could be done.

Lori East Quilts, coronation
From “Old and New Designs in Crochet Work,” by Sophie LaCroix. St. Louis Fancy Work Company, St. Louis, 1900.

I learned that coronation cord was really popular between the late 19th century and the late 1920s. Or so goes conventional thought. When I searched a little further, though, I found newspaper ads for what might be the same thing all the way back in 1847. Unfortunately, without some sort of illustration, we can’t be sure that its the same.

coronation, Lori East Quilts
This ad, from the Hartford Courant, on 16 June 1847, mentions coronation cord. Is it the same thing?

You could buy it, among other places, from the Sears Roebuck catalog for just a few cents. There were different sizes available in 12-yard put-ups for between twenty and thirty cents each. You could also buy linens and specially stamped cushion covers to use with it. An 1899 Sears catalog shows a pillow top for 45-cents. The ad below shows how you can either buy the stamped blank and the cord and DIY it OR buy the finished product.

coronation, Lori East Quilts
An ad from the 2 December 1906 Philadelphia Inquirer…buy the kit for less than a dollar, or buy it finished for a bunch more!

Today the cord alone is about $4.00 for a 2-yard put-up (or 75-cents per foot), when you can find it. The only source I could find for it new is Lacis. I’m sure there are probably embroiderers using it, and it’s good to know it’s available if needed for restoration.

So there you have my quick lesson about coronation cord, or at least what little I learned in an afternoon. But now I’m thinking about the name of it…coronation cord. Whose coronation? Can you guess? I would have to have to dig a little further to find out. If the cord advertised in 1847 is the same thing, and if it was so-named in response to a real coronation, whose would it be? Of course, my first thought was Queen Victoria of England, but her coronation was actually in 1838. She married Prince Albert in 1840, so it’s possible that royalty-fever was still a big deal. (Look at how much people lap up news about Prince William and Duchess Kate, for example, even today.) Maybe…but I’m not going to claim it as true.

It’s all pure conjecture, of course, but that’s a path I would pursue if I were to research this further. If. But maybe you already know all about it?

What do you know about coronation cord? Can you help me with some answers?

Stay tuned to see what we can learn! And please share if you have any information!

 

See you soon!

 

 

  • Wendy Tuma

    I’ve never heard of coronation cord, so this is very interesting. My grandmother, aunts and my mom did quite a bit of crochet, and my grandmother tatted. I have many of their pieces and love them all.

    • I have only a few of my grandmother’s pieces but I do love them!!

  • Denniele Bohannon

    I know I love it. It adds such funky-ish details to vintage pieces.

    • I agree!! You know I love that asymmetry. 😁