Macrame Care

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.

  1. Hello Monica, I’m in Michigan and want to know if you give classes? Would love that!! Thank You, Gail


  2. Oooooh what a gloriously creative necklace is that …?antique jasper … I saw elsewhere on your site . However, what YOU have created is delightful and clear also and soooo helpful to people like me starting out … THANKS~


  3. Do you think its ok to use embrodery trhead? I got so much


  4. I would also like to request a tutorial for the bracelet in your banner. It’s beautiful! Thanks!


  5. I found your page when looking for instruction on the “sliding knot” and absolutely LOVE the bracelet you have at the top of this site. Do you have instructions on how to use it? I’m a long-time beader and recently got into knots (from your instruction of the bracelet with the sliding knot, in fact) and the bracelet looks SO cool, making me want to try this new challenge of knotting not just the square knot but with bead work as well.

    Thanks for the inspiration, Deb


    1. Hi Deborah,
      Funny you should ask! I’ve been contemplating what kind of tutorial to do next, one that would work well for a beginner. I’ve have one or two request for the bracelet in my banner, so I started to work on that one about a week ago. Keep a looksie for it in the not too distant future. Thanks so much for visiting.


    2. 5/2011

      I am a landscaper searching for said (about 4oz) beeswaxed lined thread.
      Cannot find it anywhere* and wonder if you have a source? It is the best material
      for invisibly tying up roses and clematis, lasts outside & unties so easily.

      I would greatly appreciate a reply.


      Sarah on the east coast who remembers the late seventies macrame times


      1. Hi Sarah,

        Try this great list that contains wholesale and retail sources of spools of waxed linen thread in 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 and 12 ply. It can get expensive at the retail level. In the past I have ordered Crawford Waxed Linen wholesale through Helby Imports, I have a bit leftover that is a nice dark Forest Green color. If you are a purist about your landscaping craft you probably would not consider waxed nylon, but it’s much cheaper!

        Thanks for peeking in on my blog. You’ve given me an idea about adding a new tab for cord sources.


      2. excellent points and the details are more specific than elsewhere, thanks.

        – Murk



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