7 Simple Macramé Knots You Should Know

Learn from this step-by-step video tutorial and our illustrated library of knots

Macrame Knots guide

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Table of Contents:

Lark’s Head Knot

Square Knot

Spiral Knot

Strength, Dimensions and Length

Double Half Hitch Knot (Clove Hitch)

Gathering Knot

Reversed Lark’s Head Knot

Overhand Knot

What is Macramé (terms and history)

Macramé Rope Supplies

How to Choose Cord Length

Choosing the Cord Diameter

When starting out, macramé knots may seem intimidating. Macramé gained popularity as a versatile textile art for creating comfy home decorations. It can be fairly approachable if you learn basic types of knots with just a string and a dowel rod and a little bit of practice. Create stunning yet functional pieces of art to give your home a dash of vintage style.

Apart from wall hangings, with a few macramé basic knots, you can make keychains, jewelry, plant hangers, feathers, garlands, jar hangers, Christmas ornaments, produce bags, watch bands, curtains, coasters, straps, bouquet wraps, headbands, bookmarks, dreamcatchers, rainbows – the possibilities are endless.

As far as macramé supplies are concerned, Hemptique offers premier quality twine, yarn, ropes, and cord for all kinds of projects. In this tutorial, we used Hemptique 6mm white cotton rope. It is perfect for any kind of wonderful string art. It comes in four color variations – white, black, natural and gray. Rope is made of recycled cotton, it is imported from Belgium and Hemptique customers use it for wall hangings, plant hangers and dreamcatchers. Rope length on a spool is 108ft. 

All our cotton and hemp macramé ropes are sustainable, eco-friendly, and biodegradable, so our mission is to bring premier quality macramé materials to consumers.

How to Tie Basic Macramé Knots Video Tutorial

In this easy-to-follow knots guide, you will be able to learn several elementary knots to help you get started. This post will be excellent for beginners if you are just starting your hobby. We will provide you with a comprehensive tutorial on the most common knots that you can mix and match to create different projects.

Macramé Terms Explained

You may not be familiar with some terms macramé lovers are using. Let’s solve the mystery:

  • Sennit: it is a column of knots that are all the same. Square knots are usually used to make a sennit.
  • Leading cord: It is the one that leads the pattern where you want it to go.
  • Working cords: All cords in a macramé project.
  • Knotting cords: Cords that are used to tie knots in your pattern.
  • Filler cords: Cords around which the knots are tied.
  • Row: It is a horizontal line of knots usually tied side by side and tied with a different working cord.
  • Finishing macramé knots: These knots are used for securing the cord ends from unraveling, like a gathering knot.


  • Double Half Hitch Knot
  • Gathering Knot
  • Lark's Head Knot
  • Reversed Lark's Knot
  • Overhand Knot
  • Square Knot
  • Spiral Knot
Double Half Hitch Knot

Double Half Hitch Knot

  • It is also known as a clove hitch.
  • You will need six ropes attached with three lark’s head knots.
  • Take the rope on the far left and point it in a direction you want it to go – it is called a leading rope.
  • All the remaining ropes (working ropes) will be tied around the leading rope.
  • Take the first working rope and form a loop with a leading rope.
  • Twist the working rope upwards, send it through the loop, and pull it tight.
  • Take the same working cord and send it to the front of the leading rope to form a loop.
  • Twist it around and go through the loop.
  • Once again, pull it tight, and you will get the first double half hitch knot.
  • Move on to the next working rope.
  • Take it and put it behind the leading rope to form a loop.
  • Send the working cord over and around to go through the loop.
  • Pull it tight.
  • The same working cord will form a loop in front of the leading rope.
  • It curls around to go through the loop and pull it tight.
  • Always hold a leading rope in your hand.
  • The process is the same if you want to go back in the same direction.
  • This time the leading rope will be on the outer right side.
Gathering Knot

Gathering Knot

  • It is used to hold the knots on end together; also known as a wrapping knot.
  • We are using a spiral knot example to show how to make this knot.
  • You will need another rope to make it.
  • One end of the new rope is short, while another is long.
  • You will form a loop that hangs below.
  • Stick the loop in front of all the cords you want to put together and pinch it on top to hold it in place.
  • The loop will hang below, and the short end will be right on top.
  • Take the long end and start wrapping it around all the cords, so the short end sticks on top.
  • Wrap it as many times as you desire.
  • Take the longer end you are using to wrap the strings and stick it through the formed loop.
  • Take the short end on top and pull it, so the loop and the longer end are pulled into the knot behind the wrap.
  • It is now secured and in place, so take scissors and trim off the ends.
Lark's Head Knot

Lark's Head Knot

  • Cut your rope 5 feet long.
  • It is an attaching knot to a rod, hoop, stick, or ring.
  • Fold a rope evenly into half.
  • Create a loop and put it over one side of the dowel.

  • Pull the remaining rope through the loop you created.
  • Tighten it.
Reversed Lark's Knot

Reversed Lark's Knot

  • It is like a lark’s head knot but in reverse.
  • Fold the rope in half and place the loop under the dowel.
  • Fold the loop towards you, but over the dowel.

  • Pull the untied ends of the cord through the loop and tighten it.
  • The knot will create spacing between two ropes on the dowel.
Overhead Knot

Overhand Knot

  • It is a foundation knot – it forms the basis for other knots.
  • Lay one side of the rope over the rest to form a loop.
  • The bottom of the loop is usually a place where the knot will form.
  • Tuck the end of the cord through the loop.
  • Hold the ends of the rope and tighten it.
  • You will get a small knot that has its uses.
Square Knot

Square Knot

  • You can do entire projects with only this knot – it is very useful. You will need four ropes attached with two lark’s head knots.
  • Take the rope from the far right and cross it over the two ropes in the middle.
  • Take the far left rope, and cross it over the right rope.
  • The outer left rope goes behind the two in the middle and through the loop.
  • Pull it tight without letting the cord twist, and a half square knot is completed.
  • Take the outer left rope and cross it over the two ropes in the middle to form a loop.
  • The outer right rope goes in front of the left one.
  • Send it behind the two ropes in the middle and through the loop.
  • Pull it tight, and you will get the square knot.
Spiral Knot

Spiral Knot

  • It is a variation of the square knot, also called a half square knot.
  • Attach four ropes with two lark’s head knots.
  • Take the outer right rope and cross it over the two middle ropes to make a loop.
  • The left rope goes over the right rope behind the two middle ones and through the loop.
  • When you pull it tight, you will get a half square knot.
  • Repeating the same steps will get a spiral knot resembling a DNA chain.


Macramé is an ancient fiber art of textile production using knotting techniques. It is a pretty versatile form of art that can be used to form almost everything – from jewelry to clothes. Macramé is done only by hand, without any tools. Tying knots produce beautiful patterns, so you can play with different designs.


It is considered that macramé art originated back in the 13th century, from the Arabic weavers. They used the knot-tying technique to decorate the fringes on the veils and shawls. Many believe this art dates back even further, to 3rd century China, where hanging, lanterns, and ceremonial garments are considered an ancient form of macrame. 

Moors and European sailors are those to blame for the spreading of macramé. They used this art form as a way to pass long days on the sea. This art reached its peak in the Victorian era when many young ladies taught macrame – it was a hugely popular hobby.

During the 70s, it became popular again when belts, bikinis, furnishings, and plant hangers exploded into the scene, following the popular hippie movement. The expansion of macramé was short-lived – it only lasted until the 1980s. However, with the expansion of Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and other social media channels, macramé became increasingly popular. It is a must-have in any boho home today.


When you are a beginner, it is not always easy to know how much cord you need for your project. You are probably wondering how to measure the correct length for your design. Of course, you can always follow the measurements provided, but sometimes it is not possible. A general rule of thumb says that you will probably need about four times the length of your projectBut it is also important to look at your pattern first:

  • If your pattern consists of a large number of knots, you will probably need more rope
  • The rope can be a bit shorter if your project has many straight cords.
  • If your cord is thicker, it needs to be longer.
  • Single-strand ropes need less length than 3-ply or braided ropes.
  • Always add a little extra cord to create beautiful fringes.
  • When in doubt, always cut an extra rope just to be sure.
  • If you want to change the cord thickness from the size you started your project; you will need to add or subtract length.
  • If you want to be more specific, measure the length of each knot separately and multiply the length of each knot by the number of knots in a pattern.
  • Keep a record of your measurements per cord size and type in mm.
macrame knots history and origins


Macramé knots patterns can be made with various cord sizes, depending on your project. The size is usually indicated in millimeters (mm). The standard size for most projects is medium, from 3-5mm.

However, designing a giant wall piece will require at least 6mm rope or even thicker. You will need to stay under 2mm for small projects like jewelry.  

4mm hemp rope for macrame

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6mm hemp rope suitable for macrame

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8mm macrame rope

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