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Cord Preparation

Frayed Ends of Macrame Cord


Cord preparation is an important part of learning Macrame. Before I knew how to treat the ends so they didn’t unravel, messy and frayed material frustrated me.

Twisted cord, in particular, came apart every time I used it. Then I learned a few simple techniques that taught me how to prevent the problem.

After you cut all your cords to the proper length, use any of the following methods to prepare the ends.


Wax Preparation

  Wax Preparation  

My personal favorite is using wax to coat the ends of the cords. You need a jar candle, preferably white or the same color as the cords. Light the candle and let the wax melt for a while.

Blow out the candle flame. Dip the ends of the Macrame cords in the liquid wax.


Tip: I usually bundle a group of cords, then dip them all together.

Hold them above the jar to let the excess wax drip off. Allow the cords to cool. If they stick together, pull them apart gently.

  Beeswax   Beeswax is also a good product to use for cord preparation, especially with delicate cord for jewelry.

You just rub the cord with the block of wax. It helps if you warm it in your hands first.


Glue Preparation

  Preparing Macrame Cord with Glue  

Another way to prepare cords is to apply glue to the ends. You can use liquid puzzle glue, or household glue diluted with water. Put some in a bowl, and dip the ends.

Glue doesn’t dry as fast as wax, so you need to hang the cords over something while they dry.


Someone told me they prefer to use nail polish for cord preparation. I’ve never tried this myself, but I bet it works just as well as glue.

You can dip the ends, or lay the cords on a work surface and paint the nail polish on them.


Tape Preparation

  You can apply cellophane or masking tape to the ends as a temporary measure to prevent unraveling. This technique is especially useful if using twisted cord material rather than braided.

When you are at the end of the project and tying the finishing knots, just cut off the portion with the tape.


Knot Preparation

  Barrel Knot  

Another easy method to prepare cords is to tie a knot at the tips.

The best knots to use are the ones easy to tie, like this Barrel knot.

It's hard to untie, so you may need to cut it off at the end of the project.


  Overhand Knot  

Another option is the Overhand knot, which works quite well.


  Figure 8 Knot
  The Figure 8 Knot is also easy to tie, but has a tendency to come out. So make sure you tighten it firmly.  

  Chinese Step Knot   This Chinese Step knot is a really nice knot to use for preparing the ends prior to starting any Macrame project.  

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