The craft of knotting a diversity of geometric patterns without availing the use of hooks, needles, or hoops is the art recognized as Macramé.
The skill of macramé dates back to the thirteenth century. The word macramé is Arabic in origin meaning "fringe". It's thought that Arabian weavers began the skill by knotting the additional material at the edges of loamed material. From these origins it eventually made it to Italy and France in the early fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Sailors commenced with the skill as it was a favored way to pass some of the long hours out at sea. The basic knots that the sailors utilized are the basic knots of macramé today...the half knot, square knot, and the half-hitch knot. The sailors passed on their craft to the Chinese who adapted the skill to their own particular civilization and culture. The skill became fashionable with the British during the nineteenth century.
As time passed the skill fell to neglect. It was revived in the 1960s and '70s, which brought revitalization to the ancient skill. Its popularity waned some in the '80s and '90s, but the beginning of the 21st century has seen the return of its popularity into full swing, with an unlimited number of creative possibilities for the hobbyist, artist, and appreciator of the many diverse macramé products.
These days the hobby and skill of macramé means different things to different people. For many the skill is good in many ways. Tying the variety of knots can strengthen hands and arms. Creating a macramé project can be quite calming to the mind, body, and spirit! Macramé projects require few instruments and require supplies without any chemicals or fumes; it is definitely an earth-friendly, natural skill.
Examples of projects vary from macramé jewelry to macramé plant hangers to home decorations to wall hangers to purses and to belts. The various colors and textures of macramé make for a a broad variety to select from. Materials range from various thickness of jute and hemp, to twine, colored nylon and polyester fibers. Not only do you have wooden beads in projects, but glass and ceramic beads are also being incorporated into projects these days as well.