Navy crew knotting macramé garlands on deck

A little journey into the history of macramé...

A little journey into the history of Macramé⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Most people associate macramé with the 1970s and consider it a female pastime. However, did you know that macramé is a millennia-old craft brought to the Western world by men? Yes that's true! ;)⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

The Arabic word "migramah" means something like "embroidered veil" or "ornamental strips" made to keep flies away from camels in the desert of North Africa. Oriental crafts, dating back to the Babylonian period, were brought from the Moors to the Iberian Peninsula, from where it spread throughout the rest of Europe. During the Victorian era, macramé gained so much popularity in England that it became a household product in the form of tablecloths, curtains, bedspreads and much more. In the 19th century, British and American sailors created macramé products to pass time on long voyages at sea: garlands, hammocks, belts and more were knotted on deck and then sold or exchanged on arrival on the mainland, spreading the ship further to China and America. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Interesting, isn't it?Will anyone also report on us, the current global macramé movement, which is largely supported by social media such as Instagram and the wide availability of information and macramé articles? We won't know, but we certainly know it's there to stay!

Shop ornament made by navy soldiers, credit Gus Schuettler 

ENGLISH VERSION:

A little travel into the history of macramé...

I am sure most of you associate macramé with the 1970’s and regard it as a female pastime?!
However did you know that macramé is a thousands of years old craft that has been brought to the Western world by men? Yes, that’s true! ;)
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
The Arabic word “migramah” means as much as “embroidered veil” or “ornamental fringe”, which were made to keep flies off camels in Northern Africa. The oriental craft, which dates back to the Babylonian Age, was taken to the Iberian Peninsula by the Moorish, from where it spread through the rest of Europe. During the Victorian Age macramé gained so much popularity in England, that it became a household product in form of tablecloths, curtains, bedspreads and more. In the 19th Century British and American sailors where making macramé to pass time on long rides at sea: garlands, hammocks, belts and more. These were sold or bartered upon arrival, spreading the craft further into China and America.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Interesting isn't it? Will someone also report about us, the current global macramé movement, largely caused through Social Media such as Instagram and the wide availability of information and macrame supplies? We won't know, but certainly we know it is there to stay! 

 

Navy officer knotting macrame, also called fancywork, credit Gus Schuettler

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