Macrame, the art of knotting cord or string into intricate patterns, has a history that spans centuries and continents. Its origins are somewhat mysterious, with some believing it originated in the 13th century in the Arab world and others tracing its roots to Chinese knotting techniques. Let’s explore the history of macrame and find out whether it is popular today.
The history of macrame
The word ‘macrame’ is derived from the Arabic word ‘miramar’, which means ‘fringe.’ This is apt, as one of the earliest uses of macrame was in creating decorative fringes on textiles during the Arab and Moorish eras. These fringes adorned everything from curtains to shawls. Macrame then made its way to Europe during the Renaissance, where it gained popularity. It became a fashionable craft in the 17th century, particularly in Italy and France where it was used for clothing and interior decoration.
The 19th century took macrame across the Atlantic Ocean to the Americas. Sailors, who picked up knotting skills during their long voyages, played a significant role in spreading the craft. They created various items, such as hammocks, belts and decorative pieces, using macrame. It also found its way into Victorian-era homes, adorning everything from tablecloths to lampshades.
Is macrame still popular today?
Macrame experienced a resurgence in the 1960s and 1970s, becoming an iconic symbol of the counterculture movement. Hippies and bohemians embraced macrame for its simple, natural materials and the creative freedom it offered. Macrame plant hangers, wall hangings and clothing became staples of this era, reflecting the free-spirited attitudes of the time.
In recent years, macrame has once again found its place in contemporary design and art. Artists and artisans experiment with various materials, blending traditional techniques with modern aesthetics.
Macrame workshops, macrame kits and tutorials are very popular online, making them accessible to a new generation. If you want to try kits such as Wool Couture macrame kits, you will find a wide range of macrame kit ideas.
Macrame continues to evolve, adapt and inspire. Its history serves as a testament to the enduring beauty and versatility of this ancient knotting technique.