You’ve certainly seen knotted designs cascading down in a spread of fabric textures on Instagram or in that fashionable boutique. Yes, we’re talking about macramé!
Knotting, also known as macramé, is one of several crafts being revived by those who enjoy working with their hands nowadays. Macramé is being turned from a 1970s relic into a trendy, modern art form, just as surface embroidery, quilting, and needlepoint are.
But what exactly is this attractive craft, where did it come from, and what is macrame used for?
Continue reading to learn more about how macrame came to be and everything you need to know when getting started with macrame for beginners and macrame lovers.
- 1 What is macrame?
- 2 Macramé Cord
- 3 How do I make a macrame product?
- 4 Where can I buy a macrame?
- 5 Conclusion
What is macrame?
Macrame is a fiber method that utilizes knots to create a variety of textiles. Each knot is made entirely with your hands, with the exception of a mounting ring to keep the item in place while you work. In other cases, macrame pieces can be combined with other techniques such as weaving or knitting.
Because this art form has regained popularity in recent years, craftsmen and artisans have developed new ways to use macrame that go beyond the traditional plant hangers and wall hangings.
History of Macrame
The origins of macramé are actually extremely fascinating, with a history extending back thousands of years.
Some believe the phrase originates from the 13th-century Arabic word migramah مكرمية, which indicates “fringe.” Arab weavers utilized beautiful knots to end the surplus thread on shawls, veils, and towels. – Wikipedia.
Others say its root in the Turkish word macrame, which means “napkin” or “towel,”. Other historians claim that knotting was used by the ancient Persians and Babylonians in artifacts dating back to the BC ages.
Some people, meanwhile, argue that knot-tying dates back even further, to third-century China. Lanterns, hangings, and ceremonial clothes from this era feature intricate knots, and some consider the famed pan chang knot to be an ancient kind of macrame.
Then macrame was an art form that subsequently expanded across Europe via North Africa when the Moors brought macramé to Spain. While most people associate macrame with the 1970s, the technique was at its peak in Victorian England. When it was first brought to England in the late 17th century, Queen Mary II herself offered classes to her ladies-in-waiting. Most Victorian homes had some sort of macrame design, as it was used not just to decorate garments, but also as curtains, tablecloths, and bedspreads.
Sailors aided in the development of this art form throughout Europe. When they entered new ports, they became merchants and traded the macrame things they manufactured on the ship. Hammocks, caps, and belts were popular products.
Eventually, the hand-knotting was quickly out of fashion in the 1980s.
The Purpose of Macrame
Macrame is a flexible textile art that can be used to create everything from macrame wall hangings and macrame plant hangers, macrame mirrors, macrame shelves, macrame keychains, macrame bags, macrame pillows, macrame hammocks to jewelry, purses, and even garments.
It can be as simple or as complicated as the creator desires, using simple materials like cotton twine, jute, hemp, or yarn.
Macramé can be made with a wide range of natural and synthetic fibers. Standard projects will normally necessitate cords ranging in thickness from 3 mm to 6 mm. Micro-macramé is used to make jewelry and little decorative things, which simply means that the cord used is 0.5 mm to 2 mm thick.
We will concentrate on three primary types: fiber content, size, and texture of macrame for beginners easily understand.
Whether you’re looking for rope, cord, thread, or yarn, you’ll need to select whether you want to deal with NATURAL or SYNTHETIC fiber.
- NATURAL Fiber: Cotton, linen, jute, wool, and hemp are great for interior projects, home décor, jewelry, accessories, gift wrap, and textiles. They are also biodegradable, giving them an environmentally responsible option.
- SYNTHETIC Fibers: Includes polypropylene, acrylic, nylon, and plastic, are perfect for outdoor projects since they will hold up well rain or shine and will not degrade over time with exposure to the environment.
Size of macrame cord
The rope comes in a wide range of widths and diameters, with some being better suited to specific purposes than others.
- SMALLER ropes, 3mm or less, are ideal for jewelry and other small or delicate applications. Here are some of our favorite projects that make use of smaller diameter cords.
- MEDIUM ropes, 4mm-7mm, are arguably the most widely used, a fantastic size for macramé beginners, more strong than smaller ropes, and ideal for plant hangers, wall hangings, furniture, lanterns, curtains, carpets, and so on.
- LARGE ropes, 8mm-12mm (and larger), create an attractive statement and are great for wall hangings, such as our Columns and Arches Wall Hanging. Because of their size, they can be more difficult to work with, but the effort is well worth it.
The texture is an essential visual element of macrame for beginners to consider, as it can easily add interest to work by incorporating some fun fiber with texture.
You should also think about how the fiber feels to work with, especially if you’re knotting anything huge – jute looks fantastic but can be a little scratchy on the hands. But don’t worry, gloves are a great method to protect your hands when dealing with a rough textured fiber.
- COTTON is a wonderful fabric to work with and is so flexible that it can be used for almost any project. It is comfortable to hold, gentle to the touch, and available in a variety of sizes and textures.
- JUTE is a strong, natural fabric with a beautiful texture and color. It’s tough and scratchy, but it’s a useful fiber that looks gorgeous tied up.
- FELTED WOOL is an eye-catching, dense, and soft statement material. Make a lush and beautiful rug out of it, or add some wooly flair to a rope wall hanging.
- POLYPROPYLENE is a strong, long-lasting rope that can withstand the environment, making it an excellent choice for outdoor projects.
How do I make a macrame product?
You now have a general understanding of macrame, its history, macrame cord, and macrame projects. The question is, how does one go about making a macrame for beginners?
Do you realize that the majority of the beautiful Macrame designs you see online are made with only three simple knots?
We’ve compiled some of the greatest places on the internet where you can learn macramé for free with detailed articles, illustrations, and video tutorials.
Lots of Knots Canada, without a doubt, takes the cake for us.
With over 5 years of macrame experience and over 236,000 followers, this is one of the YouTube channels that teaches you how to produce really good macrame, with basic video tutorials to assist novices to comprehend and follow the latest patterns.
This YouTube channel is a terrific resource whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned macrame expert and also sells supplies for making macrame.
You can watch them here on Lotsof Knots Canada Youtube channel
This is also a great channel for individuals who are just getting started and want to learn how to do video tutorials to make highly imaginative macrame items.
You can watch video tutorials on how to make macrame at Soulful Notions Youtube channel
Aside from the macrame tutorial YouTube channels mentioned above, there is a macrame tutorial website that most beginners and even expert people use for their new products.
Macrameforbeginners.com is a good website. It features a fantastic section on macramé with in-depth, step-by-step explanations with photographs, directions, and video. Examine it out!
Another old school site, but hey, we said we’d discover non-video sites, and we did! Olga’s Macramé contains a variety of knots, patterns, and projects that will teach you the basics and more!
Where can I buy a macrame?
There are thousands of results for where to get macrame for macrame lovers. However, we have compiled a list of well-known macrame supplies for buying materials such as macrame cotton cord, fiber macrame, macrame beads, other macrame accessories to make, or products made from macrame.
Buy macrame on Etsy
Etsy is one of the best places to shop for macrame as well as handcrafted products for decor and gifts; it has everything we need.
You can go to Etsy and search for the macrame product keywords you want, such as modern macrame feather wall hanging decor or macrame leaves wall decor, and it will bring up a plethora of items that you will love.
Here are several well-known stores that sell both macrame supplies and finished products.
Chris from California owns The Knotty Bird, a fiber art studio. Since 2018, she has sold approximately 10,000 items on Etsy and has her own Shopify store. Chris sells a wide variety of fiber art tools as well as handcrafted macrame creations. Her hangers cost more than $100, and her macrame materials (such as various rolls and kits) cost up to $50. Her material inventory appears to be the source of the majority of her sales.
HappiLeeKnots is an Etsy shop owned by Michelle Lee, a Missouri stay-at-home mom who produces macrame presents and decor such as boho earrings and handmade baby milestone markers, as well as macrame rope rolls (the same brand as the above sample – Bobbiny). Her best-selling item is her bohemian earrings, which cost $16.00 plus delivery. Since 2019, she has sold almost 5,000 items.
Satisfy your wildest bohemian macrame fantasies at 194 Handmade Gift, where you’ll discover the typical suspects like wall hangings and planters, as well as coasters, keychains, and big wall hangings that may fit in any style of your home.
Buy macrame on Amazon
Amazon has a variety of brands of colorful Macrame supplies. Here is a list of brands that ship internationally:
Amazon now sells a wide range of Macrame products, from macrame cord to macrame rings, as well as a good assortment of beads. You can even buy pre-made macrame creations. On Amazon, Cyrico is one of the best places to find macrame cord.
This particular seller offers a quality, 100 % cotton cord at a reasonable price. Because it’s about as cheap as decent macrame cable can be, it’s ideal for making plant hangers, easy projects, or simply learning how to make macrame!
This shop offers a wonderful collection of high-quality 3mm 3-Ply Macrame cords. Choose from eye-catching hues like Burnt Orange, Indigo, Army Green, and Latte. All spools include 220 yards / 200 meters of Macrame cords, which is enough for numerous beautiful projects!
It is a Chinese supplier that specializes in big spools of colorful Macrame cords at low prices, making them ideal for large projects.
Buy macrame on other sites
This comprehensive website should be your first stop for all things macramé. Not only are there free patterns, but there are many articles for beginners, a dictionary of common terms, and even a section on macramé for kids. Through their Etsy shop, you can find all types of colored cords, vintage pattern books, beads, and much more.
A gorgeous selection of colored cotton rope, as well as DIY kits and tutorials, can be found here. For more ideas, read founder Emily Katz’s book Modern Macramé: 33 Stylish Projects for Your Handmade Home
Pepperell, which began as a shoelace firm in 1917, is now a well-known manufacturer of macramé cords and supplies. Everything from wood beads and dowels to cables and DIY kits can be found here.
This online merchant’s website is filled with beads, beads, and more beads. Czech glass beads, charms, seed beads, wooden beads, and much more may be found here! They are available at a variety of rates to accommodate your budget.
Dick Blick Art Materials has a large selection of equipment and materials for any of your Macrame projects. This website has a variety of items, some of which are as follows:
- Macrame beads (wood, glass, plastic)
- Macrame rings of all sizes
- Cording and twine
- Dowel rods
This incredible small business produces the smoothest, cleanest-feeling macrame cable I’ve ever touched! They are a reliable source with a large assortment of different thicknesses, colors, and strands. They’re the upscale macrame artist’s supply!
Macrame is fun and interesting to do and can be a great way to spend time with friends while gossiping and drinking tea.
Macrame can be as easy as a few simple knots to hold your indoor home plants, a festive decoration, a fishbowl, or anything else you can think of!
It can also become a new piece of artwork on your wall if you make it a little more difficult. You can use it to spice up a boring item, or, to add a boho look to a pair of sandals, a headband, or even a camera!
Once you’ve mastered this new technique, you’ll be knitting up anything you want and adding macrame to everything!