Macrame is a questionnaire of textile-making that will not involve the normal way of weaving or knitting, but alternatively by some knots. It's believed to have started as early as the 13th century in the Western Hemisphere with the Arab weavers. They'd knot the surplus yarn and threads on the ends of hand loomed fabrics for towels, veils and shawls into decorative fringes. What I found interesting is that Sailors were the people to really make this popular and were credited with spreading this art form to different countries through the ports they'd stop in. They'd decorate the handles of knives, bottles and other items on the ship and utilize them to barter for something they wanted or needed once they reached land. Around the nineteenth century sailors even made belts and hammocks with a process called "square knotting" ;.
Materials which can be commonly useful for macrame are cotton twine, hemp, leather or yarn. Although you can find variations, the primary knots would be the square knot, full hitch and double half hitches. Jewelry is frequently made by combining knots with beads, shells, rings or gemstones. If you take a look at a lot of the friendship bracelets worn by school children you'll notice they've been made by using makrome ipi.
When I was reading through to the fundamental knots which can be commonly used in creating macrame I came across the Cavandoli Macrame.This style is constructed of two colors' that contains two basic knots which can be inverted creating a stiffer sort of fabric that works great for table mats, purses, book covers and etc. Cavandoli Macrame is named after Valentina Cavandoli who received a gold medal of recognition in 1961 before she died at age 97 in 1969. In Italy around the end of the First World War this special lady became the headmistress of a residence for the poor and/or orphaned children in Turin. This was a facility where around 100 children could be housed involving the ages of 3 and 15. To hold the youngsters busy she taught them a skill that she'd learned from her great grandmother, macrame. The kids would make items to sell in charity markets and careful records were kept of every child's income and could be distributed in their mind when they'd leave the home. Sadly your home where she was Casa del Sole only survived until 1936 when because of the political situation in Italy it became too difficult for the benefactors of the house to continue.
The enthusiasm for macrame seemed to fade for a time, but was created popular again in the 1970's by the American neo-hippies and grunge crowd in making jewelry. This art was often featured in handmade necklaces, anklets and bracelets adorned with handmade glass beads and natural elements such as bone and shell.
Macrame is a fun craft to test and you may get started with a small budget. There are a large amount of free or reasonable patterns available and some great just how to books to simply help allow you to get started. This would be a perfect craft to truly get your children, grandchildren or anyone involved in.