Macramé Of The '70s: The Softest, Shaggiest, Most '70s Art Form Ever

By | June 14, 2018

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Detail of the cover of 'New Macramé,' a typical '70s macramé craft magazine. Source:

It was the crafty craze of the '70s -- macramé! A weaving and knotting technique that made soft, shaggy, volumetric things that could be hung or worn. Macramé was -- and is -- an extremely versatile art form, and in the far-out hippie and post-hippie culture, it was appropriate in any room. Macramé pets, macramé owls, macramé plant hangers, macramé dream catchers, macramé furniture -- if you could dream it up, there's a good chance you could make it. And people did, filling their houses, walls, and wardrobes with macramé.

Of all the '70s furnishings and knickknacks that look hopelessly dated today, macramé might be the champ. There's just nothing like a few macramé hangings to suggest that the person who lives here had a great time back in the Age of Aquarius. And so, while we smirk a bit at macramé today, it is like a hanging secret or symbol. Any Millennial or Gen-Xer can put on some Fleetwood Mac or turtle-wax the newly restored GTO in the driveway. But if you've got a wise old macramé owl keeping watch in your converted basement rec room, you were there, man. And part of you still is.

Part of you still is. Let's look at some macramé.

Knotty And Nice

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'Florentine Flourish,' 'Oslo Abstract,' Scandinavian Sketch,' and 'Alpine Windows' -- scans from 'Wall Decorating With Macramé' by Otti Miles. Source:

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