Does Macrame Make the Best Sustainable Gifts?

Many people don’t know what macrame is, many may have not even heard about it, many more see macrame as a hippie trend or a pastime that their grandmothers use to do back in the 70s.

I see macrame as a way to evade everyday life, a way to enter a new world of creativity and imagination with endless possibilities.

Macrame is my way to express myself and communicate with others.

Macrame is my passion!


So, what is macrame?

Macrame is a versatile form a fibre art using historic knotting techniques and it is one of the oldest forms of art.

The ancient Persians and Assyrians (2300 B.C) finessed this art with great skills. Later, Arabs brought the art form to Europe, and the Europeans to the Americas, where Caribbean people used to make their typical knotted Hammocks.

The craft reached is popularity in England, in the late 17th century where Queen Mary herself taught classes to her ladies-in-waiting and is still used since then to create wall hangings, plant hangers and other decorative items. And since then, macrame is made by hand using zero waste, environmentally friendly, sustainable, and plastic free fabrics such as natural cotton, twine, jute, and yarn.

The craft can be as simple as using only inexpensive and accessible materials and the artist’s own pair of hands just like sailors around the world use to do! Sailors used to make macrame objects while at sea and sold or bartered them when they landed. They picked up techniques and mixed them up with their own sailing knots and spread the art to places like China and the New World.

Some examples of macrame knots include the square knot, the half knot, infinity knot and spiral knot.

Macrame has been around for hundreds of years but has never been more popular than in the 21st century!

Modern macrame is back in fashion and it’s only the beginning!

You just have to turn your TV on and pay attention and you will start noticing those beautiful macrame wall hangings suspended in every room of your favourite TV shows, those macrame candle lights and place mats in every house listing and the iconic macrame plant hangers on every gardening show.

When you visit your local stores and local markets, macrame is everywhere! Why?

I like to think it is because, macrame is simple, beautiful, useful, unique, and most importantly it is handmade and sustainable, and this does matter!!!


Related: Sustainable Shopping, Does It Exist?


 Is macrame sustainable?

Per definition, sustainability is the ability to exist and develop without depleting natural resources for the future.

The art of macrame has evolved so much in the last 50 years, these days you can find macrame bottle holders, hat holders, key rings, jewellery, clothes, shoes, bags, hammocks, swings, shelves, plant hangers, belts, pets collars, wall decor….and many more.

Macrame items can now be seen in any rooms around the house, even the kitchen with little fruit hammocks and fruit baskets.

I often say to my friends, anything you can think of, I can create it using macrame!!!

There are many materials that can be used to create macrame but my favourite one to use is recycled cotton cords! Recycled cotton is primary made from pre-consumer cotton which is excess textile waste from clothing production or other cotton fabrics (such as clothing scraps) then converted into cotton rope and string.

100% recycled cotton cords are ecofriendly, biodegradable, and plastic free!

Other materials that I would use making my macrame gifts are untreated wooden rings (for natural baby teething rings) or locally collected driftwood pieces (for decorative macrame wall hangings). I often like to incorporate wool, yarn, hemp, wooden beads, or any piece of textile with an interesting pattern that I picked up in my local OP shop in my macrame work.

Handmade macrame products do not require a factory or large production facilities but the own two hands of a passionate maker. Unlike mass produced gifts, handmade gifts can be customised, personalised and unique. They will also last longer because they are made with better materials, made with care, and made with love.


Is macrame only good for the planet?

Macrame can also be beneficial for the maker!

The art of knotting is a stress reliever, improve motor skills, develop new skills, helps boosting confidence and is a healing art.

So, if you are looking for a new form of art to pick up, get knotting!!!


Does macrame make the best sustainable gifts?

Obviously, this is for each to decide but if you are looking for a unique, custom-made gift that is a sustainable, ecofriendly, plastic free and as useful as beautiful then you might want to consider macrame products!

By supporting your local macrame maker, you are also supporting the craft skill they practice. You are helping them to pass the macrame skills to the next generation and keep the art and craft alive.

Choosing eco-friendly products such as natural macrame supports ethical and sustainable manufacturing, supports small businesses, and cuts down plastic consumption of our planet!

Macrame definitely has its place in our future sustainable and plastic free world!

Floriane Pereira

Macrame Uniqness

Floriane is the creator behind Macrame Uniqness. Passionate about macrame and fibre art for over a decade, Floriane creates modern Macrame Home Decor for every room of your Home. Based in Darwin, Macrame Uniqness is a one person passion and small business that thrives in designing custom made products for their clients and passing on the love for the fibre art.

Explore the range of plastic free and upcycled home decor in our directory.


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