Macrame is a type of textile in which cords of materials such as cotton or leather are knotted together, to form items such as belts, tablecloths, clothes and decorative pieces to hang on walls.

Macrame has been traced back to Arabic weavers of the 13th Century. It is a form of textile making that uses knotting techniques without the use of needles and hooks to create decorative geometric and free form patterns. It is a very versatile craft and all sorts of items can be created by using it, such as, jewellery, decorations, clothing and lampshades.

The art of macrame arrived in Spain after the Moorish Conquest and was then taken to Italy before spreading to Europe. Towards the end of the 17th century macrame was brought to England to the court of Queen Mary 2nd, who taught it to her ladies in waiting.

Macrame was also used by British sailors in the 19th century to make hammocks, bell fringes and belts whilst they were at sea. This helped them to pass the time and gave them items to trade when they arrived at port.

In England, Macrame was very popular with the Victorians and therefore most households contained many items made by this technique.

Over the years macrame became unpopular but in recent times this ancient and decorative craft has risen in popularity again, making a welcomed comeback.

Needle nose pliers
Tape measure

Several materials can be used for macrame. In recent years macrame jewellery has become very popular and many very fine cords 1.0mm thick or less have become available. This produces very detailed pieces of macrame whilst allowing for pieces to be the small size necessary for jewellery. This is usually in the form of waxed cotton cord which is available in several different colours. Another good material for this though usually thicker is rattail made either from natural fibres or a nylon equivalent. It is also available in many colours - Anne Pearson Designs.

Macrame cord like leather, cotton, jute, hemp, flax linen cord, parachute cord or satin.

Candle wax
Fabric glue
Masking tape

Macrame is all about knots.

It is possible to create finished items just using cord and a combination of knots.

If you want to learn more about macrame these are a few of the common knots to start with

Larks Head
Half Knot
Square Knot
Half Hitch
Overhand Knot
Coil Knot
Josephine Knot.

There are many books and internet tutorials showing how to do each of these knots. Once these basics have been mastered using variations and combinations of these knots gives endless design possibilities - Anne Pearson Designs.

Endless fall bracelets.