Macrame is a decorative crafting technique that involves knots. You can use this art form to create innovative, purposeful art pieces and add a distinct charm to your home dé cor. It is a rewarding hobby that you can quickly master with a bit of practice.
What Is Macrame? Where Is It Used?
Macrame is a form of textile created with the help of knotting techniques. It does not involve any knitting or weaving. The primary knots used in this craft are square, combinations of half-hitches, and full hitch.
For this craft, you can use easily accessible and inexpensive materials, such as cotton twine, wool, leather, hemp, etc. In addition, you can use colourful or wooden beads to enhance the aesthetic beauty of your work.
Once upon a time, sailors used macramé to create ornamental coverings for many things, ranging from parts of ships to knife handles. Today, homes have replaced ships. This elaborate and versatile artwork is used to create different kinds of products that can serve decorative and functional purposes at home.
Macrame is also used as a source of income. You can create appealing pieces using macrame and monetize your hobby.
Some of the common uses of macramé include the following:
- Wall Hanging
- Plant Hanger
- Grocery Bag
- Table Runner
- Bottle Cover
Here are 10 things to know about macramé that will help you to get started on your journey with Macrame:
Select Your Cord With Care
To begin a macramé project, the first thing you need is a cord. You can select any cord, such as hemp, jute, wool, or wax cords. Generally speaking, it is a good idea to go with high-quality soft cotton cords meant for macramé projects. Cotton cords are a popular choice as they are easy to use and offer an excellent finish to your projects.
Use Different Cord Sizes For Different Projects
As a beginner, you can start with a 4mm or 5 mm cord. However, please keep in mind that a thicker cord can highlight your knots better than a thinner one. Also, you need less effort to unravel thicker cords in case you tie a few wrong knots.
However, a single cord size may not be ideal for all kinds of projects. While thick cords create a splendid look in big projects, thin cords will be a better choice for small projects. Once you get used to the knotting technique, you can select the cord sizes based on your projects.
These recommended sizes will provide you with an idea:
- Large wall hanging: 8 to 12 mm
- Medium wall hanging: 4 to 10 mm
- Small wall hanging: 3 to 5 mm
- Grocery bag: 3 to 5 mm
- Planter: 2 to 5 mm
- Small purse: 2 to 3 mm
- Bookmark or Keychain: 1.5 to 3 mm
- Tassel or Jewelry: 1.5 to 3 mm
Opt For Good Quality Supplies
To create beautiful projects with macramé, you will need a few other supplies as well. These include a measuring tape and a pair of sharp scissors to cut the cords easily. In addition, keep a comb or brush handy to lend your macramé projects a fluffy fringe.
Depending on the type of project you attempt, you may also need a dowel, wooden rings, metal hoops, belt buckles, purse handles, decorative beads, and other such items.
Master The Basic Macramé Knots
Macrame is all about knots. You can make rapid progress with this craft if you master the basic knots. There are 3 essential knots and 2 easy variations of these essential knots. Together they create the complete basic knot package. You will need to practice these knots before you can start with large macramé projects.
Make sure you get these right:
- Lark’s Head Knot
- Square Knot
- Spiral Knot
- Half Hitch
- Double Half Hitch
Be Open To Unknotting
When you are new to macramé, you may end up making mistakes in some cases. Sometimes, your patterns may not turn out as you expect them to be. This is where unknotting can come to your rescue. Rather than getting frustrated or giving up on the project, accept that such things can happen with anyone. Once you do that, it will be easy for you to unknot and start afresh.
Double Check Before Cutting Any Cord
Form a habit to double-check the amount of cord you will require for a project. Then, add a bit more to this length before you proceed to cut the cord. This will make sure that you don’t run out of the cord before finishing the project.
Since macrame cord is expensive, the general tendency is to buy as sparingly as possible. This is understandable, except running out of the cord can leave you in a tight spot (pun unintended). If you want to create a new design and are unsure how much cord you will need, try to imagine the size of the piece you are making. Then multiply the length of the approximate size by four and keep a bit extra. In macramé, it is always better to cut more cord than less.
Save The Leftover Cords
After you complete a macramé piece, save the pieces of cords that are left behind. You can create plenty of small but attractive items with such cord scraps. For example, depending on the lengths of the leftover cord pieces you have, you can use them to make jewellery, tassels, keychains, bookmarks, etc. Another idea is to form Lark’s Head knots with the leftover cords and use them to add texture to your macramé wall hangings.
Set Up A Macramé Work Station
Setting up a macramé workstation is a simple and affordable task. If you have a dedicated area marked for your macramé projects, you can remain organized and keep things handy.
To create a simple macramé workstation, you can use a macramé stand and a macramé board. For example, if you have an unused clothing rack at home, it can serve as a macramé stand. You can hang your projects on this stand. For smaller projects, a macramé board will be perfect to pin and display your work.
Pull Your Knots Just Right
Your macramé project may fall flat if the knots do not work out well. To ensure that you do not end up with a deformed macramé piece, always pull your knots correctly. In other words, your knots must be neither too tight nor too loose. Also, try to maintain the exact tightness of the knots throughout the piece to lend it a consistent look.
Remember that if you notice your macrame piece starting to curl up, it can mean the knots are too tight, and you need to loosen them a bit.
Experiment And Have Fun
It is common to make mistakes in macrame. Do not get bogged down by such things. Rather than feeling discouraged, try to understand where you have gone wrong.
Macrame is fun when you approach it with an open mind and a positive attitude. A few mistakes here and there must not prevent you from exploring your creativity. Instead, treat them as a part of the learning curve and move ahead with enthusiasm.
When you are starting with macramé projects, it can be helpful to learn with fellow beginners. The live interactive workshops on GoSocial provide you an easy way to learn the tips and tricks of macramé and become confident in this craft. Also, you get to learn from your favourite creators on the platform and thrive in the company of enthusiastic beginners.
So, join this community of creators and let your knotty creativity thrive!