Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Discovering more about ...Cavandoli Knotting

Macramé is a form of textile-making using knotting rather than weaving or knitting. Cavandoli knotting (also called Tapestry Knotting) is a variety of macramé used to form geometric and free-form patterns like weaving. The Cavandoli style is done mainly using the single knot and the double half-hitch knot. Reverse half hitches are sometimes used to maintain balance when working left and right halves of a balanced piece. According to one source, the Kenyans, Ghanaians and Navajo are extremely well-known for their cavandoli-style basketwares.

Macramé comes from a 13th Century Arabic weavers’ word “migramah” meaning “Fringe” This refers to the decorative fringes on camels and horses which help, amongst other things, to keep the flies off in the hot desert regions of northern Africa. Another school of thought says that it comes from Turkish “makrama” meaning “napkin,” or “towel” and was a way to secure the ends of pieces of weaving by using the excess thread and yarn along the top and bottom edges of loomed fabrics.

Materials used in macramé include cords made of cotton twine, linen, hemp, jute, leather or yarn. Cords are identified by construction, such as a 3-ply cord, made of 3 lengths of fibre twisted together. Jewelry is often made in combination of both the knots and various beads (glass, wooden, and so on), pendants or shells. Sometimes 'found' focal points are used for necklaces, such as rings or gemstones, either wire-wrapped to allow for securing or captured in a net-like array of intertwining overhand knots. A knotting board is often used to mount the cords for macramé work and cords are pinned in place. 

Angela Peace has taken an active interest in various knotting techniques including Cavandoli knotting. "My interest with micro-knotting techniques has been encouraged over the years by the outstanding work of Joan Babcock and Marion Hunziker-Larsen," says Angela, "both of whom I’ve been able to meet and take classes with."

"Working with Cavandoli and micro knotting has certainly given me countless new creative options.  As a traditional knotter, I now get to examine my craft and find that voice which allows me to combine traditional Chinese Knotting techniques with Cavandoli and micro macrame. I am fully engaged with exploring new fibers, patterns and construction techniques to successfully fabricate my brand of fiber jewelry. Crafting each new technique for me is priceless, even if I have to forfeit meters and meters of cord in the process," admits Angela.

"If you feel ready, to move a bit beyond your “traditional”, why not join me for a knotting class. Perhaps you too will find a new voice"

Upcoming Cavandoli classes with Angela Peace:

Sunday, September 13
Mad for Plaid
11:00am - 4:30pm



Tuesday, October 6
Cavandoli Knotting: Beginning Steps
11:00am - 4:00pm

Sunday, October 25
Making Waves with Micro-Knotting
11:00am - 4:30pm


Sunday, November 22
Cavandoli Knotting with an Armature
10:00am - 5:00pm

You can see each of these projects at the Back to Class event on Saturday, September 12!

Please see our website for complete information about each class including course descriptions and class and kit fees. Registration for any of these classes can be made by calling the store at (416) 751-1911.

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