Free Macrame' Patterns Home Page
Macrame' Essentials
Learn Macrame' Knots
Micro-Macrame': Jewelry
Free Macrame' Patterns
Macrame' for Kids
Advanced Macrame'
Macrame' Dictionary
Etsy Shop Left Side Background Image
Custom Search

Genoese Zipper

Genoese Zipper


Description: The Genoese Zipper is related to the Zipper Sennit. It's a series of bights passed into one another in an alternating pattern, using both halves of two cords.  It may seem complicated, but it's really easy once you understand the steps.

The key to success is positioning the cords so you can keep track of the four segments.  Be sure to read the tips included in these instructions.

This decorative knot can be used for bracelets, purse straps, belts, and in other Macrame projects requiring a wide flat band.   The instructions include a loop for a clasp (optional).

2018 Update:  I changed the instructions to include a more stable loop.



This design comes from the Fusion Knots website.

Click on the link or image to visit.

The video gallery contains tutorials for many other interesting knots and techniques.


Fusion Knots Website



To practice the Genoese Zipper, you need two 60-inch cords, each a different color. 

When making a project with this technique, both cords should be at least 7 x the finished length you want to make.  Increase the length if you plan to make a button knot for a clasp.

Please read the bottom section of Cord Preparation to learn how to prepare Parachute Cord for knotting, if you plan to use it.

In the example shown, cord A is turquoise, and cord B is purple.


Step 1:  Make a loop in the center of cord A, crossing left over right.

Form a Slipknot by creating a bight with the left half, and passing it through the loop under - over (from below). 

Tighten the loop by pulling on the bight and the right half of the cord. 


Step 1, continued:  Make sure both halves of the cord are close to the same length as you tighten the Slipknot. 

Secure the knot to your board diagonally (to the right).

Cord B

Step 2: Fold cord B in half.  Pass it through the bight made with cord A over - under (from the top).

Pull on the left half of cord A to tighten the first bight around the new cord.

Mentally label each half of both cords. 


Cord A Right

Step 3: You always use the segment closest to you, when making each bight for the Genoese Zipper. 

So for this step, fold the right half of cord A to make the next bight.  Pass it under the left half of cord A, then through the folded portion of cord B. 

Pull both halves of cord B to tighten it firmly around the new bight.


Designer's Tip:  The purpose for passing one half UNDER the other half in this step is to create a loop for a clasp. 

You can pass the right half OVER the left half if you don't need a loop.  Pull the slack out of cord A in that area.


Optional Loop:  Secure the right half of cord A in the area closest to you, where it curves.

This is the loop you can use for a clasp if you need one. 

Cord B Right

Step 4: Fold the right half of cord B to make the next bight, since it's closest to you.

Pass it over the left half as you move it through the previous bight made with cord A.

To tighten, pull the right half of cord A first.  Then pull on the new bight to remove any slack.


Designer's Tip:  When making the Genoese Zipper, keeping track of all four cords is challenging.  Just focus on making each bight with the segment closest to you, alternating back and forth between the two colors.  

Here's another way to stay organized:

You can place four pins on your project board, one closer to the front and the other closer to the back (on both sides).   Place each half of the cords draped over a pin.  

After you make the bight with the segment closest to you (front position), move that segment to the BACK pin. 

Move the other half to the front pin so it's in position when it's time to use it. 

Cord A Left

Step 5:  Fold the left half of cord A to make the next bight (closest to you).

Move it through the previous bight (cord B), which brings it over the right half of cord A.

See tightening information below.



Tightening:  Take note of the curved segment in this image, where one half of the cord passes over the other half.

You start tightening by pulling the slack out of the previous bight. Then pull on the NEW bight to tighten the curved segment.  The final step is to reduce the size of the new bight.

Cord B Left

Step 6:  Fold the left half of cord B to make the next bight.  Pass it through the previous bight (cord A), which brings it over the right half of cord B.

Tighten as described in step 5.


Right Half

Step 7:  Use the right half of cord A again, since it's closest to you.  Fold it, then pass it through the previous bight.

Tighten as described in step 5.

Cord B Right

Step 8:  Repeat step 4, making the next bight with the right half of cord B.



Step 9:  Repeat steps 5 - 8 several times, until the Genoese Zipper is the size you want to make.

  Step 10:  Determine which half of both cords is closest to you.  Pass the ENDS of those cords through the last bight you make (not another bight).

Tighten the last bight firmly.

Button Knot
  The cords you passed through the last bight can now be used to make a button knot for a clasp.  

This image shows the Oysterman Knot, which is a good option for the Genoese Zipper.

The other half of both cords can be finished off in whatever method is suitable for your project.

By using any text or images on Free Macrame Patterns, you are agreeing to our Terms of Use


Have any comments about the Genoese Zipper? Contact Me.