When you’re starting off learning any new hobby, you’re going to be overwhelmed by a lot of new information. Most of it will go over your head when beginning something new, but that is completely OK because you’re entering into unfamiliar territory. Learning the art of macrame is no different.
To be successful in macrame, you need to be constantly learning and improving your craft, every day.
Like a blade, you need to always be sharpening it.
In this post, I’m going to go over some common questions people have asked me and questions I faced about macrame cord when I first started out. You’ll get an overview scope about different types of cord, the sizes of cords, the quality of cords, and where you can buy macrame cord, and hopefully will help you understand what the BEST type of cord for you on your next macrame project is.
First, let’s talk about a few of the most frequently used type of cords you can use for your Arts and Craft, and for Macrame.
Jute cord is a strong, coarse, and shiny vegetable fiber that can be found in all sorts of different arts and craft projects. You will find Jute cord usually comes in a light brown color, and can be referred to as “The Golden Fiber”.
Jute vs. Twine
Most people get these two things mixed up. They do not mean the same thing. I would like to explain the difference, so you don’t get confused between the two. Twine is another word for string and has no defined material content. Jute is the name of the fiber used to be woven to make goods such as rugs, curtains, coarse cloth, chairs, sacks, and many many other different things. Jute twine means a type of string made out of jute.
If you are just starting out with macrame, I wouldn’t suggest using jute cord for any of your big projects. If this is the only type of cord you have laying around and you want to start practicing some knots right away, use it to create small keychains, mini wall patterns, or a plant hanger. It is good to start somewhere, but you will find that unraveling Jute cord and using it to knot can be difficult because of how coarse and strong the cord is and not to mention it can be rough on the hands.
If you are interested in using jute cord to macrame, by all means, go ahead. I’ve used it in many of my projects and enjoy switching up the type of cord I use from time-to-time. Below is a reusable tote bag I made with Jute cord. If you’re interested in learning how to make this I have the FULL video available for members on my Patreon. Check out the trailer below.
The next type of cord I would like to go over is hemp cord. Hemp cord is often used in arts and crafts as well but is usually found used to make jewelry. Hemp cord is softer on the skin and is known to be silk-like and strong and sturdy.
Hemp Vs. Jute
While hemp and jute cord are very similar in that they’re both natural fibers, the big difference between the two is the coarseness, and that Hemp does NOT have petroleum or other chemicals often used in jute ropes and fabrics.
If you’re looking to use hemp cord to macrame, I would highly advise to use it to macrame jewelry. You will find that it is a lot softer on the skin if you plan on wearing it as a bracelet or a necklace, and it also makes for unknotting a lot easier if you happen to make a mistake.
Below is a video I shared on YouTube on how to get started in macrame-ing a bracelet using three different types of macrame cord. If you’re interested in learning how, you can watch the video below.
Cotton cord is all around the best cord to use for your macrame projects, because, like hemp cord, it’s very soft and easy to tie knots and unravel knots. This is extremely important because you will be doing a lot of unraveling with macrame-ing – it’s inevitable. Also, it’s important to note it’s easier to fringe and color dye as well, compared with the previous cords I mentioned.
Cotton Cord vs. Cotton Rope
Let’s distinguish between cord vs. rope. Quite frequently, cord and rope are used interchangeably when referring to one or the other, but let’s distinguish the difference between the two so we understand what we need for different types of macrame projects. A cotton rope is usually more sturdy and strong compared to a cotton cord. This is because rope is usually referred to as twisted or braided strands and will often be referred to as 3-Ply or braided cord.
3-Ply means there are separate 3 strands all twisted together to form one strand.
Braided rope is considered to be the strongest. It’s very sturdy because it’s put together by braided twisted fibers. Usually, you will see braided rope for rock climbing, tying heavy objects together, or typically used for anything specific to increased strength, abrasion, and resistance.
The difficult part of using braided rope in macrame is it is tough to fringe the rope. If you’re looking to give your macrame project a fluffy fringe, then braided cord would not be appropriate.
What I typically use for all my macrame project is a single strand cotton cord. It the softest and most comfortable type of cord I use to macrame. It’s also easy to dye and fringe out as well. If you’re a new beginner or even advancing to the intermediate macrame level, I would highly recommend using a single strand cotton cord for your projects. I believe this will be the easiest and aesthetically beautiful cord to work with.
Different Sizes of Macrame Cord
What size of macrame cord should I use?
The simple answer is, it depends.
The reason why I say it depends is that it really comes down to your own preference and what you are making. What style of macrame do you like? What size of the project would you like your macrame to be? How much would you like to spend on the cord?
*NOTEWORTHY MENTION* The larger the size of the cord the fewer the knots it may require. However, this also means your style will be less intricate as you cannot make as many knots.
The most commonly used size of macrame cord for various projects is between 3-5mm, but again it depends on what you like and what you prefer to make.
The wall hangings and plant hangers you typically see everywhere range from 3-5mm. I tend to stay in this range when making my macrame pieces. About 99% of my projects will be 3mm or 4mm single strand cotton cord. If you’re like me and like the small intricate knots and making a very detailed macrame piece, 3mm is the preferred size of macrame cord for me.
If you see flowers and smaller detailed knots on a macrame piece, you might be looking between 1-2mm in size. You’ll also find that macrame jewelry to be in the 1-2mm range as well.
Where To Buy Macrame Cord?
Macrame cord can be purchased at many different places. You can buy them either at your local craft stores or online. The quickest way to get started is to go to your local craft stores such as Micheals or Hobby Lobby. The biggest issue I found with local craft stores is that you get a very limited selection of materials, and they’re typically not the highest quality cord. You’ll also find it’s a bit cheaper in price, but if you actually measure it out and divide it by the length of cord that you get, you’ll actually be paying more per meter for the cord by getting it at a craft store.
Amazon has some really cheap cord supplied by factories from China. If you’re looking for something inexpensive and standard quality, Amazon is your best bet to start off your first few projects. You’ll be looking at a price range between $15-20 for a spool of approximately 100m of 3 or 4mm.
Once you’ve had practice in creating a few macrame pieces and you’re ready to take your macrame to the next level, I would highly recommend considering better quality macrame cord. Better quality cord can be found on craft sights like ETSY.com or from macrame artists and suppliers like Bochiknot Macrame. If you’re interested in getting started on creating a beautiful macrame piece today using 100% organic single strand cotton cord, you can shop online at Bochiknot.com/shop
For those that would like to begin today, use coupon code “letsmacrame” to receive 20% off your first purchase.
If you would like to watch my full video on “How To Choose The Best Cord For Your Next Macrame Project“
If you have any questions or would like to reach out to me, leave me a comment in the comment section below. I’m very active in replying back to everyone that leaves me a response, so don’t be shy! 🙂
Until next time,
P.S. Do you have a favorite fiber? Is there a specific macrame cord you’re looking for and cannot find on Our Website? Please let us know & Happy Knotting!