Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tassels and Macramé

I have always admired the Italian approach to Macramé. It recalls nothing like what North Americans tend to think of, which are the hemp plant hangers and decorative owls of the 1970s. No, Italians have a far more tasteful and timeless approach to Macramé which includes elaborate fringes for curtains and tablecloths, bags, cushions, Christmas Tree decorations, tablecentres and tassels! They also make figures out of Macramé, like Nativity scenes and angels and even animals, flowers and monograms!

I remember my mother attaching her work to corkboard or hanging it from a doorhandle and sitting on the floor... Italians have it all figured out, they have many different cushions for making your Macramé on and I have to say they are very comfortable to use, you won't go back to going without one!

Last year in Italy I took a class in how to make a Macramé tassel:

It was an intense 2-day course which lasted all day... I mean all day! Our tireless teacher Liliana Babbi Cappelletti held the classes in her home and served lunch and dinner. We practiced using different threads, from raw jute to pearl cotton, then we worked the tassel. I didn't get finished and had to complete it at home but it all worked out in the end. Lilli's instructional books are incredibly detailed and very easy to follow.

I'm hooked!


  1. Cara Jeanine
    scusa se scrivo in italiano, ma mi è difficile scrivere in inglese. Apprezzo tantissimo il tuo blog sempre così dettagliato e ben fatto. Complimenti e continua così. Un abbraccio

  2. Grazie mille Ivana!

    Mi piacerebbe leggere il tuo se mai avessi l'idea di iniziarne uno!!

    Jeanine in Canada

  3. Hi Jeanine,

    Surely this can't be macrame - its looks wonderful! To me, macrame means knotty owls and ugly pot plant holders. But your Italian macrame tassel is amazing!

  4. Thanks Yvette!
    You should try some - I'm *very* sure you'd make beautiful things!

  5. That tassel looks great! I'm most intrigued. And thankyou for telling me that macrame *isn't* all owls and pot holders. I was a child in the 70s and made my fair share :-)

  6. LOL! Me too!
    This is truly beautiful stuff done in all kinds of materials right up to the finest silks. Something I never would have thought of!

  7. Hi Jeanine,
    I love reading your blog! I am an avid macrame artist in the States (see my book on Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/Micro-Macrame-Beaded-Designs-Jewelry-Crystals/dp/0312380852/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1236613244&sr=8-1 ). As you can see, my work is much closer to Italian macrame than the hippy hempy stuff from the 1960's. I would love to send you a free copy of my book. Email me at
    jofre146(at)juno(dot)com -

  8. I don't have any idea about Macrame tassel ,had seen macrame jewelery.What it is use for?Also how to make these?

  9. Some people use big tassels like this as a key holder for a chest of drawers or cabinet, some use them for attaching to ties for holding back open curtains. The lady who taught me the class is working on an instructional booklet just for this tassel, I will let everyone know when it is ready. In the meantime, this is a great website to learn from: http://www.ilmiomacrame.com/