So we’ve covered the macramé basics in other blog posts of its history and how to keep it clean, even what kind of plants are best for macramé hangers. But have we addressed what exactly is macramé and what sets it apart from other forms of weaving and knitting, namely crochet.
It happens to the best of us, macrame and crochet are closely related with a lot in common, but there are distinct differences that any avid macrame lover should know, so get your notebooks ready!
There are a few distinct differences, so let’s break them down
Probably the biggest difference between the two is the tools required to create them. Crochet needs two specialise crochet needles, aligning the craft closely to knitting. Macramé however, is made without tools at all aside from the material, meaning it’s made entirely by hand. Okay so it doesn’t seem like a huge difference, but the final product shows how different the processes are as they have entirely different looks and feels.
While it’s hard to say which is more intricate of the art, with the debate of mastering the use of tools or the extra intricacy and finesse of the hand work, both are beautiful creations regardless. A lot of the difference boils down to individual taste, some people just prefer one over the other depending on their style and that’s really what it’s all about, even if macramé is better… ok we might be a bit biased.
This is where the line can get a little blurry, there are specific materials designed for the creation of macramé and crochet. A certain type of fabric structure is needed for each in order to ensure the final product is durable and high in quality to withstand its purpose. For macramé, there are a wide range of options of cord that can be used for macramé patterns such as wool, cotton rope and sometimes occasionally even nylon. Generally, the macramé thread is thicker in which is why the use of hands is necessary, especially for wall hangings where your ideal material is a strong cotton rope. You also have the option to use crochet thread for macramé, however you probably wouldn’t use macramé cord to make crochet as it’s harder to work with the use of needles which can give it a really rough appearance… just another reason we love the versatility of macramé.
The tools are a distinct point of different too, compared to crochet where you just need thread and needles, macramé requires a range of tools to assist the creation of a finished design. Dependent on the design you’re creating, there are a few essentials. A dowel rod is a definite must for creating wall hangings as this forms the base of your creation. It’s a given but wooden rings are essential for plant hangers, to actually be able to hang them up. Macramé also requires durable scissors that are strong enough to be able to cut macramé cord, meaning they need to be incredibly sharp so no regular house hold scissors that you keep in your kitchen drawer will do the job. More equipment that macramé can require, but not specifically need are things such as a comb to create those beautiful fringe trims, tape to be able to secure the design in place throughout the crafting process to ensure an even design, and beads for an added element of decoration elevation.
With different crafts comes different skill requirements. You might be asking yourself if one craft is easier than the other, and while there are different elements to consider such as use of needles or hands or tools, it comes down to the individual craftsmen and their set of practised skills.
While with macramé, if there’s a slight error or mistake, it’s fairly easy to undo and retie it as the rope is thicker and the use of hands makes this manageable. With crochet, once you make your mistake then it’s near impossible to reprimand it with the thread being finer and are knitted into the design, meaning finished products can have some obvious flaws. It can also be a lot harder to notice the flaws as you’re working on crochet since it is a finicky craft with cumbersome needles.
While there are never guarantees that any handmade crafted design will be one hundred percent flaw free, this is actually a good thing as it adds character, and you can be assured authenticity of any handmade piece of art by a dedicated and passionate artist.
To sum it up, macramé and crochet have different methods, tools and skills required to craft incredible hand made designs. Both are beautiful art forms and make excellent home décor for any individual style, it’s just a matter of finding the right artist and design for you.
Here at The Macramé Man, you can always be assured you’re getting a unique and original hand crafted design that has been made with the most delicate care and genuine love for the craft of macramé.