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Celtic Mat

Celtic Mat

Description: A Celtic Mat is a type of Macrame knot that is flat and rectangular in shape. 

Each of the three decorative knots shown on this page have the woven elements and interlaced pattern of all Celtic knots. 

The first is called the Ocean Plait, followed by the Basket Weave. The third design is the Prosperity Knot.

Each one is slightly different in appearance and vary in how they are constructed.


Another page you might want to see, if you like this type of decorative knot, is the Mashead Mat Technique.  It features a round or oval shape, and has similarities to the designs described here.

These Celtic knots are perfect for rugs, but can also be used as pendants if made with slender cord (2mm or less).

To make a rug, you would simply create any of these designs very large and follow the path of the first cord with several others, filling in the knot.


Ocean Plait Mat  

Ocean Plait Mat

You need one cord, at least 36 inches long, to make the first type of Celtic Mat called the Ocean Plait.

Make sure you use a project board and pins when first learning this technique.

Triangle Shape  

Step 1: Secure one end to the board, on your left.  Move the working end up and to the right, to make Area 1.

Move it to the left to make Area 2.


Step 1, continued:  To make Area 3 at the bottom, pass the working end under the secured end. 

Secure all 3 areas.

Area 4  

Step 2: Move the working end to the right and curve it upward, to make Area 4

Bring it under both segments near Area 1, moving right to left on an angle.


Top Loop is Area 5  

Step 3: Make a loop at the top of the design, rotating clockwise. That's considered Area 5.

Bring the working end down so it rests between areas 2 and 3, passing under the three segments.


Area 6  

Step 4: Curve the working end towards the right to make Area 6.

Pass it over the secured end, and then under both segments at Area 4.


Weave Through Areas 1 and 5  

Step 5: Spread the design out a little, so you can see all areas clearly. Move the working end towards the top, heading right to left.

Weave the end over-under-over-under the four segments near Areas 1 and 5.


Weave Through Areas 2- 4  

Step 6: Bring the working end back to the lower right (to Area 4).

Weave it over - under - over - under - over the segments in Areas 2, 3, and 4.

Balance and Tighten  

Step 7: To thicken this Celtic Mat, use a second cord and follow the path of the first all the way through. (optional)

Balance the design by tightening each area. The top loop should be a bit larger and rounder than the others.


Completed Knot  

This is the Celtic Mat design when it's completed. It's a good idea to leave some space to see the details.


Macrame Cord Divider
Fusion Knots  

I found the next two Celtic Mat designs in a book called Decorative Fusion Knots, by JD Lenzen.

Click on the link or image to visit the author's website, which contains a video gallery showing many other interesting knotting techniques.

Macrame Cord Divider

Basket Weave  

Basket Weave

This type of Celtic Mat is called the Basket Weave. It's very similar to the design shown above, but is constructed in a different manner.

You need one cord at least 36 inches long. Make sure you use a project board and pins to secure the loops.

Curve Right End  

Step 1: Secure the cord at the center. Bring the right end of the cord down, and secure it 4 inches below the center.

Move it to the upper left, passing over the left end of the cord.


Curve Left End  

Step 2: Move the left end down 4 inches, and secure it.

Bring it to the upper right, passing it over - under the two segments.


Bring Ends to Top  

Step 3: Bring both ends to the top, and secure them.

Pull down on the curved areas at the bottom, to make two long bights. Mentally label them as shown.


Flip the Loops  

Step 4:  For each bight, flip the left side over the right. 

Put your finger below each crossing point and slide it up (blue X), to make the lower area more open for the next steps.


Loop 2 Over Loop 1  

Step 5: Cross the two bights, so that bight 2 is on top of bight 1. Secure them to your board.

Make the bights slightly wider and curved as shown, before moving on to the next step.


Important:  For the next two steps, make sure the weaving takes place below the crossed areas (blue X).

Weave Through Loop 2  

Step 6: Weave the end on the right down through the middle of bight 2, moving right to left.

Weave it over - under - under - over the four segments.


Weave Through Loop 1  

Step 7: Weave the other end (left) down through the middle of Loop 1, heading left to right.

Weave under - over - under - over - under the five segments.


Balance and Tighten  

To double the knot, use a second cord and follow the path of the first one all the way through.

Balance and tighten the Celtic Mat, removing the slack in each area gradually.


Macrame Cord Divider

Prosperity Knot  

Prosperity Knot

This historical knot has been featured in many Celtic as well as Chinese works of art.

The Chinese name for it is the Prosperity Knot. It represents abundance, long life, and wealth.

This variation of the Celtic Mat is similar to the others, but is longer and has more woven elements.

First Loop  

Step 1:  Make a loop in the center of a 45-inch cord.

The right end should cross over the left.


Second Loop  

Step 2: Move the left end (now on the right) to make a counter-clockwise loop.

Position it so it passes under the first loop, and rests slightly to the right.


Third Loop  

Step 3: To make the third loop, move the right end clockwise, passing it under the left end.

Weave it over - under - over - under the four segments of loops 1 and 2.


Enlarge Loops 2 and 3  

Step 4: Move both ends to the top. Place your finger below the crossing point for loop 1 (arrow) and slide it up.

Make loops 2 and 3 longer, by pulling the outer portions downward.


Flip Left Over Right  

Step 5: For both loops, flip the left side over the right.

Put your finger below the crossing points and slide them up, so the lower areas are larger and more open. 


Important:  Make sure the following steps take place below the crossed areas.

Loop 3 Through Loop 2  

Step 6: Move Loop 2 to the left, curving it slightly.

Pass Loop 3 through it, under - over (from below).


Important: Make sure you can clearly see each segment and crossing point of the two loops before moving on.

Right End Weaving  

Step 7: Weave the right end through the middle of Loop 2, over - under - under - over the four segments.


Move Loop 3  

Step 8:  In the previous steps, Loop 3 was resting over the right side of Loop 2.

Now you need to move Loop 3, and bring it under the right side of Loop 2.


Left End Weaving  

Step 9: Weave the left end through the middle of Loop 3, heading left to right.

Weave under - over - under - over - under. 

The end comes out below the crook of loop 3.


Tighten the Knot  

To double this variation of the Celtic Mat, use a second cord. (Optional)

Follow the path of the first cord, starting at one of the ends.

Tighten the loops so they are balanced.


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