Macrame is a wonderful craft to pursue if you enjoy jewellery and braiding. Friendship bracelets, anklets, necklaces and purse straps are only a few of the options you have when using macrame as your material.
For centuries, macrame has developed into an art of braiding with several different designs to suit your needs and style. Whether it be fashion, a meaningful gift or a practical tool, macrame can serve a strong and useful purpose for anyone.
Let us say for informational purposes that your right hand is your dominant hand. If you are left handed, these instructions should be reversed.
Learning the basic elements of braiding macrame will enhance your personal style and allow a quicker braid that will last for years to come.
For the four-string method listed below, take your strings and measure out four times the length you wish your project to become. Fold these strings in two, creating a loop at one end and tie the loop with a simple knot around the group of strings. This loop will then fit over a bead to close the bracelet, necklace, etc.
When tying three strings, you should have one string twice the desired length and one string four times the desired length. Take the string that is four times the length of the project and tie the middle onto the tip of the shorter string. Three-string jewellery often receives a ring or toggle clasp tied to the ends for closure.
To begin braiding, you must first understand the basic methods to make the braid tight and last long. The easiest method to begin with is the three-strand method, which is the most common braid in macrame.
Beginning with your right hand, take two of the three strands in hand and place the third in your left hand. Take the middle string of the three, which should be in your right hand, and place it atop the single strand in your left hand. Then take the initial string in your left hand, which is now beneath the middle one, and place it atop the remaining string in your right hand. This alternating method will continue to the end of the strings where the closure will be made.
This method is slightly more complex because it holds up to wear and tear much better than the three strings will. The four-string method is also more popular when it comes to fashion wear.
This method uses two main knot sources: the half knot and the square knot.
The half knot is simple and requires a tie that is placed around two middle strings.
The square knot begins with a half knot, followed by the reverse of a half knot and so on. This method will present a straight design, whereas the half knot alone braids as a spiral.
Variations on the four-string method include alternating which strings are the middle strings, creating a break within the pattern. Also placing beads in between knots allows a personal touch for you or the recipient of the project.