If you’ve ever been on Pinterest, even once, you’ll recognize the familiar art of macrame flooding the platform.
Macrame has become increasingly popular in the last few years and some designs can add a bohemian charm to your home. However, as these are often handmade and can take a long time to make, they can be pretty expensive to buy. This is why DIY macrame projects are a great alternative.
Not only are they cheaper, but it gives you the freedom to work with whatever styles and colors you want and to make whatever item you want.
Whether it’s a large boho wall-hanging with fringing or a trendy hanging plant pot holder for your hipster bathroom, you’re going to need a good quality macrame cord for the job.
If you’re a beginner, it can be difficult to know where to begin. So in this article, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite macrame cords on the market right now along with their advantages and disadvantages.
At the end of the article is our Buyer’s Guide that provides extensive insight into the various factors you should consider before purchasing your macrame cord.
Tied up with other things?
We understand that not everyone has the time to trawl through the thousands of options for macrame cord available online, so we’ve done it for you.
Below is a quick link to our absolute favorite at the moment along with a few of its key features compiled into a list.
- Length: 109-yards
- Diameter: 3mm (other options available)
- Material: 100% natural cotton
- Color: Natural only
- Braided or Twisted: Twisted
- String: 4-ply
OUR TOP PICK
Our favorite macrame cord on the market at the moment comes from Ialwiyo. But don’t just take our word for it, check out the thousands of positive Amazon reviews this product has received.
Like most macrame cord, this one is made from 100% cotton. However, Ialwiyo likes to keep their cord as natural as possible, so this one is undyed and natural in color which can help to add a more bohemian look to your finished piece.
The cord is made up of 4 twisted strands rather than 4 braided strands which makes it much easier to unravel, making fringing a piece of cake.
This cord is super soft in texture and easy to manipulate. We also like that this cord is available in various diameter options ranging from 2-6mm, making it the ideal cord for any project whether it’s jewelry or a large wall hanging.
- Made from 100% natural undyed cotton
- It is soft on the hands and won’t irritate the skin during crafting
- Twisted strands instead of braided strands allow for easy unraveling when fringing
- Available in a variety of different diameters, making it ideal for many macrame crafts
- As this cord is undyed, there are no color options. It is a natural off-white shade.
Next up on our list is this macrame cord made by Cyrico.
We like this cord because it is made from 100% natural cotton with no unnatural inner layer. The cotton is completely biodegradable as well as odor-free and free from any chemical dyes.
The advantage of a cotton cord is that it’s very skin-friendly and soft on the hands but it is still strong. This particular cord is made up of 3 twisted strands.
As these are twisted and not braided, they’re simple to unravel and perfect for projects that require fringing.
Although this link is will take you to their unbleached all-natural cord, Cyrico does offer this same cord in a variety of colors.
It’s also available in lots of different size options ranging from 3mm to 5mm in diameter and an array of yard lengths.
- Made from 100% natural cotton which is biodegradable and scent-free
- 3 twisted strands allow for easy unraveling and fringing
- Many color and size options available
- No unnatural inner layer
- The three-ply structure also provides a little less strength than some of our other picks, but it will still serve you well.
The next noteworthy macrame cord on this list is this one made by Flipped.
We love this cord due to its extensive color options. If you’re interested in creating works with color but don’t want to bother with dying your own cords, we recommend these cords made of pure cotton.
The four-ply cord is available in 22 colors, from vibrant hues to pastel tones, providing a good range for choosing a striking base cord or subtle accents. The string is tightly twisted but easy to unravel to make different effects.
This particular cord is 109 yards long which is slightly shorter than our previous options on this list, however, Amazon reviewers have made it clear that there’s plenty of cord in one spool to make a decent-sized wall-hanging or a few smaller projects such as plant pots or jewelry.
- Made from 100% natural cotton
- Comes in 27 different color options and shades
- Made up of a strong 4-ply cord
- The cord is twisted rather than braided making it easy to unravel
- Although it states it’s 109 yards, it is not one continuous piece but instead made up of multiple taped together
Flora Knit’s cord consists of eight tightly braided strands, which results in a super-sturdy and strong rope.
It also doesn’t unravel as easily as a twisted cord, which allows you to knot quickly and create neat, structured designs.
Keep in mind, though, that this also means it is more challenging to create fringes and achieve eye-catching, fluffy tassels.
It is surprisingly easy on the hands in comparison with other twisted ropes on the market and many Amazon reviewers have mentioned how lovely and soft this cord is.
This option comes in a 110-yard pack and one roll usually can make up to 5-10 simple plant hangers or 1-2 medium size wall hangings.
- Continuous spool design means there’s no knotting or tape throughout
- 100% natural cotton construction
- Braided cord helps to create neat, rounded projects
- There’s enough cord in one spool to make multiple different projects
- A braided rope can mean it’s difficult to create certain designs such as fringing
For our final addition to this list, we thought it’d be a good idea to include a single-strand option. So here is the Natural Cotton Macrame Cord made by MB Cordas.
A single-twist macramé cord, made from one group of fibers twisted around itself, is typically considered a slight upgrade from cords made from multiple groups of fibers twisted around each other.
The finish tends to be smoother and softer, making a design look more cohesive. We like this option from MB Cordas because you can really work it while trusting it to hold its structure, but it also frays when you want it to and combs out beautifully.
This cord is only available in a natural color option but is available in 3mm, 4mm, and 5mm diameters, making it suitable for tiny projects as well as large-scale ones.
Although the company advertises it as being safe for home-dying, some reviewers have had trouble with this and don’t recommend doing so.
- Single-strand cord allows for a smooth, neat finish
- Made from 100% cotton which is soft on the hands even when using for long periods of time
- Can be frayed or combed out
- Available in 3 different diameter options
- Some Amazon reviewers find that the cord can become weak after home dyeing.
Best Cord for Macrame Buying Guide
Before starting your macrame project, you need to ensure that you have the right cord for the job.
There are several factors to consider when shopping for cord including the composition, the stiffness, the texture, and many others.
Below is our handy Buyer’s Guide which takes an in-depth look at these factors to help you make the right purchase.
We’ve even included an FAQ section at the end of this article to answer any questions you may have.
Types of Macrame Cord
The majority of macrame projects that you’ll come across online will often fall into one of these three categories:
Braided Cord (also known as macrame rope) is probably the most common cord on the market and can easily be found in craft stores and even some supermarkets including Wal-Mart.
It’s often the most affordable type so it’s popular among beginners and it’s pretty easy to work with. However, it isn’t always the most suitable. This is because the rope is either made up individually or from a combination of cotton, nylon, polyester, polypropylene, or other strong fibers.
It’s great for tying things together and giving it a strong hold, but is difficult to un-knot and fringe with.
3 Ply/Strand Cord
3-ply is also referred to as 3-stands cord. It is made up of 3 smaller strands into a large twisted rope.
You will often hear macrame artists speak about using a 3-ply or 4-ply macrame cord and that just means the number of strands twisted together to form one single strand of cord.
Once you start getting into macrame cords that are more than 3 strands, this is what is referred to as multi-ply, where you can have 4, 5, or 6-strands all spun together to form one strand.
Single Strand Cord
Single strand cotton cord is by far the best type of macrame cord to choose from if you are deciding to get into macrame as a regular hobby or even as a full-time gig.
It’s typically more expensive and so if you’re not ready to splurge right away on an expensive cord, we recommend finding some cheaper cotton cord on amazon and start with those. As long as it is comfortable on the hands, it will be great to learn from.
Also, working with only a single strand will make it much easier to cut, tie, unravel knots, and fringe.
It’s important to consider what your macrame cord is made from and whether it consists of natural or synthetic fiber.
Natural fibers are far more sustainable and include materials such as hemp, wool, cotton, bamboo, and jute. However, synthetic fibers are made from synthesized polymers of small molecules. These are often constructed from raw materials such as petroleum-based chemicals.
Some of these synthetic fibers include polyester, spandex, and nylon. The strength of a macrame cord depends largely on its composition. A cord made from jute, leather, ribbon, or nylon is generally quite strong.
The twist of the cord is an essential factor to consider particularly when you’re looking for strength.
The strength of the cord is often determined by whether the individual strands of the material were twisted or braided during the manufacturing process. It’s well known that a braided macrame cord will unravel less than a twisted one.
Before starting your macrame project, we recommend treating the ends of your cord to prevent the strands from separating. To do this, we recommend dipping the ends in clear, melted wax.
If you’re looking to create a fringe effect, you’ll need to ensure that the strands don’t unravel further than the fringe’s length. You can do this by merely knotting the top of the fringe.
Your macrame cord should be flexible enough to bend according to your pattern’s requirements.
If you are making a piece of jewelry, we recommend using a thinner cord such as an embroidery cord made of cotton or even leather.
However, if you plan on using leather we recommend making sure that it is less than 2mm in width.
As well as being aesthetically pleasing, it’s crucial to ensure that your macrame cord feels comfortable against your skin.
Some cords can feel rough and sometimes irritating to the skin, which can make your crafting a painful experience. We recommend avoiding hemp and metallic cords if you’re making jewelry and instead opt for something softer such as nylon, silk, satin rayon, or cotton.
Leather is also an option as over time it can soften.
The thickness of most macrame cord is usually indicated in millimeters (mm).
When purchasing a cord, we recommend considering whether or not they are small enough to be inserted into beads, buttons, or other decorations.
However, if you’re more interested in creating larger projects such as plant pots or wall hangings, we suggest going for a cord that is 4mm or thicker in diameter.
A good-sized cord for making smaller macrame projects such as bracelets and necklaces should have a diameter of less than 2mm.
Frequently Asked Questions
What projects can I make with macrame cord?
Macrame is a versatile means of crafting and can be used in a variety of different ways.
A popular macrame project is wall hangings. These tend to be rectangular or square in shape with triangular fringing and they can come in a variety of sizes. These can be found in many supermarkets and can be quite expensive, so making your own is a neat idea.
Another popular macrame craft is hanging plant pot holders. If you’ve ever used Pinterest, you’ll know all about these. Macrame plant pot holders add a modern yet natural element to any space and have become increasingly popular. A few other macrame craft ideas include:
- Shopping Bags
- Christmas Tree Decorations
What’s the difference between macrame cord and macrame string?
Macrame string is often referred to as the thinner cord.
We would consider using 1mm to 2mm sized cords in order to achieve a macrame string.
Is macrame a difficult craft?
Macrame patterns and knots are a relatively easy and affordable craft to learn. It requires very few tools and just some simple knowledge of basic knots.
There are many patterns to be found online and lots of handy Youtube videos made by other crafters which can be a great starting point.
Every art has its challenges, but if you start small you’ll manage just fine.