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A Magazine for Sheffield
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CharKnots Sustainable modern macramé

Sustainable eco brand CharKnots shares the magic of macramé with Sheffield & beyond.

Macramé has made a joyous return to home decor in the last few years and has become a go-to hobby for those who like a slice of mindfulness with their making. But the resurgence of the art form has also seen macramé artists become flourishing small business owners. Charlotte, aka CharKnots, is one such artist and I chatted to her to find out more about her slow-made homeware and accessories.

Hi Charlotte. Lovely to meet you. Firstly, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into macramé?

Great to meet you too! I’ve been making for as long as I can remember. I used to spend time at weekends and after school crafting at my Nanan’s dining table and it was what I’d look forward to every week. I was bullied really badly at school and I think this was my way of escaping. At school I was always drawn to the creative subjects and am very lucky to have a family that supported my creativity and encouraged me to take the art and design route. I went on to study Fashion and Textile Design at university where I discovered my love of curating colour and exploring more complex textile work.

After graduating, I worked in several jobs as a sewing machinist. The jobs didn’t offer much creative freedom so I decided to dabble in a few different textile techniques in my free time - ultimately landing on macramé around five years ago. Initially I solely made plant hangers. I found the technique so freeing and it offered a solution on how to control my ever-growing houseplant collection in our very small house! It took a lot of confidence to finally put myself and my work out there a couple of years ago and I haven’t looked back since.

Macrame wall planter eco friendly 2
No 3 mustard
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It feels like there are endless design possibilities with macramé. What do you enjoy most about the process of creating your pieces?

Absolutely, I think that’s what I enjoy the most. There are no limits to what I can create. My pieces range from plant hangers to bags to accessories. Each of my pieces is an original design that I’ve spent hours creating. I like the challenge of producing premium pieces people haven’t seen before. At a recent market, a customer said, “I’ve never seen anyone do macramé like this" and for me that’s the ultimate compliment. I like to think of my work as a curated collection. My product range is quite vast, so tying it all together in a considered colour palette is hugely important.

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You’re a proudly eco-conscious brand. How have you woven sustainability and care for the environment into CharKnots?

Each piece is made from recycled textiles, with the majority of my pieces being made from 100% recycled cotton. There are no dyes or chemicals used in the production of the rope. Textiles are shredded and mixed to create the desired colour and then reconstructed into the rope I use in my work.

Alongside this, I create in small batches to ensure that there is as little waste as possible and my online orders are shipped in paper packaging. I also believe in creating a product that is made to last, so ensuring my pieces will stand the test of time is a huge factor.

As a seasoned macramé artist, I imagine you’ve got all the knots and techniques down to a fine art, but do you find there is still more to learn?

Always! I’m constantly learning and thinking of ways to improve. My head’s always filled with new ideas and techniques I want to try. The possibilities really are endless.

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Rope vessel 100 recycled cotton

There are a range of macramé workshops available to book on your website. Can you tell us more about these?

Of course! I’ve been hosting workshops for almost a year now. I offer a range of workshops, including plant hangers, wall hangings and advanced classes. I host in several locations around the city, including Small Plants, The Light Cinema and Sheffield Cathedral. Each workshop is around 60-90 minutes long and I start off by giving a brief history of the technique (it didn’t originate in the 1970s, despite popular belief!) before showing attendees the knots required to make their chosen product. Each workshop has such a great atmosphere and is very relaxed. I hold the workshops in small, intimate groups to ensure everyone gets the level of attention they require. I love seeing the joy on people’s faces as they create and everyone leaves with their own handcrafted creation.

And finally, what’s on the horizon for you in the coming months?

Alongside the workshops, I’ll be popping up at various markets around Sheffield in the coming months including Peddler Market in July and Pollen Market in August. I also have a few new product ideas that I’m hoping to work on!

by Felicity Jackson (she/her)

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