Modern Macrame

I want you to get your head out of the 70’s right away, because these decorative knots are not your mother’s macramé. But like macramé, these decorative knots were born on the ships of history. Sailors from history and modern times have mastered the art of tying knots.


Knots were used for everything from attaching objects to decks, moving objects from ship to ship, and they were even used to decorate railings, masts and bottles. This art form, brought to us by the sailors of the world, is known as Marlinspike Seamanship. Sailors became creative and made items such as hammocks, doorbells, belts, bags and doormats, which they sold or traded when they arrived in port. This would help to spread their art around the world and it would become known as macramé.

Although the marlinspike seamanship has retained its strength throughout history, the art of macramé would almost fall off the face of the earth. Only in the 1970s did the art of decorative knots regain popularity.


It was our parents in the hippie and grunge crowd of the early 1970s who took these knots and started making objects such as wall hangings, bedspreads, small shorts, skirts, tablecloths, curtains, plant hangers and jewellery. This resurgence was short-lived and would end in the late 80s and early 90s.

But if we look around in today’s society, it seems as if the art form is trying to make another push into the mainstream. As decorative knots come to the fore again, the art of marlinspike seamanship is also on its side. People are again looking for objects covered with complicated rope work to decorate their homes.

Everyone out there wants to take an everyday room and turn it into something that will amaze your guests. The easiest way to do this is to use an art form. The problem with using art is that it is usually quite expensive and hard to find. However, art with decorative knots can be found online and can actually be made by anyone who is patient and can tie knots.

Remember, we are not talking about your mother’s macramé, but about marlinspike seamanship. We’re talking about cotton, hemp, nylon and manila ropes used to wrap bottles, make doormats, ringers, coasters, needle cases, etc. Wouldn’t a liquor bottle covered with decorative knots look better sitting on a bar or shelf than the same old labelled bottle.

Imagine a friend coming into your house and seeing your liquor container filled with bottles wrapped in knots. Then you pour him a drink and give him a coaster made of rope to put it on. I don’t know about you, but I think that’s cool and something else entirely. All most of us want is a nice center point in a room, and art with decorative knots will create that center point.

Leave a Comment