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The pandemic had created a craft revolution around the world with more people picking up knitting, painting and other art forms to keep themselves sane and entertained.
One hobby that has flourished is macramé, a form of textile produced using knotting techniques.
It was long crafted by sailors, especially in elaborate or ornamental knotting forms, to cover anything from knife handles, bottles to parts of ships.
It’s the second top emerging craft trend around the globe and has formed a fan following on the island thanks to Bahraini Khawla Alawadhi.
The mother-of-two boys took on the crafty design when she was having her second son. She said she found it therapeutic and relaxing.
“I was obsessed with pictures of macramé that I saw on Instagram created by artists based in the UK,” said the 31-year-old legal researcher from Arad.
“I also found a Russian girl in Bahrain posting her macramé creations and asked her if she could teach me the basics knots. That was almost two years ago. Now, I’m a legal researcher by day and a macramé maker by night!
“When the kids are asleep, I make my decaf coffee, play my fav podcast and start working on it. Sometimes I’m up until midnight. I can’t help it. When I start a piece I love to finish it.”
Macramé is so versatile that it can be used in many ways such as decorative wall hangings or hanging chairs, planters, key chains, as belts, jewellery or even as a fringe on other textiles.
The primary knots of macramé are square (or reef knot) and forms of ‘hitching’.
Cavandoli macramé is one variety that is used to form geometric and free-form patterns like weaving. It is done mainly in a single knot, the double half-hitch knot.
Leather or fabric belts are another accessory often created via macramé. Most friendship bracelets exchanged among schoolchildren and teens are also created using this method.
Khawla creates each knot using cotton cord and a wooden ring or dowel. She doesn’t require many tools to do this, other than scissors, a tape measure and a rolling rack for clothes to keep the item in place while she is working.
A small project like a plant hanger can take her around one hour to make.
Khawla is inspired by her travels and learning about different cultures. For example, she was inspired by the lifestyle in Scandinavian countries and by the colourful yarn and fabric art in Marrakesh.
She said: “That inspired me to combine weaving into macramé by adding some colours in my project.”
Having always been artsy, Khawla decided to share her passion, as well as spread awareness, by starting a macramé Instagram account @hygge.bh in which she displays her designs and stages workshops to teach others the handy skill.
“Hygge, (pronounced hue- guh), is a Danish word used when acknowledging a feeling or moment whether alone or with friends, at home or out, ordinary or extraordinary,” She explained.
“This is what I feel when I’m making macramé, and when I’m making new friends while teaching the trade at my workshops. As they learn a new skill, we are enjoying my freshly-baked goods over coffee and tea, as well as chatting about beautiful things in life.”
For details, follow @hygge.bh on Instagram or email firstname.lastname@example.org.