Macrame vs. Crochet: What Are The Key Differences?

Discover Creative Potentials Of These Two Handicrafts With Distinct Differences

Macrame vs. Crochet (Explained)

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When it comes to fiber arts, there are two distinct and equally appealing crafts that stand out as the most popular among handcrafters. These are macrame and crochet. They are often easily confused with each other because both of them involve making beautiful fabric pieces, but the main differences are in their techniques, tools and materials used. Macrame is known as the ancient knotting art that involves weaving sophisticated cord designs by hand using various knotting techniques. Crochet, on the other hand, involves stitching yarn into loops by using a single hooked needle.

In this article, we will further elaborate on these key differences, while highlighting macrame and crochet styles, tools, and diverse qualities. Each of these arts represent a fantastic chance for creative expressions for individuals who are looking to reveal their artistic side through fiber manipulation. Understanding the differences between knotting in macrame and the variability of crocheting will help you discover the world of possibilities. If you are looking to start out an exciting journey of fabric creation by hand, continue reading the article to find out which one of the two is more suitable for your needs.

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What is Macramé?

Macramé is a very popular and creative handicraft that entails knotting cords by hand to make intricate and decorative designs. It originated in the Middle East and became popular in the western world in the late 20th century. It represents a kind of ornamental and practical knotwork, commonly used to make home décor pieces, wall hangings, clothing, accessories, plant hangers, hammocks, and similar items.

What is Crochet?

The history of crochet dates back to the 15th century, with several countries claiming their origins (France, England, Italy, and China). Unlike macrame, crochet requires a special tool to make and interlock yarn. Intricate patterns are produced by using a single hook. Interlacing the loops forms delicate and visually interesting patterns. Crocheting is typically chosen for crafting household items, doilies, clothing, accessories, and so on.



The first and most obvious difference between the two is in the materials used. Generally, for macrame, you can use cotton, hemp, or nylon cords, while for crochet you will need yarn or wool. Another difference is in the length of materials used. When you crochet, you have to make sure the rope length remains the same during the project, while that’s not required with macramé.


Macramé is a craft that you complete entirely by hands and you will need only cordage or strings for it. If you are considering crocheting, you will need a special tool for it - a crochet hook and a single string of fiber.

Techniques: Knotting Vs. Looping 

While macramé entails knotting to create various elaborate patterns, crochet is based on interlocking loops. In fact, crocheted fabric is made completely of slip knots and can easily be undone by loosening the loops and pulling one end of the yarn.


When it comes to sturdiness, macrame leads the way because finished products are sturdier and stronger than crochet. This is due to multiple strands of fiber being tightly bound together. Crochet, in contrast, is softer and more delicate and not as strong. For this reason, macrame is used to create items that require strength.


While you can practice both of these crafts to make a wide spectrum of decorative items, macramé typically has larger and bolder knots. You should opt for crochet if you want to make more sophisticated patterns.
Differences Between Crochet and Macrame


A lot of people would agree that crochet is harder to learn, namely because of how errors are handled. And mistakes do happen when you crochet. When they do occur, you may have to restart the whole project in order to correct the mistake. This is why it is important to closely monitor the progress of your work. When you notice the errors in the early stages, you will spend less time correcting them. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to spot it early on. This is why crochet is sometimes recognized as a harder activity that is more frustrating to learn. However, do not despair. Mistakes do happen and you should observe them as part of your learning process and gaining valuable experience that will hone your skills to perfection. Crocheting has many benefits, so just keep practicing, and you will get better with time.

Macrame is easier to learn and you will easily notice and correct the errors. This is because the thread you use is much thicker, so the mistakes are more noticeable, too. You will be able to adjust the knotting without much difficulty and without wasting your valuable time. You will be able to simply continue where you stopped your work previously.

Advice: You can also learn both of these arts simultaneously because they are not too complicated and you can take your time when practicing. And remember, whatever you set your mind to, you will be able to complete. Both are a breeze to learn and master if you set your mind to it.


Crocheting is not that hard to learn. However, the exact timeline depends on how serious you will be when learning and practicing. With continuous practice, you should be able to craft items in about one month. If you are not as consistent, it will take you a lot longer than a month for you to learn the basics.

To learn crochet, use resources such as YouTube videos, online tutorials, books, and so on. You don’t necessarily need a trainer. This way you will be able to study at your own pace and will practice individually. The fastest and simplest way to learn is to start with the basic stitches. When you master the basics, you can further sharpen your skills with more practice, experience, and knowledge.


As with any other craft or skill, the exact time of learning will depend on how often and how hard you are dedicated to acquiring the knowledge and practicing. In general, if you are committed enough, you will be able to start making DIY macrame pieces within a matter of weeks or a month.

Check online resources to practice basic knots. Continue to improve your skills by gradually switching to more challenging projects and varied designs.


Macrame Crafts

  • Wall Hangings – These projects are the most recognized among all macrame activities, featuring elaborate knotting. They can vary in size, design, and shape enabling boundless creativity.

  • Macrame Bags - Totes or beach bags are both fashionable and functional, combining form with function in a stylish accessory.
  • Macrame Jewelry – You can make intricate pieces of jewelry and accessories with beautiful detailing, such as bracelets, necklaces, keychains, and earrings using this technique.

  • Plant Hangers - Macrame plant hangers have become quite popular in recent years due to the versatility of design and unique aesthetics. They are stylish and decorative ways to display plants indoors or outdoors.
  • Hammocks – If you have advanced knotting skills, you can take on the challenge of crafting a hammock. It is quite a large project, but results in a gorgeous and comfortable item that you can display inside the house or in the backyard.

Crochet Crafts

  • Blankets - These are classic DIY projects, and you can choose from a wide range of different designs, from single-stitch to multi-color designs.
  • Hats - From beanies and sun hats to berets, you can crochet almost any type or style of hat. They don’t take a lot of time to craft, and they make a great and unique accessory.
  • Amigurumi – This is a fairly popular style of crocheting stuffed toys and animals that are popular among kids and adults. 
  • Scarves – Here is another very easy and simple idea for beginners. Experiment with delicate designs, chunky shawls, or lacy styles. Create them for yourself or gift them to friends and family. They make a great personalized accessory for every fashion style.
  • Sweaters and clothing – Lately, crocheted wardrobe has gained a lot of popularity. Think of hats, tops, sweaters, vests, or cardigans. They are a modern and chic alternative to manufactured clothing pieces. 
  • Granny Squares - This is a traditional and timeless motif that is used for making blankets, throws, and cushions is granny squares. This pattern is highly versatile and offers endless possibilities for color and stich combinations for maximum creativity and art  expressions.


Both of these textile arts are a wonderful way to express your creativity and skills while making a one-of-a-kind craft product. The only question you should ask yourself is whether you prefer a sturdier material and bold patterns of macrame, or a softer and more delicate appearance of crochet. Regardless of which one you go for, they are equally great choices for developing unique and functional DIY handicrafts.


1.    Can I use yarn for macramé?
In general, nylon ropes are stroYes, it is possible to use yarn for macrame crafts. Yarn is a remarkably versatile material as it comes in different textures, weights, thicknesses, and colors. All of these properties make it incredibly suitable for macrame projects of various designs. Try to experiment with miscellaneous types of yarn in order to accomplish the desired look and feel of your craft. For instance, thicker and heavier materials create a more textured design, while fine yarn results in a more delicate and sophisticated look. If you are a beginner macrame artist, it is advisable to practice with smaller samples first, before moving on to bigger projects. This is because certain yarn may behave differently and have different properties (such as flexibility, strength, feel, etc.). Furthermore, in order to introduce visual interest, mix different colors and several types of yarn into a single design. nger than hemp and manila ropes. They usually carry the most weight and pull the heaviest loads. However, hemp is the longest and strongest natural fiber available. Hemp rope is just as effective as nylon rope but is environmentally friendly.
2.    Is it possible to crochet with macramé cord?
Certainly! You can use macrame cord to crochet, since it is stronger and thicker than traditional yarn that is typically used for crocheting. For this reason, it will make a completely unusual texture and pattern for your projects. Combining crochet with macrame cord will create truly captivating and unique patterns.

In order to make your design shine, try some of these helpful tips we have prepared for you.

Make sure you choose the right hook size, as macrame cord is thicker than crochet yarn. Ensure you adjust the tension while crocheting, as cord is not as flexible as standard yarn. In addition, stitches should be looser, so you can work without much difficulty. Think about the end product. Take into consideration that macrame cord is the most appropriate for home décor items like plant hangers, wall hangings, or other accessories. When choosing a pattern for crocheting, think if it will complement the material characteristic.

3.    Macrame vs crochet vs knitting – What is the difference?
Macrame, crochet, and knitting are three different crafts, each with its own techniques and tools. Macrame does not involve needles and its main technique is knotting by hand. As opposed to it, crocheting is a technique that creates fabric using a single hooked needle. Finally, knitting is a textile art of creating fabric by using yarn and two or more needles. Since each of these crafts has different end results and offers diverse possibilities, you should choose your favorite one based on personal preferences and the desired result.