This Is How Macramé Is Just More Than A Recreational Activity

This Is How Macramé Is Just More Than A Recreational Activity

Macramé is a perfect medium of recreational activity, offering home decor artifacts, and dishing out an array of ideal gifts and decorative articles

Pramita BoseUpdated: Friday, November 24, 2023, 11:27 PM IST
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Macramé is a perfect medium of recreational activity, offering home decor artifacts, and dishing out an array of ideal gifts and decorative articles. The handcrafted items are widely available at retail craft shops and hobby stores all over in attractive patterns, quaint geometric shapes and varied enchanting motifs.

Avenue to Nurture Art & Creativity Among Children

“Macramé is certainly an excellent platform to instill the importance of art and creativity among kids. Its repetitive knotting and tying process promotes fine motor skills, patience and concentration. The plainness of materials and the tactile nature of the craft make it accessible and enjoyable for children, fostering their imagination and artistic expressions,” reasons macramé artist Khushboo Banga Narang.

“I use macramé as part of a team-building activity in corporate houses up in the Himalayas. So definitely, this particular art helps enhance a person’s creative outlook, problem-solving aptitude and his capacity to fashion a beautiful product out of natural items. Thus, it raises confidence level and teaches the importance of valuing nature and respecting Mother Earth,” affirms Mohanty.

Silent Luxury

Macramé is indeed a part of silent luxury wherein true connoisseurs of art buy and display the painstakingly crafted items for their sheer love for aesthetics and pursuit of refined cultural tastes. “A symbol of quiet luxury, macramé has been appreciated by aficionados who value unique craftsmanship of handmade pieces over time. The intricate knotting and binding techniques and minute attention to detail in macramé creations fascinate those who seek exclusive and meaningful embellishments for their abodes,” explains Narang.

Mumbai-based homemaker Pramila Dipakkumar Patel, who takes a keen interest in handicrafts, thinks that macramé may “create a new market of enthusiasts for lavish art”.

Ishita Vasa Mohanty of House of Bohemiaa, a leading brand label in crafting home décor, wedding décor and beachwear, reports that “while travelling abroad, it is common to come across macramé artists with amazingly crafted products on display at art galleries or there might be some entrepreneurs who could hire such adroit artists for music festivals, flea markets décor or even art installations.”

Jewellery & Gifts

Macramé creations can also come in as bright and elegant jewellery pieces and shower heaps of gift items. The former may include items like bracelets, necklaces and earrings, often adorned with beads or semi-precious stones, while the latter could comprise personalized wall showpieces, keychains, purses, mobile covers or plant hangers, resulting in a host of thoughtful and inimitable customizable presents.

In terms of jewellery, quaint neckpieces and head gears can be crafted out of macramé art. Headgears that girls love wearing during music festivals like the world-renowned Coachella (annual valley rock music and arts festival held at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California) or those that can be worn by brides or bridesmaids. For gifting purposes, bags, guitar hangers or musical instrument accessories are ideal and matchless. “One such specimen I remember having handcrafted for reputed Bollywood actor Pankaj Tripathi Sir in the form of a handpan accessory,” chips in Mohanty.

Green Decor

Usually, flowers and lights are used for decorations at weddings, concerts, social dos and in religious ceremonies. Can macramé be an eco-friendly alternative to this, which can later be displayed as an artifact after gracing as a decorative ingredient for a social/cultural events? “Undoubtedly, macramé can cater as an environmentally-friendly element for ornamentations at various galas. Wedding backdrops, ceremonial arches or even hanging installations made of macramé can create a stunning visual impact. Post event, these pieces can be repurposed as objects of art or keepsakes, contributing to sustainability and minimal waste,” wraps up Narang.

“I am a big fan of eco-friendly weddings and have been wanting for long to work with Indian wedding planners to design a theme marriage with macramé as the focus of décor. This concept is already a huge hit on foreign shores where they conduct green weddings with plastic- and pollution-free arrangements,” inputs Mohanty. As the décor can be done variably for different clientele in sync with their planning and briefs, there’s enough scope for experimentation and exploration. “Simple, sweet décor is possible using macramé entry gates and teaming the same up with chandeliers and macramé backdrops,” she states.

Craft Conservation

Given macramé's rich history, dating back to the Arabic and Babylonian civilisations, one wonders if the cultural and textile ministries of the Government of India are taking extra initiatives to preserve this handcrafted heritage art. “There needs to be mobilization of resources at all levels. Why not from the administrative quarters? I’m yet to see any significant efforts made from the Union Government to sustain this art,” shares entrepreneur Shaikh Sana, founder of Illusional Macramé hobby store. “If companies and dealers manufacturing and selling macramé products get grants and incentives from the Central Government, it will be a smart and rewarding move then to patronise and promote such exquisite art forms,” she sounds reassuring.

The macramé handicraft needs skilled weavers and artisans to execute it beautifully. Is the labour required for the painstaking art cost-intensive and easily accessible? “As per my opinion, the pay is quite below par considering the scope of abilities that the work of macramé art demands,” reminds Shaikh.

Rustic Route

Albeit it appears a piece of polished urban art, a valid question may here crop up whether macramé could be part of India’s humble cottage industry and cheap labour. Can hordes of rural Indian weavers already exposed to the indigenous bamboo art or wicker basket art be highly trained in the craft? “As a matter of fact, the learning curve of macramé seems more convenient than any other handcraft as it ranges from easy-to-complicate designs, hinging on market demands. This might help encourage village folk artists to embrace the magic of macramé amongst its ethnic crafts,” informs Shaikh.

Cosmopolitan Feel

Macramé items are visibly popular at the recreational outlets across India’s A-1 cities. “A chunk of its target buyers comes from the upper middle class or the upper crust of the society. Macramé is still gaining momentum in the well-known upscale metropolises, mainly in the clothing industry, home decor, jewellery and so on. Macramé products at reasonable price tags are also reaching the hobby shops of small towns and districts. It can now be comfortably accessed through online shopping too,” notes Shaikh.

Job Potential

Many virtual fine-art courses teach macramé. Guess, it’s high time to introduce this handicraft to schools and art college campuses, begetting employment opportunities. “Due to its versatility and global appeal, macramé specimens have a huge potential in the textile and interior decor industries,” concludes Shaikh.

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