by Nicky Norman
WHAT screams the '70s more than flares, tube tops, tie-dying, tang, beaded necklaces, disco balls, platform shoes, clogs, cassette tapes, pet rocks, etch a sketch and talking on a phone with a cord?
Each decade has its own colour palette and the '70s was totally about chocolate brown, avocado green and burnt orange. Many homes got groovy with a wall hanging of an owl or some kind of animal print and, possibly, a macrame potted plant hanger.
One of the earliest recorded uses of macrame-style knots as decoration appeared in the carvings of the Babylonians and Assyrians. Fringe-like plaiting and braiding adorned the costumes of the time. Macrame travelled from North Africa to Spain, France and then on to other European countries. Many Australians were into macrame in the '70s and the creative flow of that era.
Materials used in macrame include cords made of cotton twine, linen, hemp, jute, leather and yarn.
Cords are identified by construction, such as a three-ply cord, made of three lengths of fibre twisted together.
For larger decorative pieces, such as wall hangings or window coverings, a work of macrame might be started out on a wooden or metal dowel, allowing a spread of dozens of cords that are easy to manipulate.
If you would like to get mellow with macrame and go back in time some 40 years, check out the free patterns and tutoring videos available online: free-macrame- patterns.com/ and youtube.com/user/ macrameschool.
For a modern spin on macrame creations, visit: modernmacrame.com.