Macramé comes from the 13th century Arabic weavers' word 'migramah' which means 'ornamental fringe', 'striped towel', or 'embroidered veil'. It is interesting to note that this refers to the decorative fringes on camels and horses that help to keep flies off the animal in the hot desert regions of Northern Africa. One of the earliest recorded uses of Macramé-style knots to be used as decoration has appeared in the carvings of the Babylonians and Assyrians. Braiding and fringe-like plaiting adorned the costumes of the era and Macramé spread from North Africa to Spain with the Moors, and as a result spread to France, and then across the whole of Europe. It was introduced in England at the court of Mary II in the late 17th century. Queen Mary taught the art of Macramé to her ladies-in-waiting.
In the Western Hemisphere, Macramé is believed to have originated with 13th century Arab weavers. These artisans knotted the excess thread and yarn along the edges of hand-loomed fabrics into decorative fringes on shawls, veils and bath towels. Sailors spent their leisure time at sea making Macramé objects and either sold or bartered them when they landed. In this way, they spread the art to places such as China and the New World. 19th century British and American sailors made bell fringes, hammocks and belts from Macramé. They called Macramé 'McNamara's lace'.
Most Victorian homes were adorned by Macramé and it was used to make household items like bedspreads, curtains and tablecloths.
Though the popularity of Macramé faded, the craze came back during the 1970s as a means to make wall hangings, articles of clothing, bedspreads, small jean shorts, tablecloths, draperies, plant hangers and other furnishings. By the early 1980s Macramé had again begun to fall out of fashion as a decoration trend.
In the early 1970s, Macramé jewellery became popular with both the American young and old crowd. It was featured in handmade glass beads, necklaces, anklets and bracelets.
We think Macramé is a fun form of art that you can use to create stunning pieces to beautify your home. We totally dig it and hope you are inspired to go ahead and try your hand at it.