Macramé for thoroughly modern millennials

Macramé for thoroughly modern millennials

Macramé plant pot holders were big in the '70s but subsequently fell away into obscurity. But what goes around comes around and macramé is having a modern moment again.

By Abby Trow
Pinky mac

Jess Melia is such a fan of macramé, and has become such a master of the art, that she's set up her own Etsy shop selling her designs, Knotting to See Here. Pictured above: Jess likes to use recycled T-shirt yarn for her designs as it's eco and hard wearing. Plant holders with wooden rings for hanging cost £25

You probably know the term 'macramé' but if you're not entirely sure what it is, it's the art of making textiles by knotting yarn rather than knitting or weaving.

It's a craft, it's an artform...albeit one that has spent the past few decades in the bin marked 'unsophisticated 1970s'. However, macramé's finding favour again, particularly with the millennial generation who like to make things and live in homes that are homely rather than glitzy.

Space saving

And of course there's a very practical point to macramé plant pot holders: they allow you to hang your plants from the ceiling or wall so they don't take over all your surfaces. So even if you live in a small flat you can enjoy the health benefits of living with greenery without having plants impinge on your limted shelf space.

Leeds-based Jess Melia has loved doing macramé since she was a child, and not surprisingly has become incredibly good at it. She found her plant pot holders and wall hangings were getting a lot of admiration from friends, so decided to offer her designs to a wider audience via her newly opened Etsy shop, Knotting to See Here.

Hang plants, bathroom, bedroom ..macrame pot holders look terrific
Many plants thrive in why not hang one in here
Jess with her designs, which you can buy on her Etsy shop for £25
A flat against the wall heart design..perfect for Valentine's Day
Choose plants that will trail, such as potus, if you're going to hang them in macramé holders
String of pearls is a trailing succulent ideal for the macramé holder treatment

You can use lots of different types of yarn to do macramé but Jess likes to use recycled T-shirt yarn, which comes in many colours and textures. 'It's very eco-friendly and you get strong plant pot holders. And the different colours mean you can find one of my designs in shades that will suit your interior style and colour palette.' 

She thinks people are coming around to macramé plant pot holders again because they are hand-made - we're increasingly eschewing the mass produced - and because we're living in ever smaller flats, certainly in our big cities. 'Plant hangers are great if you've got spare wall space, or want to liven up a dingy corner. Hang them from the ceiling and you have the joy of plants without having them fill up your shelves and window ledges,' she says.  

London-based Italian film-maker and journalist Annalisa Piras has long lived with her plants in macramé holders suspended from the ceiling. 'I love them! they bring the outside inside and there's something quite tropical about having lots of greenery above your head. You find them in homes all over Latin America and to me they give you that sunny feeling of life in hot countries.'

And if you've got fed up with the intricacies of knitting and find crocheting too fiddly and fussy, why not take up macramé? You'll find lots of how-to guides online and Jess says it's easy to get going: 'And the great thing about it is you don't need many tools.'

Jess Melia's macramé holders cost £25.

Annalisa's tips for plants in the air

'You can go bold with bright colours for your pot holders or stick to the natural fibre palettes of ecru and taupe.

'Use exotic plants such as potus, or any trailing plant, and hang them from the ceiling near windows. I've also found macramé holders are great for orchids or air plants which don't need large soil pots for their roots. 

'Think of them as a simpler and cheaper take on vertical 'living walls' which we're all told are good for us - all plants distribute moisture, clean the air and are good for the soul.

'And a word of advice - don't hang your plants above radiators as I did... they won't forgive you, unfortunately.'


Annalisa Piras' recent film Europe At Sea, about Europe's response to the migrant crisis, is available to buy online.