What is Macrame Cord?

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  • Written By: M.C. Huguelet
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 04 November 2015
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Macrame is a type of craft in which a fabric or textile is made by knotting together long, slender fibers. The fibers used in this craft are known as macrame cord. This cord can be made from a number of different materials, although macrame enthusiasts often favor natural fibers. Macrame cord can be used to create a huge variety of decorative objects, jewelry, and household items.

Technically, almost any long, slender fibers can be used as macrame cord. Possibilities may include anything from cotton twine to more unusual materials such as recycled plastic shopping bags. Often, however, macrame enthusiasts favor natural materials such as hemp, wool, or even leather. The fibers used to produce macrame cord may be dyed to allow for the creation of colorful projects. Many craft supply stores sell spools of this cord in varying materials, thicknesses, and colors.

When creating a macrame project, two or more strands of macrame cord are knotted together in a set pattern to form a strip or sheet of fabric. Depending on the knotting technique used, the resulting fabric may have a loose, open weave that resembles lace, or a tight weave that creates a “closed” textile. Some projects require macrame crafters to vary their knotting scheme to create patterns or shapes within the textile.


A huge variety of crafts can be made from macrame cord. It is commonly used to make jewelry such as necklaces and bracelets. Sometimes, beads or other embellishments are intermittently strung onto the cord to lend visual interest to a jewelry piece.

There are also many decorative items which can be made with macrame cord. Some crafters enjoy using a macrame technique to make wall hangings shaped like animals or inlaid with holiday themes or colorful geometric patterns. Others use the technique to make functional items like chair covers or hanging plant holders.

Those who wish to learn to make textiles using macrame cord might try visiting their local craft store. Many stores sell a variety of beginners’ macrame kits which usually include cord, instructions, and any other items needed to complete a particular project. Alternatively, macrame enthusiasts of all skill levels may wish to search the Internet for sites devoted to macrame. Here, crafters can often learn new knotting techniques, order supplies which are otherwise hard to find, browse photographs of macrame creations, and obtain patterns for future projects.


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Post 3

@SteamLouis-- There are fairly thin hemp cord options out there. I'm not sure if you're looking at the right places. Dyed hemp and leather are my favorite cords to use for macrame.

Post 2

@SteamLouis-- You can use waxed cords. These are also natural cords except that they are dipped in wax for a smooth, even finish. They are also very thin and suitable for jewelry making. I use a 1mm waxed cord for macrame bracelets. It works great.

There are also plastic options and some people do prefer them. If possible, get small amounts of these different varieties and just try them. It will be easy to decide what is working best for you.

Post 1

I want to make necklaces using the macrame technique but I'm having a difficult time finding the right supplies, especially cords.

I also favor natural cords. I like their appearance and I like that they're environmentally friendly. But natural cords (such as hemp) tend to be very thick and coarse and they're not really suitable for jewelry making. There is, of course, the issue of limited colors.

So which type of cord is best for macrame necklaces then? Do I need to go for synthetic cords?

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