So, it’s that time of year again. The clocks have (reluctantly!) been turned back and, for most of us, that means heading into work and returning home each day in complete darkness. But why not make the most of the long autumn-winter nights and use the time to learn a new craft?
For 2019, macramé is making a comeback. This 70s-retro hobby is a fantastic way to while away the dark nights and make a wide range of bo-ho inspired items. What’s more, it’s pretty easy to do – and here we offer a step-by-step beginner’s guide to get you started.
Choose a macramé pattern
Whilst plant hangers and wall-hanging décor are two of the most popular macramé projects, the possibilities are endless. The simple art of knotting cotton rope can be used to create just about everything – from keyrings, jewellery and handbags to coasters, curtains and lamp shades.
Take a look online for inspiration. There are plenty of websites that offer free macramé patterns, with something to suit all tastes and preferences. YouTube is a great place to start – where you can find clear demonstrations and tutorial videos to guide you easily through each stage of the project.
Invest in macramé materials
The next step is to buy the materials. First and foremost, you will need macramé rope – and the exact amount required will usually be stated in the pattern. Scissors are an absolute essential and, depending on the nature of the project, you will either need a wooden dowel or hanger rings.
Here at Ropes Direct, we currently stock braided cotton cord and cotton rope in 4mm and 6mm diameters – both of which can be bought by the metre and in reels of various lengths. Made from 100% cotton, these are soft and comfortable to handle – and work well for many macramé projects.
Learn the basics
Before starting, it’s usually worth getting to grips with a few basic macramé rope knots, including:
The lark’s head knot – this is used to start the project and cast onto the wooden dowel. Typically, it’s a front-facing knot, that will leave a line of cotton cord resting against the dowel once tied.
The square knot – this is a strong yet decorative technique, typically alternated with sets of hanging cords and used to create geometric patterns within the design (e.g. diamonds, triangles).
The half-hitch knot – again, this is used to add decoration to the macramé piece. Although at first it may seem difficult to master, with a little practice, it’s quite an easy knot to complete.
If you do a simple online search on ‘how to macramé’, you’ll find hundreds of guides on how to make these knots (and many more), with easy-to-follow steps and images. You may be eager to get stuck into the project. But, we guarantee, by taking the time to learn the basics, you will find the project much easier – and much more enjoyable – to complete.
Practice makes perfect and, if you’re new to the world of macramé, it’s a good idea to have a dry-run through. Perhaps invest in a few additional macramé supplies – such as a smaller dowel or thinner cotton rope – and scale-down the pattern. By completing a mini version of the project, you can familiarise yourself with the knots and iron out any mistakes, before starting the real thing.
Take it slow and steady
The key to a successful macramé project is to take your time. Plan to do just a little bit each night and think carefully about the knots you are making. If you get stuck on a particular section, have a break and come back to it later – with the dark nights here to stay for a while, what’s the rush?
Add the final touches
Many people like the natural bo-ho appearance of macramé cotton cord and, once they reach the end of the pattern, that’s it – job done, the project is complete. However, if you’re feeling particularly creative, there are ways for you to spruce up the item and give it a final personal touch.
For example, one idea is to dip-dye the cotton cord. This is an easy way to add your favourite colour to the macramé and create a truly eye-catching piece. Alternatively, you could wrap embroidery string around sections of the macramé rope and create a unique, colourful pattern.
Ready to embark on your first macramé project?
Why not browse our full range of macramé rope, here at Ropes Direct? Our braided cotton cord and cotton rope lends itself well to macramé. There’s something to suit all projects and our products are high-quality and available for a very competitive price (starting from just 24p per metre).
If you have any questions or are unsure which is the best macramé cotton rope for you, please feel free to get in touch. Our team are always happy to help. Either give us a call on 01692 671721 or send an email to [email protected] and we’ll respond to your enquiry as soon as possible.