Technique: Macramé

Friday, October 26, 2012

Learn how to do the Macramé knotting technique.

Macramé is a knotting technique that is simple to do, once learnt. It is a great way to add a different dimension to many jewellery designs. This technique utilises four colours of cord, which are numbered. Once the technique is mastered, move on to single coloured cord. Beads can be added to the central cords and try out different stringing materials too.

Step 1

Knot two of the strands together, these will become the central strands 2 and 3. Next tie a knot into 1 and 4, and then tie around the central strands about an inch down from the central strand knot. (This is for the practice stage). This will allow the square knotted section to move along the central stands. Attach to a board with a hook or a nail that has been slightly bent. When knotting one colour cut two long lengths, double the first and tie a knot about 1cm from the middle point. Take the second length, once again double and tie the central point around the previous one just under the knot.

Step 2

Holding strands 2 and 3 so that they remain taut, pass 1 over the top of
2 and 3, and then pass 4 over 1.

Step 3

Take the end of 4 and pass it diagonally under 1, 2 and 3. Whilst still holding 2 and 3 pull the ends of 1 and 4 to secure the first knot.

Step 4

Strand 4 and 1 will now be on opposite sides. Hold the two central strands taut and pass 4 under them. Position strand 4 over strand 1.

Step 5

Take strand 1 and pass it diagonally over the central strands 2 and 3 and then under strand 4. Once again pull strands 1 and 4 until the second part of the square knot is secure 

Step 6

Repeat these steps to create lengths of square knotting that can be used as bracelets, necklaces, key rings and bag charms. They can also be used as a way to finish a bracelet using it as a closure.

Step 7

This is a basic way to finish off. There are several ways and it is fun to experiment and decide which is best for you. Slide the square knotted section to the required position on the central strands. Tie 1 to 2 and then tie 3 to 4, knot tightly. This leaves the central strands on the outer sides, add a knot on each of these as close to the square knotting as possible then snip excess. Tie a couple of knots to secure 1 and 4 together, these can be used to create the ties for your design. 


Our expert is Clair Wolfe

Clair Wolfe Profile Pic Web

Clair is a self taught jewellery maker, based in South Wales. She enjoys many aspects of jewellery making and loves to try new products, which she can incorporate into her silver work.

Photographs: Laurel Guilfoyle, Clair Wolfe

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