The Charm and Art of Macramé… Was it Just for Hippies?

Fads | June 15, 2018

Macramé is described and defined as a succession of weaving and knotting used to make something. Years ago, it was associated with the groovy counterculture. Macramé can be created on any scale from small to large and usually involves an intricate and/or delicate pattern. This craft is really an art and true macramé is not done with machines but by hand.

Macramé is a craft of knotting using cotton, hemp and/or jute rope.

The macramé owl was especially popular!

The art of macramé was used to create a variety of products. It became especially popular during the 19th century for American home décor. It sounds strange now, but many people proudly displayed various macramé items around the house. Everything from tablecloths, wall hangings and plant hangers could be seen in just about every house in the 70’s.

Even macramé window curtains made the list of household items. They didn’t really help block the light or provide a lot of privacy, but they were really groovy!

Hanging macramé planters were also popular. They were also huge dust catchers but no worries… if it was popular, it was groovy!

Trying to wrangle a spider plant or a philodendron into a macramé plant hanger is no easy task. If you’ve ever done it, you probably ended up with a few stray leaves by the time you were done.

One of the charming qualities about macramé is that no two patterns are exactly the same.

Since true macramé is hand woven and knotted, no two patterns are exactly the same. The number of pattern and color combinations are literally countless. Intricate and delicate weaving is what gives macramé it’s charm and appeal. Since it is a “do it yourself” or D.I.Y. project, patterns can be as individual as the person making them.

Macramé is similar to crocheting but became very popular in the groovy era.

Not surprisingly, macramé was very popular with hippies and the counterculture generation back in the '70s. It became somewhat of a stereotypical hippie “thing.” That being the case, the true charm of macramé was found in clothing, apparel and jewelry.

Macramé played a huge part in the counterculture fashion world. Because of the “nature of the beast,” it was a great way to express one’s individuality. It was fun, fringy, unique and very, very hip!

In the '70s most people thought macramé was only for hippies and beatniks. For that reason, macramé became somewhat of the art of choice for flower children. Since flower children and hippies tended to embrace nature, this handmade style was regarded as a valuable art. This, in opposition to mass-production and commercialism of machine manufactured products.

Both men and women were wearing macramé in the groovy era.

Macramé clothing was one of those fashion items that wasn’t worn for practicality. It wasn’t intended to keep a person warm, dry or protected in any way.  It really wasn't just for hippies.  It was strictly worn to make a statement; and that it did!

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Rebeka Knott


Rebeka grew up in the 1960’s & 1970’s and has always subscribed to the theory that a positive attitude will take you far! She is a wife and mother of 3 with a fun-loving spirit, believing that family and relationships are invaluable.