What is Macramé?
Macramé is a string art using raw textiles and creates both creative and functional pieces by knotting the materials in various ways. It can be compared to knitting, crocheting, or weaving but the big difference between these crafts is that macramé doesn't require the use of any tools such as needles, hooks, or looms. It’s all done by hand. The only tool needed is a mounting pole or a ring that will support your piece as you work. Macramé is a type of textile that is produced using knots. There are many different types of knots that can be used and ultimately combined in an infinite number of intricate patterns to create both functional and aesthetic pieces.
The History of Macramé
Macramé is believed to have come from Arabic workers who would use the excess thread and yarn on handmade pieces and knot that excess into artistic and decorative fringes. Around the 13th century, these artisans were manufacturing bath towels, shawls, and veils by hand.
Macramé is a Spanish word derived from the Arabic migramah (مقرمة), meaning “striped towel” or “ornamental fringe.” After the Moorish conquest, the art of macramé was brought to Spain and Italy, especially in the region of Liguria. It wasn’t long before this art form made its way everywhere across Europe and was introduced to England and to Queen Mary who taught the art of macramé to her personal assistants in charge of dressing her and attending to the Emperor’s wardrobe. These ladies-in-waiting became proficient and created many garments in macramé for the Royal Family.
There were sailors who made a type of functional macramé pieces in their off hours while at sea such as hammocks, belts, and bell fringes. They would sell those or barter them when they landed in various ports, thus spreading the art of macramé to countries such as China and the New World. In the Nineteenth-century, the British and Americans were key players in the spread of this art form and they would often refer to it as “square knotting,” named after the knot they used most frequently. It is said also that sailors would call macramé “McNamara’s Lace.”
Macramé was very popular in the Victorian era. This craft adorned most Victorian homes. Macramé was used to make household items and decorations such as tablecloths, bedspreads, plant hangers, curtains, and garments.
Although the trend for macramé faded over the following years, it regained popularity during the 1970s in the form of wall hangers, articles of clothing, jean shorts, tablecloths, draperies, plant hangers, and other furnishings.
Macramé clothing in Fashion
Macramé may be best known for its introduction to the bohemian style in the '60s and '70s. After its fall in popularity in the late ‘70s, macramé is making a powerful comeback as trends shift towards more boho fashion. This has inspired innovative artisans and designers to incorporate this knotted and woven art to create special looks in the bohemian street styles, thanks to its heavily textured patterns.
Bohemian style often referred to as ‘boho chic’ or ‘boho’, comes from the hippie fashion style which involves a lot of natural fabrics with neutral, warm shades, and retro patterns. Pair that with the ‘70s style accents and a good dose of statement accessories. Throw that with some loose-fit garments and it all blends in nicely to become what is known as the bohemian style; an alternative to the traditional way of fashion dressing.
Macramé Bracelets and Necklaces
Many artisans in the world are producing one-of-a-kind pieces made of Macramé nowadays. Macramé is an incredible way to showcase an artisan’s creativity. There are so many combinations of knots and ways to utilize the fabric that will enable an artisan to let their creativity loose.
Traditional jewelry made out of various metals will evidently restrict one’s ability to be creative and what ends up happening is most of the jewelry pieces are very lookalike. Macramé has this big advantage over traditional metal-type jewelry. It also makes for very durable bracelets and necklaces.
We all know how fragile a gold chain can be, but with a Macramé structure, your bracelets or necklaces can be worn in any daily scenario without the fear of breaking or damaging them.
We, at Susila Jewelry, are proud to be one of the World’s authorities on Macramé production. Our local artisans are producing thousands of one-of-a-kind pieces each year with very strict quality standards. Many brands trust us for their production of Macramé jewelry and garments.
Here are a few examples of Boho-style macramé pieces that are available on the market:
The Boho Beach dress from WomenandWomen
The Fitted Macrame Dress by Twinset
The Crocheted Long Sleeve Soul Warmer by Hands To Hearts
The Autumn Bracelet by Hands To Heart