Macramé

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Detail of Cavandoli macrame Macrame .jpg
Detail of Cavandoli macramé

Macramé is a form of textile produced using knotting (rather than weaving or knitting) techniques.

Contents

The primary knots of macramé are the square (or reef knot) and forms of "hitching": various combinations of half hitches. It was long crafted by sailors, especially in elaborate or ornamental knotting forms, to cover anything from knife handles to bottles to parts of ships.

Cavandoli macramé is one variety that is 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 jewelry or decoration as well.

History

Macrame knot: clove hitch, loop to the left Macrame clove hitch left-2.jpg
Macramé knot: clove hitch, loop to the left

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. [1]

Arab weavers knotted excess thread along the edges of hand-loomed fabrics such as towels, shawls, and veils into decorative fringes. The word macramé is derived from the Arabic macramia (مكرمية), believed to mean "striped towel", "ornamental fringe" or "embroidered veil". [1] Another school of thought indicates that it comes from Turkish makrama, "napkin" or "towel". [2] The decorative fringes also helped to keep flies off camels and horses in northern Africa.

The Moorish conquest took the craft to Spain, then Italy, especially in the region of Liguria, then it spread through Europe. In England, it was introduced at the court of Mary II in the late 17th century. Queen Mary taught it to her ladies-in-waiting. [3]

Decorative macrame ship Decorative macrame ship.jpg
Decorative macramé ship

Macramé was most popular in the Victorian era. It adorned most homes in items such as tablecloths, bedspreads and curtains. The popular Sylvia's Book of Macramé Lace (1882) showed how "to work rich trimmings for black and coloured costumes, both for home wear, garden parties, seaside ramblings, and ballsfairylike adornments for household and underlinens ...". [4]

Sailors made macramé objects while not busy 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 often. Sailors also called macramé "McNamara's lace". [4]

Macramé's popularity faded, but resurged in the 1970s for making wall hangings, clothing accessories, small jean shorts, bedspreads, tablecloths, draperies, plant hangers and other furnishings. Macramé jewelry became popular in America. 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. [5] By the early 1980s, macramé again began to fall out of fashion, [6] only to be revived by millennials. [7] [8]

Materials

Decorative macrame from cotton and silk Decorative macrame cotton and silk.jpg
Decorative macramé from cotton and silk

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 three lengths of fibre twisted together. [4] Jewelry is often made in combination of both the knots and various beads (of glass, wood, 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. [4]

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. [1]

See also

Related Research Articles

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Tatting is a technique for handcrafting a particularly durable lace from a series of knots and loops. Tatting can be used to make lace edging as well as doilies, collars, accessories such as earrings and necklaces, and other decorative pieces. The lace is formed by a pattern of rings and chains formed from a series of cow hitch or half-hitch knots, called double stitches, over a core thread. Gaps can be left between the stitches to form picots, which are used for practical construction as well as decorative effect.

Needlework Craft of creating or decorating objects using needle

Needlework is decorative sewing and textile arts handicrafts. Anything that uses a needle for construction can be called needlework. Needlework may include related textile crafts such as crochet, worked with a hook, or tatting, worked with a shuttle.

Handicraft Item production made completely by hand or with simple tools

A handicraft, sometimes more precisely expressed as artisanal handicraft or handmade, is any of a wide variety of types of work where useful and decorative objects are made completely by one’s hand or by using only simple, non-automated related tools like scissors, carving implements, or hooks. It is a traditional main sector of craft making and applies to a wide range of creative and design activities that are related to making things with one's hands and skill, including work with textiles, moldable and rigid materials, paper, plant fibers,clay etc. One of the oldest handicraft is Dhokra; this is a sort of metal casting that has been used in India for over 4,000 years and is still used. In Iranian Baluchistan, women still make red ware hand made pottery with dotted ornaments much similar to the 5000 year old pottery tradition of Kalpurgan, an archaeological site near the village. Usually, the term is applied to traditional techniques of creating items that are both practical and aesthetic. Handicraft industries are those that produce things with hands to meet the needs of the people in their locality without using machines.

Bracelet

A bracelet is an article of jewellery that is worn around the wrist. Bracelets may serve different uses, such as being worn as an ornament. When worn as ornaments, bracelets may have a supportive function to hold other items of decoration, such as charms. Medical and identity information are marked on some bracelets, such as allergy bracelets, hospital patient-identification tags, and bracelet tags for newborn babies. Bracelets may be worn to signify a certain phenomenon, such as breast cancer awareness, or for religious/cultural purposes.

Lucet

A lucet is a tool used in cordmaking or braiding which is believed to date back to the Viking and Medieval periods, when it was used to create cords that were used on clothing, or to hang items from the belt. Lucet cord is square, strong, and slightly springy. It closely resembles knitted I-cord or the cord produced on a knitting spool. Lucet cord is formed by a series of loop like knots, and therefore will not unravel if cut. Unlike other braiding techniques such as kumihimo, finger-loop braiding or plaiting, where the threads are of a finite length, lucetted braids can be created without pre-measuring threads and so it is a technique suited for very long cords.

<i>Kumihimo</i> Traditional Japanese artform of making cords and braids

Kumihimo (組み紐) is a traditional Japanese artform of making braids and cords. Literally meaning "gathered threads", kumihimo are made by interlacing reels of yarn, commonly silk, with the use of traditional, specialised looms - either a marudai (丸台) or a takadai (高台).

Friendship bracelet Type of bracelet

A friendship bracelet is a decorative bracelet given by one person to another as a symbol of friendship. Friendship bracelets are often handmade, usually of embroidery floss or thread and are a type of macrame. There are various styles and patterns, but most are based on the same simple half-hitch knot. They resemble a friendship that is strong and everlasting.

Sprang

Sprang is an ancient method of constructing fabric that has a natural elasticity. Its appearance is similar to netting, but unlike netting sprang is constructed entirely from warp threads. Archaeological evidence indicates that sprang predates knitting; the two needlework forms bear a visible resemblance and serve similar functions but require different production techniques.

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to crafts:

The manufacture of textiles is one of the oldest of human technologies. To make textiles, the first requirement is a source of fibre from which a yarn can be made, primarily by spinning. The yarn is processed by knitting or weaving, which turns yarn into cloth. The machine used for weaving is the loom. For decoration, the process of colouring yarn or the finished material is dyeing. For more information of the various steps, see textile manufacturing.

Klutz Press

Klutz is a publishing company started in Palo Alto, California in 1977. It was acquired by Nelvana in April 2000 and became a subsidiary of Scholastic Inc. in 2002. The first Klutz book was a how-to guide titled Juggling for the Complete Klutz, which came provided with juggling beanbags attached in a mesh bag. The book was created by three friends who graduated from Stanford University: Darrell Lorentzen, John Cassidy, and B.C. Rimbeaux. Since then the company has continued to specialize in activity-driven books sold along with other items needed for the activity. Not all the books are about developing a skill; there has also been a geography book containing, among other physical attachments, packets of rice corresponding to the average daily caloric intake among the poorest people of the world. Many of their books are spiral bound and teach various crafts. The items needed are usually included with the book, e.g. the juggling guide. The Klutz credo is: Create wonderful things, be good, have fun.

Passementerie Elaborate braids and other trimmings

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Wire wrapped jewelry Technique for making jewelry

Wire wrapping is one of the oldest techniques for making handmade jewelry. This technique is done with jewelry wire and findings similar to wire to make components. Wire components are then connected to one another using mechanical techniques with no soldering or heating of the wire. Frequently, in this approach, a wire is bent into a loop or other decorative shape and then the wire is wrapped around itself to finish the wire component. This makes the loop or decorative shape permanent. The technique of wrapping wire around itself gives this craft its name of wire wrapping.

Walter Weldon

Walter Weldon FRS FRSE was a 19th-century English industrial chemist and journalist. He was President of the Society of Chemical Industry 1883/84.

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Hemp jewelry

Hemp jewelry uses hemp twine material which is made from the Cannabis sativa plant, otherwise known as “Common Hemp”, which is cultivated to make goods such as food, fuel, clothing and textiles, cosmetics, paints, paper, building materials, and plastics, among others. Some types of hemp jewelry include bracelets, necklaces, anklets, rings, watches, masks, purses, and other adornments. The jewelry can also make use of other materials, such as glass, wood, bones, rocks, or gems.

Curtain tie-back

A curtain tie-back is a decorative window treatment which accompanies a cloth curtain. Within the field of interior decoration, tie-backs made of fabric are classified as a kind of "soft furnishing" while those made out of wood, metal, or glass are considered "window hardware".

String (structure)

String is a long flexible structure made from fibers twisted together into a single strand, or from multiple such strands which are in turn twisted together. String is used to tie, bind, or hang other objects. It is also used as a material to make things, such as textiles, and in arts and crafts. String is a simple tool, and its use by humans is known to have been developed tens of thousands of years ago. In Mesoamerica, for example, string was invented some 20,000 to 30,000 years ago, and was made by twisting plant fibers together. String may also be a component in other tools, and in devices as diverse as weapons, musical instruments, and toys.

Oya (lace)

Oya, “Turkish lace”, is a Turkish word that means various forms of narrow lace trimmings, that is worn throughout the eastern and southern parts of the Mediterranean region, as well as Armenia. It is thought to date back as far as the 8th century BC, to the Phrygians of Anatolia. Some argue that the needlework and the decorate edging spread from 12th century Anatolia to Greece and from there via Italy to Europe. Oya appears in various forms and motifs, with the most beautiful examples made by aristocratic, urban and experienced women in the Ottoman palace. Today, it is still very popular among the Turkish elite and is highly sought after and very collectible. The craft of oya is a unique language for Turkish women.

References

  1. 1 2 3 Harvey, Virginia (1967). Macrame : the art of creative knotting. Van Nostrand Reinhold. pp. 9–30. ISBN   0-442-23191-1. OCLC   948758577.
  2. Turner, John C. (30 May 1996). History and science of knots. World Scientific Publishing Company. pp. 336–337. ISBN   981-02-2469-9.
  3. Leslie, Catherine A. (30 April 2007). Needlework through history: an encyclopedia. Greenwood Press. pp. 117–118. ISBN   978-0-313-33548-8.
  4. 1 2 3 4 Virginia Colton, ed. (1979). Complete Guide to Needlework . Montreal: The Reader's Digest Association Canada. pp.  445. ISBN   0-88850-085-8.
  5. "Album - Google+". plus.google.com.
  6. 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
  7. Buck, Stephanie (Sep 19, 2017). "Macramé is the knotty trend millennials Instagrammed back from the dead". Timeline.
  8. Fox-Leonard, Boudicca (18 February 2018). "Macramé: it's knot like the Seventies". The Telegraph.