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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 (a variant of the reef 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 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 jewellery 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 the animal 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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12863 news items


Tue, 09 Feb 2016 09:08:41 -0800

England is a Grand Rapids woman who works with macramé, an ancient form of textile-making using decorative knots. Also on exhibition is Women, Art, & Social Change: The Newcomb Pottery Enterprise. It features the work of women artisans from the turn of ...

Nouvelle Union

Nouvelle Union
Tue, 12 Jan 2016 09:23:47 -0800

Relativement au projet Macramé, Frédéric Poirier a été arrêté le 2 avril 2014, a rappelé la procureure de la poursuite, Me Mélanie Dufour. «À une occasion, l'accusé a vendu deux demi-grammes de cocaïne à un agent d'infiltration», a-t-elle indiqué.

Nouvelle Union

Nouvelle Union
Thu, 21 Jan 2016 10:31:52 -0800

Les policiers avaient frappé le 13 mars 2014 avec leur opération Macramé qui, ce jour-là, avait regroupé pas moins de 175 policiers effectuant alors quelque 25 perquisitions. D'autres phases de l'opération sont survenues dans les semaines suivantes, de ...


Tue, 09 Feb 2016 09:48:45 -0800

Whatever iteration you want, we've found it, from lace, organza, jacquard, macramé, and crochet, to sheer, eyelet, fish scale, and 3D floral embellishments. Shop our picks across all budgets and styles before the best ones sell out, then stash it for ...

Nouvelle Union

Nouvelle Union
Tue, 12 Jan 2016 08:33:26 -0800

JUSTICE. Bruno Vaudreuil, 36 ans, qui figure parmi la quarantaine d'individus arrêtés dans le cadre de l'opération Macramé, a pris le chemin des cellules, mardi, pour une durée de 12 mois. Le juge Bruno Langelier de la Cour du Québec a ainsi entériné ...

Brit + Co

Brit + Co
Sun, 07 Feb 2016 16:56:15 -0800

Rebecca Minkoff Falcon Embroidered Mesh Dress ($189): This embroidered beauty is full of details you'll love, like a macramé back and gently flared hemline that's great for twirling and showing off those gorgeous gams. Look to gilded floral baubles and ...

Daily Mail

Daily Mail
Thu, 04 Feb 2016 01:24:28 -0800

The striking caged shift dress is made from metallic macramé tape, and is handcrafted in Italy using a time-consuming basket weave construction, making it the ultimate stylish number for any important occasion. We love the shift-style silhouette which ...

New York Times

New York Times
Fri, 29 Jan 2016 07:54:36 -0800

As in, Are you still taking piano lessons, doing macramé, have a parrot? I don't have a huge ego about my work, but let's face it, for me it is a job. A job I love, and I have been doing it since I was 19 years old. . . . Yes, for heaven's sake, I am ...

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