Macramé – A Beginners Guide to String, Rope and Braided Cord
There can be so much confusion when getting started with macramé and other Fiber related hobbies and it can make you overwhelmed before you even sit down and start making something. Getting the right material from the start isn’t the end-all but it can sure help. It took me a lot of googling and buying the wrong thing to wrap my head around it all, here is a quick guide that I hope will make things a little easier for you. Don’t let uncertainty be a deterrent and keep on reading!
The three main types of macramé fiber are:
- String/Single-Ply/Single Strand
- Rope/Triple-Ply/Triple Strand
- Braided Cord
String or Single Ply
Simple single twist design where many threads are twisted together as one.
This is the most flexible design-wise and easiest to unravel and fray.
Rope or Triple Ply (or triple strand)
Traditionally made up of three individual single strands that are twisted into one larger and stronger “rope”.
This can be untwisted to use as single strands in a pinch and creates a beautiful wavy fringe when unraveled or brushed out.
Comprised of many individual threads braided together (usually around an inner core) the braided cord is considered one of the strongest and easiest options to work with.
It great for adding texture and near impossible to unravel.
String, Rope and Cord comes in a variety of diameters, with millimeters being the standard unit if measure. Size is important to know if you are following a pattern or wanting a certain look.
Size categories and best uses are below:
Small (1mm- 2mm) fine detail work & jewelry
Medium (3mm-5mm) plant hangers, keychains & coasters
large (6mm-12mm) wall hangings, rugs, big projects
There are no rules in macramé so don’t be afraid to try different sizes than suggested or even mix and match sizes within the same pieces, it’s a great way to get a unique look!
100% Cotton- easy to find, very versatile, soft
Recycled Cotton- soft, eco-friendly
Polyester/Nylon- Great for outdoor application as it is rot and mildew resistant, although it can be rougher on your hands
It can be a little overwhelming these days with the number of options available. The main thing to keep in mine is that no matter what material you use, experiment and having fun is the goal, your creation will be beautiful regardless. There is no right or wrong way to macramé 😉