An intimidating task for those who want to do macramé work is deciding on how much cord is required to finish a macramé project. What if the cord falls short in the middle? Wouldn’t the whole work be useless? These are questions that stop many from starting the work.
Most of the macrame tutorials will give you the exact measurements for a particular project. But what if you want to make a pattern that you have seen and liked and which does not have a tutorial? That’s where you will need these tricks and hacks to estimate the length of the cord as well as the number of cords.
You cannot know exactly how much length you will need for a new project with any method other than some one spoon feeding you the info, but using the methods given below you will live and complete the project without any regrets. From my experience, it has helped me finish my projects without many complications.
In this article I will cover:
How to measure macramé cords for your projects?
There is a reason why you cannot be exact in your calculations – because of the variables in cord size.
Different types of cords result in different lengths of macrame work. This is due to the difference in thickness of the cords available for macrame. Macrame cord diameter is measured in millimeters. There are 1 mm cords to 10 mm cords. The most commonly used cords are 2mm, 4mm, and 5mm.
The thicker the cord, the more length of cord you will need to finish your project. For example, the length of a 2mm cord to finish ten numbers of square knots will be less than the length of a 4mm cord. Similarly, single-strand cords use less length than 3-ply twisted cords.
Depending upon the number of knots in your pattern, you will need more cord. If your pattern has less number of knots and more free spaces, it will require less cord.
Tighter the knots more length is needed
If other embellishments like beads are added.
How to estimate the length of cord?
One method to measure the length of the cords is to make a particular knot using the cord that you are working with and undo it and measure the length required to finish the knot. For example, take a pair of 4mm cords and make two square knots. Mark the cord at the end of the second square knot. Now undo the knots and measure the length required. Note it down. You can use it to scale up or down to finish your future projects. You can repeat this technique with other knots on cords of different thicknesses.
Favorite fool-proof method
The previous method is laborious and may not be possible for everyone. There is a second method that I use that has not failed me so far.
The first thing to do is to take the length of the finished project. Now multiply it by six times.(You can do this 7 or 8 times, if there are lots of knots in the design, or the cord is thick)
For example, you want to make a wall hanging of 30 cms in length. Now multiply 30 with 6 and you get 180cms. You may require cords that are as long as 180 cms. I usually add 10 or 20 cms extra for safety. It is better to have some extra cord than you running out of a cord before you finish your project
How many cords (number) will be needed?
This depends on the width of your project and the width of your cord. Measure these. Mark 1 cm on on a piece of paper. Lay the cords in front of you inside the one cm mark and see how many cords will fit inside one cm. (take this as a). Multiply a with the width of your final project. What you get is the number of cords you will need.
Divide this by 2 to get the number of cord you should cut finally for the project – because in macrame you always fold over the cords over your the top anchor.
What if you run out of a cord before finishing your project?
Well, you don’t have to panic. You can add a new set of cord and continue with your project.
There are many tutorials available on the internet to show how to do it.
One such tutorial is this-