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Macrame Terms


Macrame Terms A - E

In Macrame Terms you begin the process of learning the definitions and abbreviations used in this craft.

Words that start with the letters A - E are described on this page.

Click on the links or images for more information.



  Adjacent Cords

Adjacent: Cords or knots resting next to each other.

When tying Alternating Square Knots, you use 2 cords from each of the two knots resting next to each other (3 - 6), to tie the knots in next row.  


  Alternating Half Hitch  

Alternating: Patterns where you tie a knot with one or more cords, and then switch to different cord(s) to tie the next knot.

The Alternating Half Hitch shown is a good example of this technique.



Another way to create an Alternating pattern is to use two colors, as in this Contrast Belt.

Notice that the Square knots are tied in alternating directions as well; right with blue and left with turquoise.


  Alternating Square Knots   (ASK) = Alternating Square Knots: This abbreviation is one of the most important Macrame terms you need to know, since these knots are frequently used in Macrame patterns.  
Macrame Cord Divider


  Macrame Band  

Band: A knotted design that is wide and flat.

This image shows the Link Weave, a modern decorative knot.



Bangle: A design with a continuous pattern.

This Bangle Bracelet was made with the Turks Head Knot.


  Double Half Hitch Bar  

Bar: A series of knots that form a distinct, raised area in the pattern.  A bar can be horizontal, vertical or diagonal.

This image shows how the Double Half Hitch is used to create a horizontal bar.


  Bug Belly Bar  

Macrame terms often have two meanings.

The term "bar" is also used to describe a wide design, such as in this Bug Belly Bar.




Bight: A narrow folded segment of a cord, which can be pushed through loops or other portions of the knot.

You need to fully understand unique Macrame terms like this one, in order to master this craft.


  Body of Handbag  

Body:  The body is the main section of the project, created after you complete the mounting process.

The body of this Ribbon Handbag, for example, is the portion between the handle and the bottom.



Braid (or Plait): Crossing 3 or more cords so they weave over or under each other.

This image shows an Interlaced Plait made with several cords.


  Braided Cord

Braided Cord: A type of material in which the individual fibers are braided to form the cord. 

It's usually sturdier than materials that are formed by twisting.

The image shows a close-up of what braided cord looks like. For more information, see Macrame Cord.



Bundle: Refers to a group of cords that are gathered together. A knot is usually tied around them, to keep the cords in a group.

In this example, a Wrapped Knot is tied around a bundle of cords.


  Button Knot  

Button Knot: This is one of several Macrame terms that are unique to this craft. It is a specific type of decorative Knot that is round and firm.

This image shows a Celtic Button Knot.


  Buttonhole Clasp  

(BH) = Buttonhole: In the early days of Macrame, the Vertical Larks Head Knot was called the Buttonhole Knot. It was used to create circular designs that a button could pass through, or for decoration. 

See the Buttonhole Clasp and Buttonhole Scallops for more information.

Macrame Cord Divider


  Celtic Knot  

Celtic: Artistic patterns and designs that originated in Europe, particularly Wales, Ireland and Scotland. The Macrame knots from these designs have the same qualities found in weaving.

This is a Celtic Triangle Knot, which is derived from the Triquetra symbol.



Center:  This word is used to indicate the knot or space that is in the middle of a design, like the Square Knot outlined in this Vintage Diamond.

It is also used to describe the ACTION of folding a cord and matching the ends, so the cord in balanced. 



Charm: A small bead made of metal or other material, that is designed to dangle.  They are usually less than 1-inch in size.

Charms are used in bracelets, necklaces and even earrings. They usually have a hole or tab at the top.


  Chinese Knot  

Chinese Macrame:  Knotted designs that originate in China and other Asian countries.

This Crown Knot is one of several Chinese knots described in the Learn Macrame section of this site.


  Cloisonne Bead  

Cloisonne: A type of bead that has metal filaments, which are added to outline a color or design. These beads are usually made of metal and are very colorful.

See Macrame Beads for more information.


  Double Buttonhole

Combination Knot: Two or more decorative knots that are used together to form a new type of knot or design.

The Double Buttonhole Stitch is made with both Larks Head knots and Square Knots.


  Two Cords

Cord: Macrame Terms sometimes have two meanings.  Cord (or cord material) is what you use to create Macrame projects.

This term is also used to describe a specific cord when you are using two or more in a design. 



Core: You need to learn Macrame terms like this one, in order to understand some patterns.

This refers to a group of cords that run through the center of a knot. You use the working cords to tie the knot onto them.  It means the same as the terms "fillers" or "holding cords".


  Crook of Loop   Crook: The curved portion of a loop, which is usually directly across from the crossing point.  
Macrame Cord Divider

D - E

  Diagonal DHH  

Diagonal: A cord, or row of knots, that runs from upper left to lower right (or the opposite).

The image shows a design of Double Half Hitches arranged in diagonal rows.


  Diameter = Width  

Diameter: The width of a piece of material, usually described in millimeters.

Most cord materials used in standard Macrame projects are either 4mm or 6mm in size. For Micro-Macrame, the cord's width is usually less than 2mm.


  Double Half Hitch  

(DHH) = Double Half Hitch: This is one of many Macrame terms you won't see in other crafts, since it refers to a specific type of knot. You will see this abbreviation frequently in Macrame patterns.

The knot is simply two Half Hitches resting beside each other.


  Celic Bracelet

Doubled: Patterns in which the end of the first cord (or a separate cord) is used to thicken the knot.

Following the path of the first cord is the preferred method for doubling a design. Contrasting colors are often used in this process, as in this Celtic Bracelet.


  Excess Material  

Excess Material: The portion of cords that are left over after a knot or pattern is completed.

Usually you cut off the extra material, but sometimes extra steps are taken to hide the ends or to make a fringe.


Macrame Cord Divider
Finished learning the Macrame Terms on this page? Click on the links below to move on to the other pages in this section.

Macrame Definitions: F through M


Important Macrame Terms: N through Z


Back to Macrame Dictionary Main Page

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