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History Of Macrame

History Of Macrame

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In it's simplest form, macrame is a style of braiding, which has been around since the beginning of time. Macrame, as we know it, dates back to the 13th century in Arabia. The term macrame means fringe in Arabic. It was used as a decorative finish to fabrics. Macrame was brought to Spain around 711 AD when the Moors conquered, and then to Europe, primarily around Italy, France and England. Due to the many hours spent out at sea with little or nothing to do, sailors often sought out new activities. Macrame became a favorite leisure time activity because it was a simple technique and could easily be done on board a boat.

The sailors traveling to North America took up this fine craft as well because it was no problem to get the materials (there's no shortage of rope and cordage on a ship, and the lack of needles, hooks, hoops or frames augments the ease of use) and spent many of their leisure hours creating ornamental and useful macrame crafts for the ship. Apart from the somewhat decorative knife handles, bottle holders, bell covers and fringes that the sailors crafted, more practical projects consisted of durable netting and strong shields or screens. These helped with myriad tasks at see such as catching fish and securing items during storms. And so, sailors, who would trade or sell their macrame projects in the various port cities they visited, carried off this art form to all corners of the world.

Macrame took a hiatus for a few centuries, making way for more delicate and intricate knitting. Along with peace, love, and tie die, though, the sixties brought macrame back into the crafting world. Whether it was because hemp (a natural fiber made from the cannabis plant) is an ideal material to macrame with or because the entire style of macrame knotting is an earthier trend, the hippies loved their macrame.

Currently, macrame is popular because of its unusual geometric patterns and ease of use. Everyone from young children to elderly craft enthusiasts enjoy the simple and straightforward technique involved in macrame. Since it doesn't involve any other tools (such as knitting needles, crochet hooks, pattern frames etc.), macrame is often picked up by men as quickly as it is by women. The simple technique is also helpful in strengthening hand muscles for the elderly and the more complicated stitches can be a golden lesson in patience and persistence for the young. If you can tie a knot (and I'm sure you can), you can create seemingly complex designs and patterns using macrame and cord.

Learn how to macrame with these macrame knots. Then you can enjoy some of these beautiful macrame patterns and send us some of your own macrame projects!

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