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Cavandoli Macrame © Keith Rusell
Arts & Crafts : Explore Macrame Knotting and Other Fiber Arts

Exploring Macrame Knotting and Other Fiber Arts

See also: Rug Hooking, Needle Crafts

Square KnotGetting Started with Macrame
By Melissa Cordstone
There are many different styles of knots you can learn and use in macrame, however there are a few key knots, and once you learn those, you will have learned the basics of how to macrame.The Square Knot is the most important knot to learn in macrame.

According to Wikipedia, "Macramé or macrame is a form of textile-making using knotting rather than weaving or knitting. Its primary knots are the square knot and forms of hitching (full hitch and double half hitches). It has been used by sailors, especially in elaborate or ornamental knotting forms to decorate anything from knife handles to bottles to parts of ships. Macrame is viewed as a more masculine form of craft comparative to traditional knitting techniques, as evident in ancient Nordic tradition."

In a craft-making context, macrame is used for tying or knotting cords (using various threads, string, or rope like jute or hemp) into geometric patterns to craft jewelry, plant holders, wall hangings, and home decorations. You can explore more about the history of this art and craft from Creativity Portal's featured collection of macrame resources. Included are sites offering free macrame how-to instruction, patterns, tutorials, and step-by-step projects.

Instructional How-to Macrame Sources

The Macrame Project: What is Macrame?
The Macrame Project is dedicated to Direct Trade and making positive improvements on the quality of life in small villages and communities in Ecuador.

Macrame Lover's Blog
A macrame community resource featuring all things related to macrame — ideas, inspirations, macrame patterns and general information for macrame enthusiasts. It is meant for the beginner and seasoned pro alike; trying to bring back some of the craft's former glamour.

Free Macrame Patterns
Learn the revived art of macrame on this site devoted to beginners and experienced artisans alike. Features a library of knots, decorative knotting, a Macrame Dictionary, and many free patterns to learn and share with family and friends to make unique handicrafts and handcrafted jewelry.

Free Macrame Patterns
Learn the revived art of macrame on this site devoted to beginners and experienced artisans alike. Features a library of knots, decorative knotting, a Macrame Dictionary, and many free patterns to learn and share with family and friends to make unique handicrafts and handcrafted jewelry.

Olga's Macrame Hobby Site
Olga's site describes basic and unique Macrame knots, contains information about the history of macrame, and shows a photo gallery of handmade macrame items with step-by-step instructions on "how to do."

Knot Heads World Wide (KHWW)
A community-based Web site (free membership) of Knot Tyers and Leather Braiders from all walks of life and from around the world. Features ongoing discussions, knot tutorials, galleries, and downloads to members.

Handcrafted by Elaine
Has a macramé instruction section featuring an introduction to macramé, tips, and techniques for the projects displayed on the site. Includes cord length tips, mounting cords, how to tie various knots, picots, diamonds, how to start and finish wall hangings, jewelry, and plant hangers.

Macrame Superstore
Features free macramé projects, an archived project index, and knot tying instructions for square knots, square knot picot, alternating square knots, larks head knot, spiral knot, and half square knot. Projects include American Flag, country wreath, door hanger, dream catcher, hot air balloon, plant hanger, and windsock.

Tses Macrame Projects
A site with instructions for tying macramé knots, crown knots, and step- by-step macramé project tutorials. Includes several plant hangers, double-decker hangers, wind chimes, hanging table, and macramé as therapy.

Macramé and Fiber at About.com
A section devoted to macramé and other fiber arts in About.com's jewelry making guide. Features a primer in macramé jewelry making from the 60s, how-to hemp jewelry and projects, macramé articles, tips, and techniques.