This post is also available in: German
In the flick of a wrist, macramé plant hangers can turn an apartment into an urban jungle landscape. The Berlin designer Dörte Bundt reinterprets an old knotting technique to create striking contemporary objects.
Macramé has been making its way back into interior design for a few years now, with its popularity increasing in North America as well as Europe. However, the seemingly rustic designs from the old days don’t have much to do with contemporary macramé works. Delicately interwoven strings are making their way seamlessly into the interiors of hip cafes, modern lofts and fashionable apartments. In addition to the popular plant hangers, you will also find lamp shades, wall hangings and even cradles for babies. Macramé offers a lot of room for creativity.
Dörte Bundt was one of the first to resuscitate macramé in Germany. She started her first knotting attempts four years ago. Her inspiration came thanks to a trip to the west coast of the US: ‘My boyfriend lived in California for a long time. There were a lot of macramé pieces from the 70s to discover there. In Germany, they would have long since disappeared from people’s living rooms’, explains the Berlin-based handcrafter enthusiastically. Step by step, Dörte learned the weaving technique with the help of old pattern books that she ordered on the internet. Starting with basic knots at first, she soon moved on to create more and more artistic works – until her living room slowly threatened to explode at the seams. At that time, Dörte was working at Dawanda, an online marketplace for handmade objects. In 2015, she left her job and turned her hobby into her vocation. With her label ‘California Dreaming’, Dörte fulfilled her dream of working for herself. ‘Having studied International Business really helped me to build up my company’, the label owner tells us smiling.
Success didn’t take long to come. Her finger was right on the pulse with her handmade macramé hanging baskets. But it is not just her timing that is perfect. Her personal style, which has developed over the years, is unique as well. Her designs seem stripped back, almost minimalist. The use of coloured threads, fine geometry and also unusual plant containers made of glass or copper make her work unmistakable. She lets her creativity run free. In addition to greenery, Dörte also suspends fruit bowls at lofty heights. But she really shows the diversity of her weaving technique in her large-format commissions. Almost 1000 ropes and two days of work were necessary to imaginatively decorate a tree in the garden of the Frankfurt club Le Panther. The artwork will stay on display for the next three years. And macramé even has a place in the realm of love: Dörte wove a bespoke macramé alter for one couple’s truly unique wedding.
Dörte Bundt has about 30 knots at her command, and creating her macramé pieces of course demands patience and dexterity. But you can make a simple plant holder using just a few different knots, something that ‘beginners can manage easily’. In her three-hour workshops, she explains the most important hand movements to macramé newbies, and participants will not only make their first hanging basket themselves, but will also learn all the important knots so that they can continue to be creative on their own.
In her online shop ‘California Dreaming’, you can buy many beautiful macramé products, as well as book workshops and learn the handcraft from scratch. More information can be found here.
Shopping for macramé in Berlin? Here’s where to find what you’re looking for:
Tempelhofer Ufer 1, 10961 Berlin – Kreuzberg
Un Autre Voodoo
Hasenheide 54, 10967 Berlin – Kreuzberg
Studio183 at Bikini Berlin
Galerie 1. Floor 1, Budapester Straße 38 – 51, 10787 Berlin – Charlottenburg
Brunnenstraße 183, 10119 Berlin – Mitte
Rykestraße 48, 10405 Berlin – Prenzlauer Berg