Essentials

If you're just starting out and want to learn basic knots, I would suggest watching some YouTube videos and getting a book on macrame.

First things first, buy yourself a nice pair of scissors. I wasted money on way too many pairs of scissors when I first started macrame. Once I found the Gingher Dressmaker Shears, it was life changing. They stay sharp for a very long time and can be professionally sharpened in the future, if needed. Only use them for cutting cord though, no paper whatsoever.

You'll need a measuring tape to measure out cord for your projects. A long, flexible measuring tape is key. I use this 8-foot one.
The easiest way to make macrame wall hangings, plant hangers, and other projects is from an adjustable clothes rack. Being able to adjust the height reduces strain and makes it easy to tie knots for hours. I like to use S-hooks to hold the driftwood, dowel or ring that I'm working from.

For smaller projects like keychains, coasters or earrings, I love to use a clipboard. Getting one with measurements on the side makes it easy to measure small amounts of cord or when trimming fringe.

If you plan on brushing out your cord to create fringe, you'll need a brush and a comb. I like to use a grooming brush for larger projects like tassels on wall hangings. I like to use a comb for smaller projects like earrings.

I love having a large notebook with grids for sketching my designs prior to knotting. It helps to keep track of measurements and any notes you want to leave yourself for future projects.
All About Cord

Macrame cord comes in many different sizes and styles and it can be super confusing when you're first starting out. I like to use 100% cotton cord for my projects and use varying sizes and styles depending on what I'm making.

Size
Macrame cord comes in varying widths measured in millimeters (mm). Keep in mind, each manufacturer can measure cord differently. The cord expands once it's unwound from the spool. I'll breakdown each size for you and what kind of projects it would work best for.
  • 1mm - very thin, good for wrapping crystals, intricate jewelry designs, friendship bracelets
  • 2mm - good for making earrings or small keychains
  • 3mm - perfect for keychains and other accessories
  • 4-6mm - good for wall hangings and plant hangers
  • 7mm+ - good for chunky details like adding tassels to wall hangings or making wall knots
Style
Macrame cord can come in different styles including twisted, multi-strand (3-ply), or braided. Single twisted cord consists of one piece of cord and is gentle on your hands. It unravels easily and combs into beautiful fringe. I like to use masking tape on the ends of the cord to prevent it from unraveling while I work with it. Multi-strand 3-ply cord consists of 3 strands of cord wrapped together. It can also come in 2-ply or 4-ply. When unraveled, multi-strand cord gives lovely wavy strands. Braided cord consists of multiple strands woven together creating a sturdy cord that does not unravel easily.

There are a bunch of macrame cord suppliers around the world. I love Niroma Studio for their wide variety of sizes and colors. Use my link for 15% off. I also love Modern Macrame. They even offer kits if you want to try out one of their patterns.

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