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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 thinks 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 regained popularity during the 1970s as a means to make wall hangings, articles of clothing, bedspreads, small jean shorts, tablecloths, draperies, plant hangers and other furnishings. By the early 1980s macramé had again begun to fall out of fashion as a decoration trend.[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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15711 news items

Jeunes d'Exception
Tue, 18 Nov 2014 10:56:15 -0800

Macramé constitue la plus importante opération policière du genre menée dans la MRC d'Arthabaska. L'opération visait un réseau de trafic de stupéfiants, principalement de la cocaïne, des métamphétamines et du cannabis, un réseau surtout actif dans le ...

Cleveland American

Cleveland American
Thu, 20 Nov 2014 21:48:45 -0800

She also enjoyed doing crafts and macramé. Survivors are her three sons and their wives, Steve and Sharon Page of Cleveland; David and Karen Page of Stillwater, Okla.; Robert and Mishell Page of Cleveland; one brother Melvin Carter of Okay, Okla.; four ...
Nouvelle Union
Thu, 13 Nov 2014 13:00:00 -0800

Rappelons que le projet Macramé visait une organisation œuvrant dans la vente de cocaïne, de méthamphétamine et de cannabis sur le territoire de Victoriaville. À la suite de ces deux arrestations, le bilan s'élève maintenant à 47 personnes arrêtées.


Thu, 20 Nov 2014 02:58:27 -0800

As an avid sports fan and the owner of Forever Collectibles, a sports memorabilia company in Somerset, N.J., Michael Lewis has seen his share of over-the-top apparel. Still, he wasn't prepared for what he encountered last Dec. 20, when he came to work ...


Wed, 19 Nov 2014 13:00:00 -0800

LaVerne Wilson noted her creative historyy, "Years ago like macramé, crochet, I've tried knitting, but my first love is hand made cards. That's what I love to do and this is the same process." :07. They pulled in Lucinda's daughter, Chelsea. Three ...

Montreal Gazette

Montreal Gazette
Mon, 17 Nov 2014 06:26:15 -0800

This retro influence is most evident in the macramé techniques used to make hanging planters and elongated lampshades. “When I exhibit, I hear so many funny stories about macramé in the '70s,” says Legault, who avidly researches the traditions and ...

Alpine Avalanche

Alpine Avalanche
Wed, 19 Nov 2014 16:45:00 -0800

“In high school, I mostly did arts and crafts – macramé and pottery,” she said. When her husband died in 2001, she asked herself “What am I going to do now?” So she went back to school at Sul Ross and studied under Carol Fairlie. She also took classes ...

Government News

Government News
Wed, 19 Nov 2014 22:33:45 -0800

It's worth the visit if only to chortle at how markedly Australian television has changed from the days when Canberra had just two TV channels and a clear oversupply of macramé and turtleneck sweaters. photo by: abc, acma, canberra, CTC-7, Department ...

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