A mini guide into the world of Macramé
A mini guide into the world of Macramé
Macramé is a type of technique used by creating a series of easy and repetitive knots in order to produce a final product. This product can either be in the form of decoration, such as home décor, clothing or be put to a much practical use, for example fixing the ends of a carpet so they won’t unweave. This type of fiber art uses a mix of the most common materials known to man such as hemp or cotton cord or can be paired with more complex items such as glass, wooden decoration and so forth.
Macramé is by far one of the trendiest forms of boho chic these last couple of years. You can see it anywhere and everywhere. It makes its presence known by adorning haute couture fashion garments and accessories on the cat walks of Paris fashion week, you can spot it at your local café, and your best friend most probably has a macramé wall hanging or two at home. Apart from that, it’s a favorite festival apparel that comes back year after year… after year.
Macramé merges free spirited creativity with a sort of, laid-back outlook on life. It’s all about eco-consciousness whilst enjoying every moment that life has to offer. I’d even go that far to say that it is a movement – a society of like-minded individuals in the search of inner peace and outer creativity.
However, macramé certainly did not just appear recently. In fact, it’s been here for centuries upon end. Sailors made use of this knotting technique to fix items onboard, including sails and their ships; Arab weavers used it to make horse and camel knotted fringes in order to protect the animal’s eyes from unwanted flies and mosquitoes. The Chinese used it to make good luck and longevity ornaments, notably the pan-chang knot. It’s safe to say that macramé has been a part of our history for more than a few centuries!
Ready to try your hands at a simple macramé wall hanging? If so, let’s dive right in.
The interesting thing about wall hangings is that you can make them as simple or complicated as you’d like. For instance, this particular wall hanging is comprised of only two knots – a diagonal clove hitch and square knot. These two types of knots are one of the most basic and fundamental ones that macramé fiber art that offer. Although the design below is a beginner friendly, if you don’t know how to do these two knots, it’s best to view the blog post with basic knots
You will need:
5 mm cotton cord (about 100 meters)
Hooks or somewhere to attach your dowel onto (for example a clothing rail)
Any type of suitable cord to secure the dowel with.
1.You begin by cutting 12 pieces of cotton cord of identical length. For this project, I used around 2.5 meters per piece. You then attach all of these pieces of cord to the dowel by making 12 lark’s head knots. You need to make sure that every cord is the same length when attached and they’re in the middle of the dowel.
2. After you’ve made 12 lark’s head knots, you proceed to begin your macramé project by making 6 square knots. These knots should be made using the same tightness, so don’t be afraid to pull on your cords in order to get the right tension.
3. Upon completing your first row of 6 square knots, you move down a row, and continue making a row of square knots until you reach, once again the end of the row. This time, you should have 5 counts of square knots on your second row.
You once again move down a row, and continue knotting a row of square knots, until you reach the end of the row, and have 4 counts of square knots on your third row.
4. You continue to follow this scheme until, the square knots start to look like an inverted triangle, or, you reach your 6th row with only one square knot.
5. You then take the first piece of cotton cord from your first lark’s head knot and tie a diagonal clove hitch knot on the second piece of cotton cord from the same lark’s head knot. Once again, if you do not know how to do this knot or you’re having trouble remembering, it’s best to watch a quick tutorial on youtube to freshen your memory as you’ll be using this knot a lot in this design (as well as many other ones).
6. After you’ve done a row of diagonal clove hitch knots on both the left and right part of the inverted triangle, you continue by making another row of the same type of knot until you have two identical rows of the diagonal clove hitch.
7. For the next 3 rows, you’ll continue exactly what you’ve been doing so far ( by making diagonal clove hitch knots ) however, you’ll start the knots on your 3rd cord, skipping the first 2. As you can see on the photo. This will let the design breathe a little bit as well as give it some flexibility.
8. Upon completing the main section of the design, you’ll move onto the righthand side of the dowel. You’ll proceed to attach 4 pieces of cotton cord to the dowel using the lark’s head knot, three meters each in length. Although these dimensions are approximate, it’s always good to have more cord than to run out of it.
9. You’ll then start this pattern by making a square knot using the two right cords of the second lark’s head knot and the two left cords of the third lark’s head knot. After this is completed, you’ll continue onto making a diagonal clove hitch knot until both sides of these knots meet.
10. You continue with your diagonal hitch knot until you have an even number of this type of knot, on the left and right side of the spiral, forming a X. Once you see this, you’ll once again make a square knot and continue with this design until you reach your desired length, in this case until you make four oval shapes (or five in total square knots).
11. After you’ve completed the right side of the design, you repeat step number 10, but on the left side of the design, once again until you make four complete oval shapes, or in total, five square knots.
12. In order to tie together the left and the right part of the design, you make four square knots using the left and right sides of the remaining cords. You don’t have to be precise where you make it, just as long as the cord has some tension to it.
13. After you’ve made these four squares as shown on the photo, you simply flip on top the entire number of cords left from the square knots and proceed to make another square knot below to secure the forming rose shaped knot. If you are still having trouble making this knot, then it’s best to look up ‘rose knot’ to see how it’s done.
14. You’ll then proceed to cut 12 pieces of cord in order to give the design a bit of a fringe. The length of these cords is absolutely up to you. I always prefer using longer ones, but if you prefer a neater design, you can opt to cut them a bit shorter. You’ll place three of these cords on every outer part of the shape created in part 9.
15. The last step of this macramé wall hanging is to try and even out the cords from the previous step, by using sharp metal scissors. You might want to have the cords in a more oval shape or perhaps cut them evenly to produce an even cleaner design. Everything is up to you so don’t be afraid and play around with different shapes and lengths.