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Macramé Terminology Explained

Updated: Apr 4, 2023

Many crafts come with their own set of lingo or terminology to learn in order to follow patterns or instructions. As if learning a totally new skill set isn't hard enough! Macramé is no exception, with its own set of commonly used words and phrases to explain placement, movements, materials, and more. Here is a short glossary to use in case you're having trouble wrapping your head around a term or piece of macramé slang!

Adjacent: Next to each other.

Alternating: Tying a knot with one cord or group of cords, then switching to tie the same type of knot with another cord or group of cords.

Anchor: The object that a project will be attached to as a base. Examples include wooden dowels, branches, keychain clasps, or rings.

Bundle: A group of cords that have been gathered together.

Column: A vertical arrangement of knots.

Fringe: A finishing technique in which the loose strings are untwisted, unraveled or combed out (Fringe can also simply refer to any hanging, loose ends of string typically at the bottom of a piece).

Hitch: A knotting action that is used to attach cords to other cords or objects.

Inverted: A term used to describe something flipped upside down. Example: an inverted “V” shape.

Lead cord (aka travelling cord or filler cord): The cord that remains stationary as knots are tied around it.

Loop: The round or circular shape that is created when two parts of a cord are crossed or folded together.

Ply: The number of strands of string that are twisted together to form a rope. For example, 3-ply rope has 3 separate strands of string that are twisted together while 6 ply has 6 strands.

Row: A horizontal arrangement of knots.

Sinnet(aka sennit): A chain, or column, of identical knots made one after the other.

Tension: Referring to the tightness with which a knot is tied.

Weave: Placing cords so that they pass underneath other cords or knots.

Working cord (aka knotting cord): the cord that is used to actually tie knots, sometimes over other stationary cords known as lead cords.

Are there any other macramé or knot related terms you don't see here? Leave a comment below and I'll add it to the list!

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