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Important Macrame Terms

Macrame Terms N - Z

Here you will continue to learn important Macrame terms and their definitions. 

On this page are terms and abbreviations starting with the letters N - Z.

Click on the images or links for more information.




N - O



  Flax is a Natural Material  

Natural: Cord materials are often made from plants, wood, or other substances found in nature.

Flax, Jute, and Hemp are made from plant fibers, and are very popular materials for Macrame.




  Netting   Netting: A pattern of knots formed with open space between the rows.

Used in hammocks, curtains, wall hangings and more.



  Novelty Buttons  

Novelty Buttons: Fancy and uniquely shaped buttons that can be used in crafts as well as Macrame.

Often used to decorate designs, instead of using beads. 

See Macrame Beads for more information.




  Organized Cords  

Organize: This term is used when working with cords that are grouped together.

This Lanyard Knot is made with multiple cords that need to be neatly arranged, or organized, so the completed knot looks attractive.




  Overhand Knot   (OH) = Overhand Knot: This is the easiest of all the decorative knots described in this site.

It can be used in all stages of Macrame patterns, including clasps.




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P - R



  Pandora Bead  

Pandora Beads: A unique type of glass or metal bead that has a silver or gold lining on the inside of the hole.

These beads have become very popular in Europe.

For more information, see Macrame Beads.





Pendant: A medium or large size decoration that has a loop at the top, so it dangles below a cord.

There are many types of pendants available for Macrame projects, made of metal, glass, or even cord material.





Picot: Some important Macrame terms like this one were more often seen in the early days of this craft than they are now.

Picots are loops that stand out along edges of knotted designs.  To learn how to use this vintage technique, see Picot Designs.




  Plait = Braid  

Plait: Crossing 3 or more cords in an alternating pattern will form a plait, also called a braid.

This image shows an Interlaced Plait called the King Solomon Braid, which is made with 3 cords.




  Project Board  

Project Board: An item used in both Macrame and Jewelry that is made from cork or other material.

Cords can be secured to projects boards with pins, to help control them.

See Macrame Essentials for more information.





Macrame Cord Divider



Satin Cord

Satin Cord:  This synthetic material has a very attractive shine, and is great for Macrame jewelry.

 It's usually made from Rayon or Nylon.

These Butterfly Earrings were made with Satin.



  Buttonhole Scallop  

Scallops: Important Macrame terms like this one are rarely seen anymore. 

Scallops are loops of knots, created along the top or sides of crafted items.

This Buttonhole Scallop is a vintage design.





Segment: This term is used when describing specific areas of a knot or cord.

The different segments of this Celtic Triangle Knot are marked in red.




  Half Hitch Sennit  

Sennit (or Sinnet): This is one of the most important Macrame terms you need to become familiar with.

It means to make a chain of knots, tying one right after the next.

They can be tied vertically, as in the image, as well as horizontally or diagonally.




  Shank Button  

Shank Button: A type of button with a hole running through a tab in the back.

Buttons can be used as claps, as well as decorations.

See Macrame Beads for more information.




  Spiral Stitch  

Spiral: A chain of knots that will twist as they are tied.

The Spiral Stitch shown in the image is very commonly used in Macrame, and is a vintage design.

The Half Hitch Spiral is a similar technique, but uses a different type of knot.




  Tail = Standing End  

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

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




  Square Knot  

(SK) = Square Knot: The most common decorative knot used in Macrame.

You need to know how to tie the Square knot with filler cords running through the center.  




  Basket Stitch  

Stitch: An important Macrame term that describes specific types of patterns used in the early 1900's.

The image shows a type of Basket Stitch, which is the Vintage name for one variation of the Alternating Half Hitch.




  Celtic Circle

Symbolic: Many Chinese and Celtic Knots are derived from symbols used by artists to represent specific concepts and beliefs.

This Celtic Circle Knot, for example, is designed with linked circles and is a symbol representing "eternal life".





Symmetry: The the process of tying the knots so the overall design is balanced.

The knots on all four sides are tied so the design looks the same. Weaving is often used to create symmetry.




  Synthetic Cord

Synthetic: This term refers to man-made materials, so is the opposite of "natural". Polypropylene and Nylon are two types of synthetic material.

This image shows Nylon Paracord, which is a popular type of man-made cord material.

See Macrame Cord for more information.





Macrame Cord Divider


T - Z



  Holding Cords are Taut  

Taut (or Tension): Holding cords usually need to be pulled straight and secured so they are tighter than the working cords.

In the image, the 3 black holding cords are pulled taut.




  Yarn - Soft Texture  

Texture: A description of what the cord material feels like. In the image, this Yarn is very soft to the touch.

Jute and Hemp, on the other hand, have a firm texture.




  Triquetra Symbol  

Triquetra: A Celtic art symbol with triple pointed loops.

This design symbolizes Body, Mind, and Spirit, the Triple Goddess, the Trinity, and Earth, Sea and Sky.

This common symbol can be made with cord to form the Celtic Triangle Knot.





Unravel: To separate the strands that make up a piece of cord material.

In the Bell Tower, the cords for the fringe at the top and bottom are separated into the individual fibers, and then brushed.

This Macrame technique was popular in the 1970's.




  Vertical Sennit of Half Hitches  

Vertical: This is one of the most important Macrame terms you need to understand.

It is a cord, sennit, or knot that is arranged up and down rather than side to side.

This is a sennit of Vertical Larks Head knots.




  Diamond Stitch

Vintage: A pattern, knot, or technique popular in the early 1900’s (or before).

Certain knotting techniques, like this Diamond Stitch (Cross Knot) were heavily used in Macrame projects made in the 1800's, but are rarely used today.




  Interlocking Weave  

Weave: This is another very important Macrame term you need to understand.

It's the process of moving cords so they pass over and under several segments, usually in an alternating pattern.




  Working Cords versus Fillers  

Working Cord (or Knotting Cord): You need to fully understand important Macrame terms like this one, in order to master this craft.

A working cord is used to tie the knots. In this image you can clearly see that the knots are tied with the green cord. The yellow cord holds the knots.




  Working End

Working End: When creating knots, one end is often secured to the board, and is called the tail, standing, or starting end.

The other end is used to construct the knot, so is called the working end.





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Are you finished reviewing all of the important Macrame terms in this Macrame Dictionary?   Click on the links below to look at the other pages.


Macrame Terms: A thru E


Macrame Definitions: F thru L


Back to Macrame Dictionary: Main Page

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