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Cavandoli Macramé

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 was long crafted by sailors, especially in elaborate or ornamental knotting forms, to decorate anything from knife handles to bottles to parts of ships.

Cavandoli macramé is a variety of macramé used to form geometric patterns and free-form patterns like weaving. The Cavandoli style is done mainly in a single knot, the double half-hitch knot. Reverse half hitches are sometimes used to maintain balance when working left and right halves of a balanced piece.

Leather or fabric belts are another accessory often created via macramé techniques. Most friendship bracelets exchanged among schoolchildren and teens are created using this method. Vendors at theme parks, malls, seasonal fairs and other public places may sell macramé jewelry or decoration as well.


Macramé comes from a 13th Century Arabic weavers’ word “migramah” meaning “Fringe” This refers to the decorative fringes on camels and horses which help, amongst other things, to keep the flies off in the hot desert regions of northern Africa…

Another school of thought think that it comes from Turkish “makrama”: “napkin,” or “towel” and was a way to secure the ends of pieces of weaving by using the excess thread and yarn along the top and bottom edges of loomed fabrics.

One of the earliest recorded uses of macramé style knots as decoration appeared in the carvings of the Babylonians and Assyrians. Fringe-like plaiting and braiding adorned the costumes of the time and were captured in their stone statuary. Macramé traveled from north Africa, with the Moors during their conquests, to Spain, and as a result of this conquest it spread, firstly to France, and then throughout Europe.

Decorative macramé owls
necklaces from Tobati (Paraguay).

In the Western Hemisphere, macramé is believed to have originated with 13th-century Arab weavers. These artisans knotted the excess thread and yarn along the edges of hand-loomed fabrics into decorative fringes on bath towels, shawls, and veils. The Spanish word macramé is derived from the Arabic migramah (مقرمة), believed to mean "striped towel", "ornamental fringe" or "embroidered veil." After the Moorish conquest, the art was taken to Spain, then to Italy, especially in the region of Liguria, and then spread through Europe. It was introduced into England at the court of Mary II in the late 17th century. Queen Mary taught the art of macramé to her ladies-in-waiting.[1]

Sailors made macramé objects in off hours while at sea, and sold or bartered them when they landed, thus spreading the art to places like China and the New World. Nineteenth-century British and American sailors made hammocks, bell fringes, and belts from macramé. They called the process "square knotting" after the knot they used most frequently. Sailors also called macramé "McNamara's Lace".[1]

Macramé was most popular in the Victorian era. Sylvia's Book of Macramé Lace (1882), a favorite, showed readers how "to work rich trimmings for black and coloured costumes, both for home wear, garden parties, seaside ramblings, and balls—fairylike adornments for household and underlinens ..." Most Victorian homes were adorned by this craft. Macramé was used to make household items such as tablecloths, bedspreads and curtains.[1]

Though the craze for macramé faded, it has regained popularity since the 1970s as a means to make wall hangings, articles of clothing, bedspreads, small jean shorts, tablecloths, draperies, plant hangers and other furnishings.[2]

Macramé jewelry has become popular among the American neo-hippie and grunge crowd, starting in the early 1970s. Using mainly square knots and granny knots, this jewelry often features handmade glass beads and natural elements such as bone and shell. Necklaces, anklets and bracelets have become popular forms of macramé jewelry.


A large macramé project in progress, using rope as cord, tied to a wooden dowel.

Materials used in macramé include cords made of cotton twine, linen, hemp, jute, leather or yarn. Cords are identified by construction, such as a 3-ply cord, made of 3 lengths of fibre twisted together.[1] Jewelry is often made in combination of both the knots and various beads (glass, wooden, and so on), pendants or shells. Sometimes 'found' focal points are used for necklaces, such as rings or gemstones, either wire-wrapped to allow for securing or captured in a net-like array of intertwining overhand knots. A knotting board is often used to mount the cords for macramé work. Cords may be held in place using a C-clamp, straight pins, T-pins, U-pins, or upholstery pins.[1]

For larger decorative pieces, such as wall hangings or window coverings, a work of macramé might be started out on a wooden or metal dowel, allowing for a spread of dozens of cords that are easy to manipulate. For smaller projects, push-pin boards are available specifically for macramé, although a simple corkboard works adequately. Many craft stores offer beginners' kits, work boards, beads and materials ranging in price for the casual hobbyist or ambitious craftsperson.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Virginia Colton, ed. (1979). Complete Guide to Needlework. Montreal: The Reader's Digest Association Canada. p. 445. ISBN 0888500858. 
  2. ^ Chace, Susan; Pennant, Lilla; Warde, John Maury; Wright, David (1981), Crafts & Hobbies, Reader's Digest, p. 28, ISBN 0-89577-063-6, retrieved 2009-09-20 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macramé — Please support Wikipedia.
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1232 news items

Thu, 17 Apr 2014 09:41:15 -0700

(Sherbrooke) La Sûreté du Québec (SQ) n'avait pas complété le travail en ce qui concerne l'opération baptisée Macramé et qui vise un réseau de vente de drogue dans la région de Victoriaville. Mercredi et jeudi avant-midi, les policiers de la Division ...

Journal de Montréal

Nouvelle Union
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 17:22:24 -0700

Les sept derniers individus arrêtés lors du coup final de l'opération Macramé ont comparu au palais de justice de Victoriaville. Trois d'entre eux ont paradé, mercredi, devant la justice après leur arrestation. Les quatre autres individus ont fait de ...
Geelong Advertiser
Tue, 22 Apr 2014 21:22:04 -0700

From macramé plant holders to kitsch crafts, interiors seem to be stepping back in time. Cathy's crafty creations bridge the gap, with doilies refashioned into bowls and set in a resin of current hues – hot pinks, teals and black. “There's something of ...
Newnan Times-Herald
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 03:26:00 -0700

Activities include such games as arts and crafts, bingo, stamping and card making, knitting, covered dish luncheon, quilting, crocheting, blood pressure check, and macramé. Refreshments are served. • The Coweta Seniors Spring Cookout at the Coweta ...

Journal de Montréal

Thu, 03 Apr 2014 07:46:29 -0700

Deux semaines après avoir passé les menottes à 26 présumés trafiquants de stupéfiants de la région de Victoriaville dans le cadre de l'opération Macramé, les policiers de la Sûreté du Québec ont récidivé, mercredi et jeudi. Ils ont procédé à huit ...
Colorado Springs Independent
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 00:07:30 -0700

(Or, to the fully untrained ear, lovers of macramé.) It's not that the name is inaccurate — craft coffee, beer and spirits all share the spotlight between Saturday, April 26, and May 4 — but it's modest enough to do something of a disservice to Aly ...
Jeunes d'Exception
Mon, 14 Apr 2014 09:51:53 -0700

Jacques Alliman, l'un des 36 individus arrêtés relativement à l'opération Macramé, a reconnu, vendredi, sa culpabilité. Son dossier a été reporté au 2 mai. Entre-temps, il a pu recouvrer sa liberté. L'opération Macramé a donné lieu à 36 arrestations ...
Nouvelle Union
Wed, 16 Apr 2014 08:11:15 -0700

VICTORIAVILLE. Tommy Michel, la présumée tête dirigeante du réseau de trafic de stupéfiants démantelé par le projet Macramé, demeure incarcéré durant les procédures judiciaires. Le juge Rémi Bouchard a ordonné sa détention, mardi, au terme de son ...

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