When you’re just starting out with Macrame, you’re probably wondering how to measure the correct rope length for your projects. In this Beginner’s Guide, I will give you all my best tips for estimating the length of your Macrame cords and ropes.

Affiliate links may be sprinkled throughout the awesome, free content you see below. I’ll receive a small commission when you purchase from my links (at no extra cost to you), which I’ll happily spend on more colorful macrame cords!

How do I know the length of cord I need for a project?

In most cases, your Macrame cord needs to roughly be about four times the length of your project. When your cord is folded in half with a Lark’s Head Knot to create two cords, then go for eight times the length.

When estimating the length of your cord, it’s important to look at the pattern first:

  • If your pattern consists of many knots, you will probably need more rope
  • When your pattern consists of many straight cords, you can cut the rope a bit shorter
  • The thicker the cord, the longer it needs to be
  • Braided and 3-ply ropes take up more length per knot than a single strand cord
  • When in doubt, always cut more rope than you think you need
  • Always estimate extra cord to create a fringe at the end

How do I change my cord thickness? 

When you decide to change your cord thickness from the size that is stated in your pattern, you will have to add or subtract length.

If you’re wondering how to measure cords when you change from 4mm to 5mm or the other way around, you can use this super handy calculation table on the website of Mary Maker Studio.

How to Macrame?

Are you new to Macrame? No worries, it’s actually very easy to learn! Check out my Macrame for Beginners Guides to quickly master the basic knots and discover all my best Macrame beginner tips.

Wondering which Macrame cords are best for beginners? Let me show you where to buy the best silky soft and eco-friendly Macrame cords in every color of the rainbow!

I’ve also created a Macrame Supplies Guide with all my favorite materials like hoops, dowels, and rings to make your Modern Macrame projects look even more amazing!

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Macrame Basics - How To Easily Measure Macrame Cord Lengths - Macrame Tutorials for Beginners

How to calculate Macrame cord lengths?

If you want to be more specific, you can calculate the length of each knot separately. Simply tie the knot and mark the top and bottom of the knot on the rope with a pen.

Now untie the knot to measure how much cord was needed for one knot and multiply the length of each knot to measure up your project.

I recommend keeping a record of all your measurements per cord size & type in mm for easy reference in the future.

How to Estimate Macrame Rope Lengths - Macrame for Beginners

What is the best cord for Macrame?

Most fiber artists prefer working with high-quality cotton rope because it’s strong and durable and makes your projects look amazing. Cotton rope is also easy to unravel so you can turn the ends into a lovely fringe.

Cotton rope is usually available in three types: Single strand, braided, and twisted. Braided cotton rope consists of 6 strands (or more) braided into one single rope. Twisted cotton rope consists of 3 strands (also known as 3-ply) twisted around each other.

Bobbiny Cords

I love creating my Macrame pieces with cords from Bobbiny. Their colorful and silky soft eco-friendly cords are very easy to work with and perfect for beginners. Read my full Bobbiny Product Review to discover why I recommend this brand!

How to Estimate Macrame Cord Lengths - Macrame for Beginners

What size cord is best for Macrame?

The thickness of the macrame cord is often indicated in millimeters (mm). When it comes to picking the right diameter of rope for your project, I recommend using a standard medium-sized Macrame cord of at least 3-5mm.

Medium sized cords are the #1 choice by most fiber artists and are perfect for creating your wall hangings, plant hangers and other Macrame home decor projects.

If you want to design a giant wall piece, you can even go up to 8mm. Just take into account that using such a thick cord will make your project very heavy.

For tiny projects like bracelets, I recommend staying under 2mm. You can check out my Macrame Supplies Guide to find the perfect cord for your next Macrame project!

Join the Macrame for Beginners Facebook Group!

When you’re just starting out with a new hobby, it can be very beneficial (and lots of fun) to connect with fellow beginners for tips and positive encouragement.

Therefore I’ve created the Macrame for Beginners Facebook Group: a safe place where you can learn new knots & patterns, ask all your questions, and share your latest creations with our lovely & positive Macrame community. Come and join us, we’re happy to help you out!

How do you choose the best Macrame rope?

After lots of trial and error, I’ve found that the quality of your ropes and cords is very important when it comes to working on a Macrame Wall hanging or Macrame Planter.

Especially as a beginner, you want a cord that’s soft on your fingers and easy to work with. When you’re still practicing your knots, I recommend picking patterns that use at least 4mm ropes so it’s easier to unravel when you’re making a mistake.

When it comes to my favorite brands, I definitely recommend working with high-quality soft cotton Macrame ropes from professional cord makers such as Bobbiny.

Easy DIY Macrame Beginner Projects

I’ve created a list of Easy Beginner Projects with video tutorials from some of the best Macrame teachers on YouTube. Each project is provided with all the correct measurements so you can start knotting right away!

Where to buy the best Macrame Cords and Ropes

Whether you’re searching for ropes, cords, dowels, rods, hoops, natural branches, or colorful beads, you can find a list of all the best quality Macrame ropes and cords in my Macrame Supplies Shopping Guide.

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Macrame Basics - How To Easily Measure Macrame Cord Lengths - Macrame Tutorials for Beginners

About Macrame for Beginners

Welcome to my blog macrameforbeginners.com, where we love to teach and inspire you to create your very own Macrame decorations.

New to Macrame? No worries, it’s super easy to learn! Check out all our Macrame for Beginners Guides to quickly discover the basics and get started right away!

We work with the best Macrame teachers
Macrame for Beginners has teamed up with some of the best online Macrame teachers so we can provide you with FREE high-quality tutorials. Learn how to make everything you’ve always dreamed of and discover all 100+ free patterns!

Watch my Latest YouTube Tutorial

This cute Macrame Rainbow / Semicircle wall hanging is super easy to make and only uses the square knot. Make sure to subscribe to the Macrame for Beginners YouTube channel for more fun beginner tutorials!

Check out these Easy Macrame Beginner Projects for more inspiration and read my Shopping Guide for the best Macrame supplies!

Happy Knotting!


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