Whilst knot-tying in a decorative style can be traced back as far as the third century in China where it was used on wall hangings and ceremonial fabrics, the origin of macrame is believed to be with Arabic weavers who, during the 13th century used decorative knots to finish off the loose ends of their woven textiles.
These weavers knotted the excess thread on the edges of hand-woven fabrics into decorative fringes on bath towels and many other fabrics including veils and shawls.
Back in the 70’s macrame was very much in vogue with plant hangers and wall hangings decorating every available space, the art fell out of favour for a while but is now very much making a strong comeback, search the internet and you will see workshops galore all wanting to pass on the art of knot tying to anyone who wants to try this newly revived skill.
Starting with the Arabic artisans in the 13th century the craft spread slowly throughout Europe becoming a pastime common amongst sailors
While it may be hard to pinpoint the very first Macramé ever made, thanks to the 13th century Arabic Artisans the craft slowly spread throughout Europe and eventually became a common pastime for Sailors who used knots for practical purposes on the ships and also would keep themselves occupied during long voyages with more decorative styles of knot-tying making belts hats and even hammocks.
It is also known that the goods they made on these voyages would be sold and traded when they were back in port.
This craft of knot-tying became a popular hobby and a way to add interest to various clothing and textile items. Falling out of favour after the Victorian era it made a great comeback in the 70,s and more so now in the 21st century.
Let’s look at some of the basic knots.