How to choose the best fiber for my Macrame project
When beginning a new project, an important first step is choosing the right fiber. This can be a very fun and exciting process as there are so many options, but it can also be a bit overwhelming if you don't know where to begin... so let's break it down a little.
Whether you're looking for rope, cord, string or yarn you will want to decide whether you'd like to work with a NATURAL or SYNTHETIC fiber. Natural fibers include cotton, linen, jute, wool & hemp and are ideal for indoor projects, home décor, jewelry, accessories, gift wrap & textiles. They are also biodegradable, therefore making them a good earth-friendly option for crafting. Synthetic fibers include polypropylene, acrylic, nylon & plastic and are ideal for outdoor projects as they will hold up well rain or shine & not break down over time with the elements.
Rope comes in such a wide variety of sizes/diameters, some more suitable for certain projects than others.
Smaller Ropes, 3mm or less work wonderfully for jewelry, as well as projects that are small or delicate.
Medium Ropes, 4mm-7mm are perhaps most commonly used, a great size for macramé beginners, more sturdy than the smaller ropes and the perfect size for plant hangers, wall hangings, furniture, lanterns, curtains, rugs, etc. We use 5mm 3ply rope for most of our projects.
Large Ropes, 8mm-12mm (and bigger) make a visual statement and are so fun to work with particularly for wall hangings. They can be a bit more challenging to work with because of their size, but worth the effort.
Texture is an important element to consider visually, as you can certainly add interest to a piece by adding some fun fiber with texture.
You may also want to consider the way the fiber feels to work with, especially if you're knotting up something large - a fiber like jute looks great but can be a little rough on the hands. Not to worry though, thankfully gloves are good way to save your hands when working with a rough textured fiber.
There are Cotton, Jute, Felted Wool & Polypropylene rope & string, continue reading to learn more about each of these fibers.
COTTON is fantastic to work with and so versatile, can be used for practically any project. It is easy on the hands, soft to the touch, and comes in multiple sizes and textures. Cotton String is incredibly soft, knots up beautifully and almost effortlessly and is available in 2mm 1-ply, 4mm 1-ply and 9mm 1-ply.
JUTE is a sturdy, natural fiber with nice texture and color. It is rough and scratchy, but a good utilitarian fiber that looks lovely knotted up.
FELTED WOOL is a fun, bulky and soft statement fiber. Use it to make a lush and gorgeous rug or add some wooly flair to a rope wall hanging.