Just a few words about caring for your macrame pieces…
First of all ask yourself, is this a piece I want to display, use in a limited way, or wear every day?
If the piece is something you would like to hand down to future generations then I would follow the same guide lines used for antique textile preservation. According to The Textile Museum, Washington, DC., there are critical factors in maintaining textiles; control of environmental conditions, proper display techniques, and proper storage. See their Guidelines for the Care of Textiles for more information.
WAXED LINEN THREAD: A linen thread coated with bee’s wax. It ranges in thickness from two to 12 ply. Generally very study and can withstand every day use. May be hard to remove food stains but can easily be rinsed off and laid flat to dry.
NYLON CORDING: In the 1900’s this craft was referred to as Macrame Lace. Think of the way you would wear and care for a piece of lace. No hard pulling or yanking! There may be some slight stretching with regular wear. Also may be hard to remove food stains but can be rinsed off and laid flat to dry. Keep in mind that nylon melts. In fact many knotters melt the ends in order to finish off their work.
HEMP AND HEAVY DUTY COTTON CORDING: Certainly sturdy enough to withstand everyday use. Hemp softens with wear and is very durable. As sailing canvas and sailing ropes can attest to, even salt water and direct sunlight don’t affect it much. A little soap and water and maybe a soft toothbrush will do the trick. I once met a talented knotter who made a hanging macrame bed using tons of cotton clothesline cord for some dear friends of his. Once a year the friends dissembled the bed, and dipped the cording in water with a small amount of bleach.