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How do I Use Hemp for Macrame?

Tara Barnett
Tara Barnett

Hemp for macrame is usually purchased as cord from a craft store or other vendor. It is possible to make cord at home out of hemp for macrame, but the cord is usually purchased given how inexpensive it is. This cord is available in many different colors and can be used to make nearly any macrame project, just like other yarns. The main consideration when using hemp for macrame is whether the finished project will be comfortable to wear, given that hemp is sometimes rough. For items that will only be looked at, hemp for macrame is as easy to use as other yarns.

Many people use hemp for macrame bracelets, belts, and necklaces. One of the most popular macrame knots for these projects is the square knot, which is considered relatively easy to learn. This knot used in isolation produces flat bands that are particularly desirable for bracelets and chokers. More complex knots can be used to produce waving, woven, or even spiral designs.

Hemp rope can be used for macrame projects.
Hemp rope can be used for macrame projects.

While designs that use only one color of cord can be interesting, another way to change the look of a piece is to use dyed hemp cord. This material is usually purchased colored, not dyed at home. It is important to consider how the colors will look in the finished project when choosing cord. In a single color design, it does not matter which strings are used for which part of the project. In a design with multiple colors, the placement of the strings changes the look of the final design.

Some people craft macrame items by incorporating beads into their projects.
Some people craft macrame items by incorporating beads into their projects.

Some people combine hemp cord with beads to produce macrame items. Beads must have relatively large holes in order to be used for this kind of macrame, because hemp cord is usually fairly thick. A good way to select beads for hemp macrame projects is to take a sample of the hemp cord to the bead store to ensure a good fit.

Another popular use of hemp for macrame is for creating nets that can be used for flower pots, bags, or even hammocks. These nets can be quite strong when made from hemp fibers, but must be constructed to fit the finished project. A hammock net, for instance, will likely be flat, while a net for a flower pot will need to wrap around the pot. There are patterns available for all types of macrame netting.

Using hemp for macrame is merely an extension of other macrame projects. Over time, working with this particular type of fiber will become easier. It may be helpful to look at macrame books that specifically deal with hemp projects, but one will often develop a feel for this material easily with practice.

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Discussion Comments


I use a thick hemp twine to make plant hangers. I went through several different brands of hemp twine until I found one strong enough to work with. I also dislike it when the small fibers start sticking out of the twine as I work with it. Unfortunately, all hemp isn't great quality. It's best to stick with one when it works well.

I've yet to work with colored hemp twine. I'm actually wondering if I can use the twine I have and dye it myself. That would be great, I could do whatever color I want.


Hemp appears to be the most popular material for macrame projects. There are many advantages to it. It's a strong material and durable. It's all natural and safe for the environment. It looks very nice too. The only downside is that some hemp cord have a slightly bothersome smell. Some people say that it's the natural smell of hemp. Others agree that it smells bad.

I have some hemp cord that smells a little bit. I've tried airing it out but didn't notice a difference. I had bought it online. I think I will buy it in person next time just so that I can smell the hemp beforehand. I know that some brands also dye or wax the hemp cord and that probably gets rid of any natural scents too.


If I'm not mistaken, hemp is illegal in the US. The plant can't be grown. That's why I don't think anyone can make hemp cord at home. It has to be purchased and whether the cord is made in the US or not, the hemp is always imported. This of course, increases the price somewhat. But I try to save money by buying the hemp cord in bulk. A large spool lasts me a long time.

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    • Hemp rope can be used for macrame projects.
      By: simmittorok
      Hemp rope can be used for macrame projects.
    • Some people craft macrame items by incorporating beads into their projects.
      By: Vyacheslav Plyasenko
      Some people craft macrame items by incorporating beads into their projects.