Macrame is a form of textile production that does not use the typical way of weaving or knitting, but rather a series of knots. It is believed that it started with the Arab weavers in the western hemisphere as early as the 13th century.
They linked the excess yarn and threads at the ends of hand-woven fabrics for towels, veils and scarves into decorative fringes. What I found interesting is that it was the sailors who made this art form really popular and who have been credited with spreading this art form across the ports where they stopped in different countries.
They adorned the handles of knives, bottles, and other items available on the ship, and used them as a medium of exchange for something they wanted or needed when they came ashore. Around the nineteenth century, seafarers even made belts and hammocks using a process called “square knots”.
Materials commonly used for macrame are cotton twine, hemp, leather or yarn. Although there are variations, the primary knots are the square knot, the full knot and the double half knot. Jewelry is often made by combining knots with pearls, shells, rings or gemstones. If you look at most friendship bracelets worn by schoolchildren, you will find that they are made of macrame.
When I found out about the basic knots that are often used in the manufacture of macrame, I came across the cavandoli macrame. This style is two-tone “and consists of two basic knots that are reversed, creating a stiffer type of fabric that is great for placemats, purses, book covers, etc. Cavandoli Macrame is named after Valentina Cavandoli, who received a gold medal in 1961 before she died in 1969 at the age of 97.
In Italy, this special lady became the director of a house for the poor and / or orphaned children in Turin at the end of the First World War, and it was an institution that could accommodate up to 100 children could be accommodated between the ages of 3 and 15.
In order to keep the children occupied, she taught them an art that they had learned from their great-grandmother: macrame.The children made objects that were sold in charity markets and they became careful Records of every child’s income that were distributed to the children when they left home, unfortunately survived e the home where she was Casa del Sole only until 1936, when it became too difficult for the benefactors of the home due to the political situation in Italy.
The enthusiasm for macrame seemed to fade for a while, but was made popular again in the 1970s by the American neo-hippie and grunge crowd in jewelry making. This art was often seen in handmade necklaces, anklets and bracelets, which were decorated with handmade glass beads and natural elements such as bones and shells.
Macrame is a fun craft to try and you can start on a small budget. There are a lot of free or sensible patterns out there and some great books to get you started. That would be a perfect craft that your children, grandchildren or anyone else could work on.