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Untangled: differences between cord, string, rope, and yarn?

So you have just taped into the amazing world of macrame but you find yourself overwhelmed by the different terminology and fibres that you can use for your project? Beginning a new craft is super exciting, but it can also be a bit confusing at times. Rope, cord, string, thread, yarn... so many names for something that pretty much all look the same. We hear your hesitation about  the difference of all these terms or which one you should use for which project? You are not alone! This blog post will clear things up around the subject. 

The most heard terms in the fibre arts are cord, rope, string, and yarn. These terms are often used interchangeably and the same will sometimes be used to describe different products. Confusing much? Okay, time to dive in and describe the most used terms.


When you are reading a macrame pattern you'll often come across the term 'cord'. Cord is considered to be a broader term that can be applied to a variety of materials that come in long strands. When we speak about cord we are usually referring to the original braided fibre used when the macrame trend started back in the '70s, and is also called 'sash cord' sometimes. This fibre is extremely strong and sturdy and the ends are difficult to unravel. Because of its texture, it can be a bit rough on the hands, but it's the perfect material when you are working on a project that needs to hold weight, for example, a hanging chair or a large plant hanger. At MeriWoolArt, Cord is our OEKO-TEX recycled cotton 2-ply and 3-ply fibre that is braided and comes in 6 mm and 10 mm thickness. 




Out of all of the different macrame fibres, string is usually the softest and easiest to work with which makes it perfect for beginners! String is usually unplied and has a low profile knot, this is what makes it softer than rope and cord. As mentioned before, it's softness makes string an amazing fibre to use when you are just starting macrame but it is also quite popular among experienced crafters. String can be used for a variety of projects such as dream catchers or some cute boho coasters and it's also a great material to use for other creative purposes such as gift wrapping, crochet, or weaving.




Rope is similar to string except for the fact that rope is plied. The rope is composed of multiple strings that are twisted (or sometimes braided) together. In most cases, the rope consists of 3 strings, also called 3 strands of 3-ply rope. The composition of this fibre makes rope stronger than string.

While it is sturdy enough to work on bigger projects like a wall hanging or a tote bag, it is still soft on the hands which makes macrame rope very easy and comfortable to work with. Another fun feature of rope is that you can easily untwist it to create that fun and wavy fringe which is perfect for adding texture to your work.




macrame rope


At MeriWoolArt, our Macrame 3-ply twisted rope comes in two sizes (4 mm and 6 mm) and many modern colours. Featuring OEKO-TEX recycled cotton-rich fibres enhanced by viscose, it is a very strong and easy to work with macrame and knotting rope.

Yarn is so-called a length of fibres, that's the easiest way to explain it. When it comes to the term yarn there are two different 'categories'. You have the type used for embroidery or sewing and the sort of yarn used in crafts such as crochet, arm knitting, and macrame.

macrame rope blanket



We hope this article gave you some insight into the different materials and which one you should choose for your project. Happy macrame-ing!






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