The Rainbow Butterfly

Creating beauty, strength & happiness through adversity

The ancient art of macrame

The ancient art of macrame


Origin of macramé

If you know me….you’ll know that I have a fascination about the origins of how trends started. So after doing a google search about Macrame, I have learnt some very interesting information.

Macrame originated in the thirteenth century. In Arabia where carpet making was popular, they would tie together the cords that made the foundation of the carpet. In Turkey the same principle was applied to the tying of the cords on the towels that they were famous for making.

In the 17th & 18th century sailors would make things such as hammocks, bell fringes and belts using macramé during their time off. They would then barter or sell the items when they docked.

Macrame was introduced into England in the late 17th Century. Queen Mary II would teach her ladies in waiting the art of macramé. It continued to be popular throughout the Victorian Era. Most homes were adorned with tablecloths, bedspreads & curtains that were made from macramé

Modern Day Macrame

The art of macramé faded but returned in popularity in the 60’s & 70’s in the form of wall hangings, plant hangers, tablecloths, bedspreads & even clothes and jewellery.

My introduction to macramé was in the early 80’s. Check out this pic of my siblings & I in our kitcheMum's macrame owl from the 80'sn, you can just see in the background the macramé owl with plant hangers attached.

As the 90’s approached macramé quickly went out of fashion and was no-where to be seen. Recently however the trend has come back with gusto. You can now find all sorts of macramé items such as plant hangers, wall decorations, jewellery, clothing, accessories & more.

Mum’s 60th Birthday

It was my mum’s 60th birthday coming up so I wanted to make something special and meaningful for her. I had started learning to make a few things in macramé, mainly jewellery and key rings. I thought it would be a fabulous idea to gift mum with something to remind her of what she had made 30 years ago!  

Knots in Sailing

In 2005 I became familiar with knots during a sailing course I completed. To pass the course you need to know several knots that are important for tying the boat to the pontoon. Half hitches & square knots are examples of the knots used in sailing that are also used in macramé. I think this experience really helped me in learning the ropes (haha pun intended!) in macramé.

Check out this pic of me sailing the high seas!!

My introduction of knot tying really helped me with learning the art of macrame

Sailing the high seas & learning the importance of tying knots

Lots of ropes means lots of knots!

There are a lot of ropes on board a yacht, so it is important to know how to tie them and stow them away properly.

more and more ropes

Each rope on a yacht has a specific function and there are a lot of them!


Macrame Owl

I set about finding a pattern to make the macramé owl for mum. This is where Pinterest came in handy. The owl pattern I liked best was on the website Free Macrame Patterns. The site is fantastic, it sets the steps out for you in a really easy to understand way and has links to pages that show you how to complete the knots.


The beginning of the hemp owl

Early stages of the macrame owl. The spiral sinnets for the hanger are done. Larks head knots are used to attached the cords, then alternating square knots start the body of the owl.

I went out and bought hemp cord, as the pattern suggested. But holy moly, I did not realise how expensive this stuff was going to be. I figured as it was mum’s 60th I didn’t mind splashing out. I absolutely love the way the cord feels and smells. I used dark brown beads for the eyes and the nose and used a piece of thick dowel as the hanger. 

If you wish to have a go yourself at making this beautiful owl click on the link to take you to the tutorial for the All Natural Owl. I would suggest shopping around for the materials you need for any project. If you live in Queensland Simply Macrame is a pretty good supplier and the materials always arrive pretty quickly.

I do have some of the hemp cord left so eventually I would like to get around to making one for my house too!


Macrame Owl

The is a close up of the owl body which is made up of half hitches and alternating square knots

Owl made for Mum's 60th

The owl now hanging proudly on mum’s wall

Macrame Owl

Close up of the spiral sinnets on the hanger and the alternating square knots for the owl body










What do you think???

Do you think you might try to make one of these yourself??

This owl will be available to purchase from my ETSY shop if you don’t have the inclination to learn macrame!  

Stay Strong & Keep Smiling

Sonny J

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