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The basic types of macrame supplies include cord, rings, pins, work boards and beads. Within these main supply categories are many different variations in size, shape and material. Different projects as well as preferences are the deciding factors in what exact types of macrame supplies will be used.
Macrame cords are available in two basic types: natural and synthetic. Jute is a natural-colored, twine-like material, while synthetic macrame cords are more like smooth ropes. They are sold in many different colors. Synthetic macrame cord is often braided in its formation rather than twisted.
Rings used in macrame projects range from keyring size or even smaller to large hoops. Hoops or rings may also be used as frames for macrame to be attached to with the knots tied inside them. Brass rings are classic types of macrame supplies, but steel, wood and plastic are also popular. Different sized rings are available for different types of projects, such as a top hanger or as a bottom resting spot for a planter. The shapes of macrame rings aren't just round — a hoop or frame may be square or heart-shaped as well as star-, tree-, or animal-shaped.
T-pins are macrame supplies used to hold down the work on a board. Macrame work boards are often rectangular, portable and made of pressed wood or cork. T-pins penetrate into the boards to hold a macrame project in progress. They are named for their large top cross section that makes the pins easy to maneuver. Many people who do macrame find that knotting strands of cords vertically on a board rather than on a horizontal surfaces such as table is much easier and less likely to tangle their projects.
Beads are used in many macrame pieces. They are available in wood, ceramic and plastic. Popular shapes of beads for macrame supplies are round, oval and cylindrical. Wood beads may be light or dark stained in color. Plastic beads used in macrame projects may be transparent or opaque, while ceramic macrame beads are often patterned, such as with painted floral motifs.
In addition to basic macrame supplies, patterns and accessories are also used in the craft. Belt buckles, key chain rings and purse handles often are used to finish macrame projects to turn knotted pieces into usable items. Macrame patterns are available in books, booklets and instruction sheets.