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Important Macrame Terms

M - Z

Important Macrame Terms is the second page of the Macrame Dictionary.  Below are descriptions of the unique words and abbreviations used in Macrame, starting with the letters M - Z. 

The definitions, information, and images in both pages of the dictionary are important, so be sure to read the first page:  Macrame Terms

Navigation Tips: Clicking on the images will bring up larger photos.   Clicking on the links will bring you to the pages described in the text.

M - N



A type of knot that is completely or partially filled in when tightened.  It's usually made with two or more cords.

This is the Masthead Mat.  The Celtic Mat page has three rectangular designs.



A type of material that has been treated to look like silver, gold, or copper metal.

This yarn has been coated with wax and glitter to produce the shiny effect.  See Synthetic Materials for more information.



This term is used to describe projects made with very fine cord materials 2mm or less in size.

See Micro-Macrame to view jewelry patterns.


Mounting (or Mount)

The beginning stage of a Macrame project, when the cords are attached to a ring, dowel, purse handle, jewelry clasp, or another cord.

Important Macrame terms like this must be understood by beginners new to this craft.

Mounting Knot

Mounting Knot

A specific class of knots used during the mounting process.  The Double Half Hitch (DHH) is the most common.

Picot Mounts are designs where the cords are folded to form loops.  They are then attached with DHH.


Natural Materials

Cord materials made from plants or animals.

Hemp, Jute, Cotton, Flax are all plant-based materials. Leather and Silk come from animals.

See Natural Materials for more information.


Novelty Buttons

Buttons that are shaped into a variety of appealing designs. 

They can often be used in place of beads, to decorate jewelry and other small Macrame projects.


O - R



The process where you divide the cords into groups, prior to tying certain knots.


OH (or OK) = Overhand Knot

One of the easiest and most useful knots, the Overhand knot can be used in all stages of a Macrame design. 



A type of jewelry decoration with a loop at the top. 

The cord is passed through the loop, and the pendant dangles below it.



Loops that stand out along edges of certain knot designs.  

Picot designs were popular in Macrame projects of the late 1800's to early 1900's.


Plait (or Braid)

Important Macrame terms for designs made by weaving and crossing several cords.

Several styles are located in the Learn Macrame page, in the Braids and Bars section.


Project Board

A necessary tool for Macrame, a project board can be made from cord, foam, cardboard, or other materials.

It's purpose is to hold the pins used to secure the cords.


RLH = Reverse Larks Head

The Larks Head knot is often turned around so that the back faces forward, because it looks similar to a Double Half Hitch.

It's used when both knots are in the same area.  Extra Half Hitches are sometimes added, too.





A vintage mounting technique, Scallops are knotted loops that rest along the edge of a crafted item.

The Buttonhole Scallops shown here are the most common type.



One of the most important Macrame terms, this word is used when indicating a specific area of the cord, knot, or design.

In this image, the middle segment is taller than the others.


Sennit (or Sinnet)

These are also very important Macrame terms beginners need to know.  They are designs where knots are tied one after another, forming a chain.

This image shows a Square knot Sennit.


Shank Button

A type of button that has a loop in the back, also called a Shank.

This type of button can be used to decorate a cord, similar to a bead or pendant.



A type of knotted design that has twisted raised areas.

The Spiral Stitch (Half Knot Spiral) shown here is one of the most frequently used knotting techniques for Macrame plant hangers.


Standing End (or Secured End)

This is one of the most important Macrame terms you need to know.

This term is used to describe the end of a cord that is secured, and not used to construct the knot.


SK = Square Knot

The most frequently seen decorative knot in Macrame projects. 

The Square Knot is used to tie several types of patterns, including sennits and alternating designs.



Vintage Macrame terms are still used today. 

The term "Stitch" was used to describe certain knots, back in the late 1800's and early 1900's. 

The Basket Stitch shown here is one example.



Chinese and Celtic Knots are derived from symbols that represent specific concepts and beliefs.

The Chinese Mystic knot (Pan Chang) symbolizes the mysteries of the universe, and the endless cycle of life.


Symmetry (or Symmetrical)

Designs that are equal on both sides, or at the top and bottom. 

Your goal should always be to create balanced designs like the wing pattern shown here.


Synthetic Material

Cord material made through a chemical process, such as the nylon Parachute cord shown here.

See Synthetic Materials for more information.


T - Z


Tension (or Taut)

One of the most important Macrame terms, this refers to cords that are secured so they don't bend or move. 

Usually the cords are pulled and/or stretched slightly.



To separate the fibers in a cord.  This happens on its own after a cord is cut, which is why you should always prepare cords.

Sometimes cords are deliberately unraveled and brushed, like this tassel. 



Knots or patterns arranged up and down rather than side to side.  Most projects are made vertically, which also means top to bottom.

This is the Boot Lace Bar.

Vintage Knot

Vintage Knots

Several knots used in Macrame are considered vintage techniques, because they were developed in the early 1900's or prior.

See Learn Macrame for examples.


Weave (or Weaving)

Very important Macrame terms used to describe steps where you alternate over and under cords to form a knot or pattern.


Working Cord

Of all the important Macrame terms in the Dictionary, this is the one you MUST KNOW.

It is the name given to the cord (or cords) used to tie the knots. Also called a "knotting cord".


Working End

This term is given to the end of a cord that does all the movement as the knot is being constructed.

It's the opposite of "standing end", which is not moved.

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Have any comments about these Macrame Terms? Contact Me.

Macrame Cord Divider