Untold history of Macrame

En este momento estás viendo Untold history of Macrame
Talking about Macramé is talking about knots, decorative knots thought and designed to give shape and texture to a fabric or framework, which looks aesthetically ordered. Knots that are executed only with the hands.

What is the origin of macrame?

In macramé, the art of tying knots, the great historical precedent is precisely that: The Knot. There is a lot of bibliography on the matter, and there is great coincidence in saying that we could not think of the evolution of humanity without knots everywhere. Primitive man, in search of satisfying basic needs, began to tie from the most remote times, in the Mesolithic. First there were the knots to hold the sharp stones on sticks, to create arrows and spears that made the hunt effective. Then, more knots and the birth of the frameworks, to create meshes, for the improvement of the fishing activity, more fish in less time. The oldest fishing net ever found, made of willow, dates back to 9,000 BC in the Karelian city of Antrea. In the Neolithic period of prehistory 8000 BC, the plain knot, the clove hitch and the sliding knot were already used to make tools that allowed them to cultivate the land, gather food and develop livestock. In addition, they began to create fabrics to cover the body, some type of clothing to protect themselves from the elements, with any available organic rope, a knot of vegetable fibers. Being the hands their only tool, this technique was established as one of the first methods of textile making. These knotted fabrics are the ancestors of the creation of the loom and, consequently, of the cloth. One of the great inventions during the Neolithic, along with the wheel and pottery, was weaving. Covering these basic needs would not have been possible without knots. These primitive and remote knots are the first antecedents of macramé, as we know it today. It is surprising how in different places on Earth, in times when each culture remained isolated with others that lived in other regions, or continents, samples of similar knots are found. Many civilizations endowed the knots with meaning and mysticism giving them identity. That is why in the range of knots we find Celtic, Chinese, Japanese, etc. Knotting is one of the first cultural manifestations of humanity, a very important and essential human characteristic in many types of manual labor, which are essential for society. How much evolution! As you can see, taking a brief look at the «prehistory» in short, the execution of knots, at first it was not a simple decoration but it responded to other utilities. “There is a deep symbolic content in the conscious act of tying a knot. The most diverse cultures include it as behavior inherited from the past, current and projected into the future”. (1996, p.7). Words by Fernández Latour that appear in Rubin’s text. Now, at the moment when man finally meets the basic needs, then the knots begin to be used ornamentally.

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When did macramé as we know it today arise?

Historically, the origin of macramé goes back to the East (2,300 BC), to Mesopotamia, to the Assyrian peoples and the Persians. They were the first to knot only for the purpose of decorating the edges of the mats with knots. It is said that it is from there that the first denomination of this art probably arose, from the Arabic word migramah (knotted fringes) , which predates the Turkish word makrama , and the French word Macramé.

The Arab peoples, in the 8th century, gave importance to macramé, due to their great artistic skill in the development of the technique and mastery in its execution. In ancient Turkey, weavers used to embellish the edges of towels and tablecloths. Since the fabric was made on a loom (in silk, wool, or cotton) these objects left threads or fringes, which were decoratively knotted with macramé.

Decorating tablecloths with knotted fringed edges in Macramé dates back to the 13th century and later the technique became known from the Middle East to all of Mediterranean Europe to Spain, where it was very popular from the 15th century, having special artistic value during the Renaissance , when it began to be considered decorative art.

After spreading throughout Europe, and from Europe reaching America through the Spanish and their conquering voyages, with time and commercial exchange between continents, macramé spread throughout the world.

I am in love with knots and their history; of its importance and significance. It is really so essential in multiple essential trades in society.

In many areas we see that it has an important performance. From the sailor to the surgeon, from the seamstress to the mountaineer, from the butcher to a luthier. It is an essential tool for the development of the most diverse human activities, and continues to serve man as an instrument of survival.

The knot is universal and is a spontaneous human creation, since it arises from experimentation, from trial and error through the manipulation of fibers and ropes.

Today, it is remarkable how far the macramé weaving community has come. So much experimentation and innovation during the 70s, 80s and 90s. And now this revival of modern and contemporary macrame, so versatile and varied.

One of the first decorative elements that became very popular from the modern macrame era, are plant hangers. Everyone wanted to have one at home.

I invite you to discover this manual art and live a creative experience making decorative knots.

Make your own hanging macramé planter by following the Step by Step of our specialized Tutorial. Just follow the following link:

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The macramé club is a space to promote and preserve this beautiful art. So if you want to join the club and learn the basic techniques of macramé, check out the Basic Macramé Course that we have available throughout the year.

I am extremely investigative, and I would really love to know of any other contribution that you want to leave me through your comment.

I really appreciate you reading this far.

Betzabeth González.

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