Macrame is thought to have originated with Arab weavers about 700 years ago. "The Spanish word macramé is derived from the Arabic migramah (مقرمة), believed to mean "striped towel", "ornamental fringe" or "embroidered veil."  This makes sense as the weavers decoratively knotted the excess threads at the edges of their hand-loomed work.

The art form is still practiced today although I dare say many of us relate it to hippie jewelry! Macro-macrame might be easier for beginners but the real "jewels" are the micro-macrame jewelry designs using much finer cord. There are many variations of macrame including nautical, Celtic and Chinese knotting which also lend themselves very well to jewelry making.

There are tons of hemp and macrame jewelry tutorials online. Here is a selection to inspire. One great macrame resource site is Free Macrame There are numerous tutorials on stitches and projects including the macrame button rings above.

Beads Unlimited (UK) on Cut Out and Keep has a wonderful gold leather macrame necklace and bracelet tutorial that's perfect for those just starting out.

Macrame is a great way to dress up the cords when working with gemstone and other donuts.  Tammy Powley over at the Jewelry Making site has a super macrame donut necklace tutorial that's not difficult. Her addition of long beads is inspired as is the use of the Josephine knot to connect the ends!

I also liked Tammy's Primitive Resin Bead and Woven Linen Necklace tutorial because the design is versatile - use different colored beads or even vary the shapes. It's a good project to learn the square knot. She also wrote a very handy guide, the Macrame Knot Library if you need a refresher on basics.

Adding proper jewelry clasps to macrame projects will improve their appeal. Check out Tammy's macrame toggle bracelet for the instructions.

Peruvian macrame bracelets are simply awesome. Check out this video tutorial and watch the instructor's hands fly!


Micro-Macrame: 30 Beaded Designs for Jewelry Using Crystals and CordsAnnika DeGroot's Micro-Macrame: 30 Beaded Designs for Jewelry Using Crystals and Cords

Wired Micro-Macramé Jewelry: Enhancing Fiber Designs with Wire
Joan Babcock's Wired Micro-Macramé Jewelry: Enhancing Fiber Designs with Wire

Other knotted jewelry tutorials
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