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1970s Fads: Macrame

By Sheila Macias

"Wow man, check out this groovy macramé I made."

It was part of the craft wave (including string art) of the Super70s and like most groovy things from that decade, it has made its way back. In the Seventies it seemed that just about everyone had something macramé. There was everything from the simple plant hanger, hanging chair, table, ashtray, fish bowl, and a whole array of clever hanging objects. Does your Mother still have the macramé owl you made hanging on the back of the bathroom door? There were also curtains, room dividers, wall hangings, hammocks and holiday decorations. Many of these objects were adorned with beads of all types and colors. Ceramic was hot then also, so the really groovy thing to do was incorporate the ceramic butterflies you just made into the coolest hanging table ever. I even had a pair of macramé earrings.

The first macramé jute that I used was terrible fibrous stuff. It was course, smelly and small itchy fibers went everywhere. I was so thankful when I was able to buy acrylic or nylon type cord. This became very popular after the hoof and mouth scare of the Seventies (warnings about using jute that came from other countries, such as India, appeared on the news suggesting it may have been contaminated in some way with hoof and mouth disease). It quietly went away and no outbreaks were announced.

I can still buy that type of jute or cord today although I only use it for tying plants in the garden. When I am crafting I use the blends. I made a plant hanger just the other day and it brought back memories of learning not to be square but how to tie a square knot.




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