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MACRAME

INTRODUCTION The construction of decorative fabric began as a handicraft of intertwining the yarns in whatever direction suited the makers purpose. While braiding & netting have always had practical applications, they are also used for decorative fabric & are the precursors to the more elaborate lace fabric & decorations. There are various ways of decorative fabric construction which include braiding, netting, lace & embroidery. OBJECTIVE

The objective is to impart the knowledge of constructing the decorative fabrics. KNOTTING The craft of knotting emerged in the misty days of pre- history. Knotting was evolved as an aid of self preservation. It helped man to catch & hold food, to protect oneself, to build his home & to help rescue others. The word knot comes from the old English Chotta meaning to join. Knotting or macram is a multiple strand contraction that uses one set of yarns oriented vertically. Earlier it was used in application of fringes & decorative borders. Today it is used for entire garment, wall hanging, sculpture, jewelry & many other items. Because the knotted structure is extremely strong, it is even suitable for furniture. Two simple knots-the square knot & the clove hitch are basic to knotting. The great variety of pattern that is possible derives from the endless ways in which the knotted can be combined. THE LANGUAGE OF KNOTTING A knot is intertwining of parts of one or more ropes or string to fasten them together A knot falls into one of four classifications: Hitch: A hitch is a temporary knot that fastens two ropes together to a mast, rail & ring. If the object is removed the hitch will fall loose. Bend: A bend is a knot that fastens two ropes together. One rope is bend to another. Slice: Two ends are joined by interweaving their strands to make a splice. Knot: A knot usually means a knob or stopper knot tied in the end of the rope. It prevents it from raveling. THE MATERIALS: Knots can be tied in almost any kind of sufficiently flexible material. Hemp is strong & good for rough, heavy work. Manila is made from plantain leaves & quite expensive. It is the best rope for practicing knot. Cotton is much easier to handle. Macram cord is usually a cotton cord & is an ideal medium for square & decorative knotting.

Sisal, made from agave leaves, is strong & salt resistant. Coir, sometimes called coconut string, is made from the fibre of the coconut husk. Macram is from an Arabic word which really means a fringe or trimming, but by common usage is applied to a particular type of cord which can be obtained made with various numbers of strands. EQUIPMENTS Sharp scissor & a support of some kind are all the equipments needed for knotting. The support may be removed after knotting is completed or it may be incorporated into the finished article as part of the design. The type of supports depend, of course on the nature of the project of be undertaken. THE BASIC TECHNIQUES Remember all knots should be tightened with the same degree of tension. If some are tight & others are loose your piece will lack symmetry. The knot used to mount the knotting cords is usually the larks head knot. Its made by folding the knotting cords in half, folding the looped end over the front of the mounting cord, rod or ring. Then the loop is pulled underneath & the free ends pulled through & tightened. LARKS HEAD

The two most basic working knots are the half-knots & half-hitch. Most other knots in macram derive from these two. Every time you tie your shoes you start with a half-knot! Start by laying the left cord over the top of the rest, then take the right cord, loop it under the left cord & behind the other, then bring it forward between the left cord & the filler cord. HALF KNOT

The half-hitch is made by taking one knotting cord behind a filler cord, bringing it up & over to hang free on the left side. A reverse half-hitch comes up from the back & over the filler cord to hang free on the right side.

The square knot is two half-knots, one of which is reversed.

The clove hitch is made of two half-hitches.

VARIATIONS OF CLOVE HITCH For the horizontal clove hitch, the first cord at the left becomes the foundation cord ; same thing will be in vertical & diagonal form, & we will hold the left foundation cord in that form. Draw it in front for all the other cords, & hold its under tension in a straight horizontal, vertical or diagonal. Lift the second cord up & pull it tight. Repeat it second time

also. Repeat this procedure with cord 2 before continuing to cord 3. Each clove hitch thus consists of two loops over the foundation cord. OTHER KNOTS: Josephine knots: It consists of two interlocked loops & resembles a pretzel. It can be tied with two single yarns or with two groups of yarns each considered as a unit. The knot can be pulled taut, but it is usually more attractive if a bit of slack is left n the yarn.

Overhand knot: It is a simple loop with the end of the yarn passed through it. An overhand knot can be done with one or more cords. Make a loop with your cord then bring the end of the cord down through the loop.

BRAIDING Braiding is a simple form of narrow fabric construction. Strands are plaited together by crisscrossing them diagonally & lengthwise. A familiar illustration of the method is that of braiding long hair. Braid for fabric use is formed on a braiding machine by interlacing three or more of the others. Braids are divided into two types Flat braids, in the form of strips or narrow flat tapes

Round braids, tubular in form, this may be hollow or have a center

core of some material. Both types of braiding are produced from any of the textile fibers, as well as from metal threads, tinsel, straw wire or leather.

The basic types of braiding may be said to be a 3-strand braiding & a 4strand braiding. STRAND BRAIDING It is familiar to almost everyone as a method for dressing hair. When number of strands is increased to 4, 8 & 12 or more, an intricate round braid develops.