The following Knot Works were produced throughout the years since the establishment of The MArlin Spikes in 2011. Marlinspike Seamanship, Macramé, Decorative knotting, what do all these have in common? It is simply KNOTS.
Macramé, as we know it, dates back to the 13th century. The Spanish word itself comes from the Arabic word migramah meaning decorative fringe. The art itself was brought to Spain by the Moors during their conquest in 711 AD. It was later passed into Europe and became the art of the sailor.
Sailors spent many hours at sea with nothing to do and Macramé became their pastime. Rope was readily available and so was the time. The art form was simple as it used square knots and half hitches a technique that could easily be done aboard ship. Sailors quickly turned this art form into something called Marlinspike Seamanship. This new form was passed on as sailors made their travels.
They quickly learned that Marlinspike Seamanship could be used not only for fanciful covering but it had a purpose as well. The covering of knife handles to prevent slipping. The covering of bottles to prevent them from breaking. The making of bell ropes, ship rail covering, mats, rugs, beckets for chests etc. Whatever the sailor’s mind could conger up it was more than likely capable of being knotted.
During the American Civil war period, sailors were no different. While on Blockading Duty, there was much idle time so the sailors would turn to their art. Today the Navy still upholds the tradition of knotting and true Marlinspike Seamanship. You will find many fanciful decorative knotting aboard any ship of any country. Those versed in the art are true sailors. The tradition lives on through many living history units and the International Guild of Knot Tyers.
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