Macramé is a craft of knotting cord into a shape. By using a series of knots, many ornamental patterns can be achieved. Cord is generally of 3 ply & of cotton, jute or leather. Initially sailors used this knotting method to decorate their sailing parts, but now it is used to make jewelry, wall hanging, purses, belts, plant holders, bedspreads, etc,…

Macramé is believed to have originated with 13th-century Arab weavers. These artisans knotted the excess thread and yarn along the edges of hand-loomed fabrics into decorative fringes on bath towels, shawls, and veils.

From these origins it eventually made it to Italy and France in the early fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Sailors commenced with the skill as it was a favored way to pass some of the long hours out at sea.The sailors passed on their craft to the Chinese who adapted the skill to their own particular civilization and culture. The skill became fashionable with the British during the nineteenth century.

As time passed the skill fell to neglect. It was revived in the 1960s and ’70s, which brought revitalization to the ancient skill. Its popularity waned some in the ’80s and ’90s, but the beginning of the 21st century has seen the return of its popularity into full swing, with an unlimited number of creative possibilities for the hobbyist,  & artists.

From http://www.macramenia.com/macrame-history.html

Tools & Supplies

The main supply for Macramé is the cord. In addition one will need scissors, an anchor or a mount like curtain road, door handle or chair’s back & decorative item like beads, rings, shells, etc,.

Cord: There are different type of cords available that can be used in Macramé. Type of cord to be used depends on the project. Wire is used in making jewelry. Leather and fabric is used for belts. Macramé wall hangings are made from fine linen to heavy weight jute. Type of cords:

Cotton crochet: This is a simple cord type, which is soft and easy to work with. This works well for small and delicate work.

Embroidery floss: This is a strong cord & the knots using this cord type are strong and difficult to untie.

Hemp: This is a strong natural fabric and wears well.

Polypropylene: This type of cord is strong and durable.

Rattail: This type of cord lends a satin feel to the crafted object.

Soutache: This is a kind of flat-ribbed satin cord often used for trimming.

Waxed linen: This is best-suited for creating crisp knots. It is slightly stiff and can hold well.

Wire: This is used in macramé jewelry. Copper is the best choice as it provides strong and durable cord.

Reference from http://home.comcast.net/~darnamics/History.html

Technique

For any Macramé project, length of the cord should be measure first. The recommended length is 4 times the length of the project. Other factors to be considered before deciding the length are type of the knot, number of knots & thickness of the cord.

The design of the most Macramé works is built up from the different combinations of a few basic knots.

  1. A half knot is used in tying the shoelace.
  2. A square knot is ‘two half knots in opposite direction’.
  3. A double half hitch has one string bearing the knot while the other string wraps around it.
  4. An overhand knot is created with just one string where you make a loop knot onto itself.

Once you know these basic types of knots you can venture into more complicated knots or even try creating your own knots.

…. From http://home.comcast.net/~darnamics/History.html 

Step-by-step instructions on external links

  1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jN_nuxpBGiE
  2. http://www.wikihow.com/Macrame
  3. http://www.olgasmacrame.com/4pageKnots.html
  4. http://www.stonebrashcreative.com/MacrameTutorial.html

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