The comprehensive guide to macrame
What are the most common macrame knots and how do I tie them? Where can I find macrame patterns and supplies? These are just some of the most frequent questions I receive.
Overall, I've broken the guide down into the following 3 sections.
- Section 1 - Macrame knots
- Section 2 - Macrame tips
Section 3 - Macrame patterns
I'll teach you all the common knots, I'll give you tips and I'll get you started on your first projects. Make your own macrame wall hanging. Or a plant hanger, for all you plant lovers out there. #plantsmakepeoplehappy
Table of contents
Section 1: Macrame knots
Macrame consists of a series of knots. In this section I will teach you all of the most commonly used knots in macrame.
Square Knot are strong and one of the most common knots used in macramé. The square knot is done in 2 parts. Start out by bending the left working cord, cross it over the filler cords and then under the right working cord. Pass the right working cord behind the filler cords and pull it through the loop created by the left working cord. Gently pull on both cords. The knot is now half way done.
You finish the knot by doing the same, but in reverse. Bend the right working cord, cross it over the filler cords and then under the left working cord. Pass the left working cord behind the filler cords and pull it through the loop created by the left working cord. Now pull on both cords again. You are done!
The spiral knot creates a beautiful helix or DNA spiral. It is especially well suited to use when creating plant hangers.
The spiral knot is actually a square knot, but tied repeatedly. The knot becomes offset, forming a spiral that twists down.
Start out by bending the left working cord, cross it over the filler cords and then under the right working cord. Pass the right working cord behind the filler cords and pull it through the loop created by the left working cord. Gently pull on both cords. Keep repeating the above steps until the spiral is the desired length.
Half hitchThe half hitch is the most versatile knot used in macrame. The possibilites are endles with this knot. In this article we will explain the most common used variations: Half Hitch, Double half hitch and the Horizontal half hitch.
The half hitch knot is great to create wavy patterns in a macrame wall hanging. It is the most simple knot in macrame.
The working cord passes in front of and then loops around the filler cord. Pass it through the loop created by the working cord. That’s it. Couldn’t be easier. J
Double half hitch
The double half hitch is the knot that can elevate your work to the next level. It is used to create different structures and shapes in macrame.
The knot can be tied horizontally, vertically, diagonally or in free form. I will be looking at the diagonal half hitch knot. Use 1 cord as your filler cord. You can use a cord in your work or use a new rope as your filler cord. Hold the filler cord at your desired angle. Use your first working cord to pass at the back of your filler cord and loop around. Now make another loop around your filler cord to create the double half hitch knot.
Lark's head knot
To make this knot take 1 rope and fold it in half. Pull the folded end over the wood dowel and pull the the cord ends through the loop you just made.
Section 2: Macrame tips
Below I will share some of the more beginner tips with you. Are you more advanced? Go ahead and skip to section 3.
Use good quality rope
Craft and home stores have a variety of cotton, acrylic, nylon and twine cords with a rope-like twist that are suitable for macrame. Personally I prefer to work with cotton rope of atleast 3mm in diameter. Cotton rope comes in 2 types. Braided and twisted cotton rope. Braided cotton rope are 6 strands (or more) braided into a single rope. 3-strand rope (sometimes called 3-ply) where the strands are twisted around each other. I've seen it in 4 strands, but conventional rope tends to be 3-strand. I love it because it is easy to work with, is extremely strong and durable, and unravels at the ends to make a really lovely fringe. The rope I use can be bought here.
Keep it simple
There are so many different knots to use in macrame. A good first knot to learn is a simple square knot. There are 2 ways to do this knot: The square knot and the alternating square knot. This knot is the very basis of most of the macrame out there these days, and a wonderfully easy beginner knot to try.
Keep your tension even
This one requires practice. The strength with which you tighten the knots affects the consistency of their size. Practice over and over until you find a rhythm and see that your knots are consistent. You'll need to find a balance between knotting to loose and have you work look shoddy and knotting to tight.
Save your leftover rope
While you’re learning you will may have a few try, and try agains. And getting the length of the rope JUST right can be your biggest obstacle. The length of the rope required for a project will differ depending on the type of knots used, the pattern, the tension of your work and the dimension of the rope. You never want to little rope since it can be complicated to add extra to your piece. We always suggest you err on at least 10% more than you think you will need, just to be safe. There are lots of small project to do with your leftover rope. You can try macrame leaves, a key-chain or bookmark. You can also add the scraps as fringes to other work. The options are endless.
Get involved and have fun
The best way to do anything is to find the right support. The same goes for learning macrame. Join a community of fellow macrame enthusiast. You'll find answers to your questions, be inspired and share knowledge. Expressing your creativity through macrame is one of the best parts of the journey. Let your creativity free and create something that comes from your heart.
Section 3: Macrame patterns
Every month I will release a new pattern.
January 2020 Macrame Plant Hanger pattern. See the full tutorial here.
February 2020 Macrame Wall Hanging pattern. See the full tutorial here.