70's style: Mad about macramé
PUBLISHED: 09:54 11 December 2018 | UPDATED: 10:19 11 December 2018
The 70s may be responsible for bell bottoms and tie-dye, but all is forgiven as it also gave us macramé. It's the latest crafting craze, so if you're looking for a hand-made gift this Christmas, why not give it a go?
There are some things from the 70s that should definitely stay there – mainly the food and fashion. But when it comes to interior revivals, the 70s is a designer’s dream. Shag-pile rugs, velvet textiles, rattan, orange and yellow hues, exposed brick, bold wallpapers have all made comebacks, but probably the biggest 70s throw-back trend is indoor plants.
We’ve gone mad for them, and why not? They look gorgeous, are good for your health and wellbeing, and they’re also responsible for another marvellous revival – macramé.
“Houseplants are the new ‘thing’ and I think Instagram has played a massive part in this,” says plant and macramé enthusiast Donna Hodds. “Instagram used to be ‘look at my food’, now it’s ‘look at my plants’. They’re everywhere. And as plants have grown in popularity and people run out of space to put them, the obvious solution is to hang them.”
And this was exactly what led Donna to start making her own macramé pot hangers and, in turn, show others how to make them, too. “I wanted a macramé pot holder for my kitchen but I couldn’t find what I wanted, so decided to give making my own a go. I looked into the options for the cord – I wanted mustard yellow – and then watched some videos on YouTube. I really took to it, probably thanks to all the friendship bracelets I made as a child!”
Donna sells her macramé creations and home-grown plants at craft fairs and farmers’ markets around where she lives in Loddon, and lots of customers remarked that they wished they knew how to make the plant hangers. This sparked her to start offering workshops at Urban Jungle, a plant nursery which has locations in Costessey, Norfolk, and Beccles in Suffolk.
“It was a way to share the craft with others,” says Donna. “If you can tie a knot then you can make macramé – it’s as simple as that.
“Plus at the workshops you get to meet other people, enjoy some cake and coffee in the beautiful Urban Jungle café, and at the end of it you have something you’ve made to take home.”
Donna demonstrates two knots at the workshop and, after a practice using twine, participants choose from an array of coloured cords to make their plant hanger.
It’s easy to see why Donna got hooked. It takes a bit of concentration, which in turn takes your mind off anything that’s bothering you. And there’s a real sense of satisfaction when you pop a pot and plant into your finished masterpiece.
“It’s such a great way to create multi-level focal points in any room,” says Donna. “Rather than just popping a plant on a window sill or shelf, they’re hanging off curtain poles or in corners of rooms to soften the sharp edges.”
Donna also points out that although the techniques are the same, macramé can be much more vibrant than the neutral creations which epitomise the 70s craze.
“It’s no longer about jute and twine; you can make macrame in any cord you like, and in any colour you like. I love seeing pops of brightly coloured cords in a neutral room to add a focal point and really set off the green plant which is perfectly placed within it.”
The macramé workshop is one of several craft workshops offered at the Urban Jungle nurseries, which include boho bird boxes and terrariums.
“I love working with the team at Urban Jungle, they’re so enthusiastic about crafts and sharing crafting talent with others,” says Donna. “You feel like you’re actually sat in a jungle, surrounded by plants of all shapes and sizes – which would all look beautiful in macramé.”
For more information call Donna on firstname.lastname@example.org, or to book onto one of the workshops at Urban Jungle visit www.urbanjungle.uk.com
Donna’s macramé tips
Macramé holders aren’t just great for plants – I’ve been saving glass jars and popping fairy lights or small candles in for mood lighting. They look great in the garden as well as the house.
The beauty of macramé is that they can be hung anywhere. It’s more the plant that you choose to put in the pot holder that dictates where’s the best place to hang it. For example, ivy is great in the bathroom as it removes particles from the air, including mould. Whereas if you’re going to hang it in a corner of a room with little light, something like a snake plant would be great.
I also have a lot of spider plants in my macramé as they’re an easy plant to care for, plus they like most conditions and they look beautiful draped over the edge of a pot.
You don’t have to buy the expensive macramé cord. Any 5mm cord will work fine, and you can even get waterproof cord which can be used to make hangers for outside.
Buying Christmas presents is never an easy process. Macramé is a unique gift, and it’s something that people can treasure for a long time. It’s even more special if you’ve made it yourself.
Alternatively, the workshops are an ideal gift for someone who loves crafts. I always think experiences make a much better gift that tangible items - it gives the recipient something to look forward to once the rush of Christmas is over.