Get Out of Digital with Macramé

Written By
Annisa Puspa Andira

Edited By
Fazrah LR Heryanda

Photograph By
Adhelia Sani Pramita
Fadhli Zaky

Have you ever been counting how many times you spend over staring at your gadget? Or have you ever feeling anxious to put your phone away just because you are afraid to lose the recent updated status from your friends? It seems like not a big deal, but spending too much time playing digital could affect your mental health. So, divert it on something more conventional, like crafting, for example, would be a help. One of the studies published in the British Journal of Occupational Therapy has surveyed the knitter’s community. It found that respondents felt calm and happy as they are frequently knitting which affected remarkably on their happiness, social, and communication. Similar to knitting but different, perhaps macramé could be the craft you would love to do. Featuring Maria Maretta, the owner of The Art of Macrame (@theartof_macrame) would drop you some insight about what you need to know about macramé.

The exhaustion from her job made Maria Maretta, known as Reta has the desire to find a new hobby that she can do to overcome it. Reta, who works as an architect, later discovered what she had been looking for, macramé crafts. She remembers the pleasant feeling she got when she first made macramé “It turned out that making macramé was fun and next thing I know I fell in love with it”. Today, Reta has succeeded with her online business, The Art of Macrame (@theartof_macrame). Located in Surabaya, it offers various types of macramé such as wall decorations, bags, and hangers for planters.

Get Out of Digital with Macramé

For Reta, creating macramé is like you living in a different world, better actually. “I often heard from participants in my workshop that when they practiced making macramé knots for hours without realizing it. They tend to feel lost in time, and that’s the feeling I usually get. Almost like drowning in my own world,” said Reta as she describes it.

As the participant getting deep in making macramé, they find it easy and not as tricky as it is would be.  Most of the participant feel amazed by what they’ve created, and it is indeed increasing their self-esteem.  Not only that, macramé gives a therapeutic to reducing the stress in our mind where the mind becomes more relaxed, and also the heart feels calmer. From the many benefits of macramé, maybe this is why it’s one of the right ways for you to ‘escaping’ the digital world.

What's Macramé

The word of Macramé might be still unfamiliar and confusing. It’s not something you could eat, but it’s something you can create by your own hands. Macramé is a kind of craft that using macramé cords and dowel or rod to do it. You can make any patterns and motifs from the knots you’ve weaved. So, basically, Macramé is kind of knots craft. Macramé itself derived from the word migramah (مقرمة) in Arabic, which means “striped towel,” “ornamental fringe,” or “embroidered veil.” Then when migramah become popular and spread to Europe (in Spanish to be exact) the word turn into Macramé as we have known today. It’s a simple craft but could be tricky if you don’t understand the basics.

Macramé 101

Macramé Basic

The first thing you do to make the art of Macramé is understanding the basic on attaching the cords to the dowel. The preparation, including macramé cords, dowel or rod, and scissor. The first step is folding a macramé cord in half, as shown in picture 1.

And then, you loop the cord down beneath your dowel with the cords facing up like in picture 2.

Pull the loop up over the dowel, then pull the cords down through the loop, creating sort of pretzel shape as shown in picture 3.

When you are attaching the cords to the dowel, you can begin to create the knots you want. There are some of the basic knots of macramé you can make like:

The Process

The processing period of making macramé depends on difficulty level and the knots amount used in macramé. If the macramé size is small but the knots used are big and complicated, it can take times even longer from bigger size macramé. However, it usually takes around 2-4 hours for a standard size wall decoration (about 40 – 50 cm).

Tips & Trick

It should be noted in making macramé you have to be delicate and consistent. “In making macramé, it requires consistency to make it not too tight and not too loose in how much pull we give when making knots. Imagine if we make a macramé feeling angry, making the pull too strong and the results will be less lovely”, as Reta explains simple tips in creating macramé.