Welcome back, Macrame!
Yes, the fine art of Macrame is back in fashion again. Not that this surprises us. We can totally see why. It is beautiful, earthy, and therapeutic.
Knotting—or macramé—is one of many crafts being revived by those who love working with their hands. Just like surface embroidery, quilting, and needlework are seeing a bump in popularity, macramé is being transformed from a 1970s relic into a hot, trendy art form.
Macramé is a type of textile created using knotting techniques, as opposed to weaving or knitting. The knots are square and form full-hitch and double half-hitches. The craft requires only inexpensive and accessible materials like cotton twine, hemp, leather or yarn, with various beads used to enhance the piece.
A versatile form of fibre art, macramé can be used to make everything from wall hangings and plant hangers to jewelry, purses, and even clothing items. Using simple materials like cotton twine, jute, hemp, or yarn, macramé can be as simple or complex as the crafter would like.
Materials used in macramé include cords made of cotton twine, linen, hemp, jute, leather or yarn. Embellishments like glass or wooden beads, as well as dyed threads, can also open up a range of creative possibilities.
The first accounts of macramé are credited to 13th-century Arab weavers who used extra thread to create knotted decorative threads on handmade fabrics. Third-century China is also credited thanks to the pan chang knot—a series of loops that weave into infinity symbols to represent longevity. Sailors are also a major part of the craft’s beginnings in the Great Age of Sail, or the 1700s to about 1830, when they used the knots to dazzle-up their knives, bottles, and parts of the ship, while their knowledge of different types of knots were used to barter intel!
While most think of macramé as a craze of the 1970s, the craft reached peak popularity in Victorian England. First introduced to England in the late 17th century, Queen Mary herself taught classes to her ladies-in-waiting. Most Victorian homes had some type of macramé decoration, as it was used not only to decorate clothing, but also as curtains, tablecloths, and bedspreads.
The ’70s took the ornate rope work mainstream, when macramé became a popular textile that turned into tassels, placemats, plant slings in the corner, picture frames, hammocks, wall hangings and even bikinis.
Apartment dwellers find macramé particularly pleasing for its ability to transform the many hanging house plants throughout their space as an answer to the lack of a garden or yard, and a means for bringing the outside in with more and more buildings popping up and trees being cut down.
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