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7 Things to Look For In Choosing A Macrame Cord - Macrame Lovers Blog

7 Things to Look For In Choosing A Macrame Cord

by Macrame

I remember, when I was just starting out with macrame, I had difficulties in choosing the right cord to use for my design. I didn’t know how to look for them because I wasn’t familiar with the criteria to base my choices on.
If you are a beginner like I was, then read these seven qualities that you should consider when choosing your macrame cord.

1. Composition – The material from which the macrame cord was made is very important. Fibers, such as hemp and jute, used to be very popular with macrame artists.

However, their availability in the market influenced the rise in popularity of macrame cords made from nylon and satin rayon, which are man-made fibers. I suggest as a beginner, you should use nylon because they are easy to unravel in case you make a mistake in knotting.

2. Strength – The strength of a macrame cord depends largely on its composition. A cord made from jute, leather, ribbon and nylon is quite strong.

3. Twist – The strength of the cord is determined by whether the individual strands of the material were twisted or braided in the manufacturing process. A braided macrame cord unravels less easily than a twisted cord.

Before beginning a macrame project always treat the ends of a cord to prevent the stands from separating. You can dip the ends in melted clear wax.

If you want to create a fringe, make sure the strands do not unravel further than the fringe’s length by knotting the top of the fringe.

4. Stiffness – A cord should be flexible enough to bend and curve according to the pattern’s requirements. If you are making a bracelet or necklace, a thinner macrame cord is recommended. For example, an embroidery cord made of cotton is soft and very flexible. You can also use leather, but make sure it is less than 2 mm in width.

5. Texture –There are macrame cords that feel rough and may be irritating to the skin. Hemp and metallic cords are not recommended for making necklaces and bracelets. Nylon, silk, satin rayon and cotton were the suggested materials to use. You can also use leather because it softens after a period of use.

6. Diameter or Width – The thickness of the macrame cord is usually indicated in millimeters (mm). When buying a cord, keep in mind the question of whether they can be inserted into beads, buttons or other decorations.

Cords that are more than 4.0 mm in diameter may need larger decorations. A good-sized cord for making micro-macrame projects, such as bracelets and necklaces, should have less than 2.0 mm diameter.

7. Amount or Quantity – The amount of the cord refers to the length of cord needed for the entire project. Some cords come in large rolls, while others come in shorter lengths.

Most people use nylon and leather cords because they have most of the best qualities macrame artists look for. I personally prefer these two types of cords because they are also accessible in the market.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

shelley December 22, 2017 at 6:14 pm

Thank you,

I am at the beginning of the beginning…. Well fo this chapter anyway. I learnt macrame craft way back in my school years, 1970’s. Its so funny to see how popular it is again. I can remember macrameing for everyone back then. Maybe I’ve come full circle. Best wishes.


Elaine Williams September 1, 2017 at 9:49 am

Thanks for this blog! This is without a doubt the most helpful blog I have come across – I’ve been looking for two weeks! I am subscribing. This is excellent and oh so helpful!


Mary July 31, 2017 at 4:13 pm

Can I use yarn for macrame


Macrame August 4, 2017 at 10:56 am

Hi Mary. Yes, you can use yarn for some macrame like projects, however it won’t give you the same ability to tie knots and so the types of macrame patterns you can do will be much more limited. I’d consider using yarn to be more of a macrame-inspired craft rather than a traditional macrame craft. If you search on google and youtube you can find some examples with yarn.


Patricia September 10, 2017 at 11:27 pm

I have used yarn for small wall hangings-they are pretty with many available colors. I joke with my friends that they may need something stronger for hanging chairs. Yarn is so easy to find, versus the synthetic cord which most of the stores won’t carry. Knots are not as easy to make in the yarn, as they are small, hard to see and a real bear to untie. But I would encourage you to experiment with it. Highly enjoyable.


Ellen March 8, 2012 at 3:41 pm

Love your blog! subscribing 🙂


Lael March 9, 2011 at 7:14 am

My daughter has asked me to macrame a collar for her dog to wear in her wedding. The is quite large and hairy, so the collar would need to be wide so it shows and soft so it’s comfortable.
I haven’t done macrame in a long time and need help trying to find a cord that will work. It has to be a magenta or purple color. Can you help?


Hannah JoyLover May 10, 2010 at 9:00 am

Cool story you got here. It’s really cool to read something about macrame. Thanks for posting this!


Macrame May 11, 2010 at 9:14 am

Thanks, Hannah! Keep coming back to this blog. I promise to post more about macrame. ^_^


Peter April 21, 2010 at 1:41 pm

I applaud your article as it’s a gentle, simple, (by no means stupid), introduction to choice of cords…
I would like to suggest that you might like to include flax also since it combines the qualities of several cords: strength, softness (it’s usually polished and softens like leather), ethnicity: it has that lovely sandyish “natural” colour that hemp, cotton (before it’s bleached to make it white), jute, coir etc…

Best wishes to you and keep up the excellent blog!
Sincerely, Peter.

ps: if you love macrame do check my site out… hopefully it will make you smile a it and have more ammunition for those who think macrame is only pothangers, wallhangings, belts and bracelets….


Macrame April 28, 2010 at 10:08 am

Thank you, Peter, for the suggestion. I think flax will make a very interesting macrame piece. I also made it a point to drop by your DeviantArt page. I hope to do a feature on you and your works in the future. Keep on reading!


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