Macramé is the art of decoratively tying knots to make a textile. It’s done by hand, without needles, by weaving threads or cords together into simple or intricate, knots.

Macramé is better known for its appearance in the seventies, but it’s recently made a comeback and people are going crazy for it. Nowadays, it’s being used for producing clothing, hanging plant décor, home décor, storage and so much more.

First things first there are just two essentials to get started with macramé.

Macramé shopping list

Ordinarily, we recommend attaching your macramé piece to a surface as this makes it easier. Those who are more serious about macramé will probably invest in some proper macramé boards, but for beginners, a dowel/stick or a curtain hoop that can be hung from a pin or hook with some string is usually a good place to start. If you want to go bigger then we’ve heard of people repurposing clothing rails.

Parlor Diary

There are six basic knots, but all in all there are almost hundreds of knots that can be used in macramé.

The Basic Six

  • The Larks Head Knot – this forms the foundation of many macramé designs.
  • The Half Knot – this is often used to create a helix structured knot. This knot twists when repeated.
  • The Square Knot – this is one of the most commonly found knots which is perfect for macramé jewellery and you can even add decorative beads in between knots.
  • The Overhand Knot – this is often found at the beginning or end of a macramé design.
  • The Single Half Hitch – a useful knot for any design, great for creating a multi stand weave.
  • Double Half Hitch – like the single half hitch only its doubled. This is an important decorative knot that is used in many designs.

This video by Chelsea Sadler is a fab go to for a how to on creating four of the six basic knots.

Some tips for getting started:

  • If you’re a beginner, rope is the best material to start testing out your macramé knots with. It’s not as stretchy as wool or cotton yarns and is ideal for trying to master out tension and spacing.
  • Most people find it easier to macramé standing up than sitting down.
  • If you’re new to macramé, we suggest you start by learning just a couple of basic patterns and knots to get your technique on its way.
  • Don’t give up – remember practice makes perfect. You must keep practicing to perfect your technique and get all your knots looking the same. Spacing and tension are very important, especially when using the same knot to create a pattern as unevenness is obvious on the eye.
  • While you’re learning it’ll take a couple of goes to get the right length of cord – this can often be your biggest obstacle. You don’t want too little cord since it can be complicated to add extra to your piece. This blog post from Hitch and Arrow may be able to help determine your cord length -
  • To stop the ends of your cord fraying put some washi tape or masking tape around them.
  • To keep your cords separate organise them using clothes pegs.
  • It’s good to try an original design but if you’re looking for some patterns and inspiration why not use the likes of Pinterest for some ideas?

If you're looking for more inspiration, visit the Creative Rox blog here.