A Beadwork Tutorial

Carving, Sculpture, Lapidary & much more.

A Beadwork Tutorial

Michael Bootz
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Michael Bootz
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July 5th, 2009, 12:59 pm #1

This is a little tutorial in which I'll try to show some basic beadwork techniques. I hope this will be useful for some people and help to get them started. This is especially for Iliana. Due to the circumstances there was no time to show Iliana how to do beadwork in Bulgaria, so I'm going to teach her this way.

I'm going to start with some basic and easy techniques and hopefully I will expand this tutorial in the future.

In this tutorial I will show you the way I do things. This does of course not mean that there are no other ways to do the same things. Neither does it mean that what I show is the best way to do things.




The Basics



What you need:



  1. Material to bead on. Ideally buckskin, I'll talk a bit about materials later.
  2. Needles. I use Sharp's 12 needles. Basically you can use any needle that fits through the hole in your beads.
  3. Thread. I use ordinary sewing machine thread, in a colour that matches the colour of the buckskin I work on. Make sure you use a thread that doesn't stretch too much.
  4. Beeswax (for waxing the thread)
  5. Scissors. You need a small pair with a sharp tip.
  6. Tape. A broad tape for taping the back of the buckskin (only required for buckskin or buckskin like materials - I'll talk about that a little later).
  7. A pen with a fine tip (for drawing guidelines).
  8. A Ruler.
  9. Beads. I mostly use size 11 seed beads. Of course you can also use larger or even smaller beads.
  10. A candle (not strictly necessary but I like it to heat the wax).



Materials

Let's talk about materials to bead on:

The ideal material is buckskin or a good quality imitation (i.e. a soft tanned leather with the grain off and the fibers intact). This will allow you to stitch only through the surface layer of the leather instead of stitching all the way through to the other side. Moreover, buckskin stretches. While this can cause problems (I'll talk about that later) it can also work to your advantage. Your stitches don't have to be super-precise because you can adjust them by pulling on the thread.

Nevertheless you can of course use other materials like e.g. commercial leather (even hard saddle leather), canvas or even wool cloth. With all these materials you have to stitch all the way through and if you use hard commercial leather you even have to puncture the holes for every stitch with an awl.



OK, time to begin! I will use imitation buckskin. Like buckskin it is very soft and stretches and as I mentioned above this can cause some trouble: We will draw some guidelines on the leather and while we work and pull the stitches tight the buckskin will pull and stretch and the guidelines (patterns etc.) will distort. To avoid that, we simply tape the back of the leather:











This will prevent the leather from stretching and distorting the guidelines and the beadwork. Since we won't stitch all the way through the leather it won't cause any problems and once the beadwork is done the tape can be removed. One word of advice concerning the tape: Try to get some good quality tape, not the cheapest stuff that is available. I've had a bad experience with some cheap tape once: When I was done with my beadwork and removed the tape, the tape came off but a lot of glue remained on the leather…

Since other (non-buckskin) materials usually do not stretch and you have to stitch all the way through, you don't apply tape to these.



Thread:

I usually use a thread in a colour that matches the colour of the buckskin I work on. This helps to hide your stitches, even if they are not that perfect. For this tutorial, however, I'll use a dark thread since it will show better in the pictures.









For best results, the thread you use should fill the holes of the beads as well as possible (we're going to double the thread. I'll talk about this shortly). This will make the beadwork look neat and the work will be very firm. What you want is the thickest thread that will still fit through the eye of your needle (without giving you constant headaches trying the thread the needle).



Threading the needle and waxing the thread:

Take a double arm's length of thread. Thread a needle with it, then double the thread:











Now it's time to wax the thread. This will do several things:

- It will make the two threads stick together and act as one thicker thread. If you don't wax the thread, it will tangle and you will get a knot in your thread in no time.

- It will protect the thread from fraying and breaking.

- It will make the thread even thicker so it will better fill the holes of the beads.



To wax the thread heat a piece of beeswax over a candle and then pull the thread through the warm wax a couple of times:






Afterwards your thread should look like this:






As you can see the two threads stick together and act as one thread. If there is excess wax on your thread you can simply strip it off with your fingers.

Heating the wax over the candle is not strictly necessary but I think waxing the thread works better if the wax is hot when you pull the thread through.



While you work and pull the thread through the leather again and again, the wax will wear off. Once you notice that the two threads are starting to come apart, re-wax the thread.





Stringing beads:

I like to put the beads in a flat dish with a very low rim:




This is actually the lid of a small box that contained epoxy tubes. I started using these simply because I had them.



Put some beads into the dish (I use one per bead colour). You don't want a heap of beads, there should be only one layer of beads:




Now start picking up beads with the needle.

Pick the first bead up with the tip of the needle:





Push the bead to the back of the needle with your index finger:








Pick the next bead up with the needle…






…and again push it to the back of the needle with your index finger:





Pick up the next bead…





…and so on until you have picked up the desired number of beads. With a little practice this can be done very quickly.







Now we're done with the basics and ready to start working!
Last edited by Michael Bootz on September 14th, 2009, 6:10 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Michael Bootz
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July 5th, 2009, 1:12 pm #2

Lane Stitch



The first technique is called lane stitch (sometimes also referred to as lazy stitch). This technique is quite easy to learn and can be used for some pretty impressive work and designs.

This is what lane stitch beadwork looks like:






The beadwork is organized in lanes. Within each lane are parallel rows of beads. Each row contains the same number of beads (except if your rows taper for some reason - but we're going to keep it simple now). The rows of beads within the lanes do not lie completely flat but are slightly arched (I'll show you a detailed shot later).





Here we go:



First we need to draw some guidelines:




Here I have drawn two lanes on the piece of leather. I have already taped the back of the leather (see above). Always tape the back of the leather before you draw your guidelines! It is best to draw all the lanes you're going to do before you start working. The width of the lanes depends on the design you want to make and the number of beads you want to use for one lane. Lanes can be from about 3-12 beads wide (8 or 9 beads is quite common). Think about the design you want to use before you draw the lanes! Some designs will require an even number of beads in the lanes, other designs will require an odd number of beads.

I don't want to do any designs so I simply made my lanes 1 cm wide.



First you have to "knot" your thread to the leather. Here's how this is done on buckskin (or imitation buckskin):

Make a small stitch (remember that on buckskin the stitches go only through the top layer of the leather. You don't stitch all the way through.) close to the point where you will start your work. Do this in an area that will later be covered by the beads.




Pull the thread through, but not all the way. Leave a tiny end sticking out.



Now make another small stitch in the same place. Again pull the thread through, but don't pull like crazy or you will pull the thread out.




Make a third stitch in the same place:






Pull the stitch taut. The three stitches in the same place form a kind of a knot that holds very well:




Now that the thread is knotted down take a stitch to one corner of the lane, where you will begin your work. It does not matter if you begin at the top or the bottom corner of the lane.









If you use a material other than buckskin then you can't knot the thread like this. Simply tie one (or more) overhand knot in the end of the thread then stitch through the leather from the bottom side (on the spot where you will begin to work).



Time to start beading!

Pick up a number of beads with your needle. The number you will need depends on the width of your lanes.



You don't want the beads to lie completely flat on the leather. The goal is to have a slightly arched row of beads. In order to achieve this, you take one bead more than would be necessary for a completely flat row (I will show you some photos that will make that clearer below). With my lane width and the size of beads I use 8 beads are good (you will find out that even with e.g. size 11 beads, the actual sizes will vary depending on batches and colours. Red beads might be slightly larger than green beads, etc.).






To start working, I turned the leather around. If you're right handed (like me), then you will work from right to left. After you picked up the beads, take a stitch on the opposite end of the lane (remember that on buckskin, all your stitches go only through the surface layer of the leather). A simple running stitch is used for lane stitch beadwork. Since the desired result is parallel rows of beads next to each other, the length of your stitch should be exactly the width of one bead. Your stitch goes from the center of the bead-row to the center of the next row.






Now pull your stitch tight (but don't pull like crazy).






You might have noticed that in the last two photos, I've threaded 9 beads (but I talked about 8 beads above). Well, I started with 9 beads and after the first stitch I noticed that 9 was one too much, so opened the stitch again and removed one bead. I was just too lazy to take the two pictures again



The photo below shows the slightly arched row I talked about. You can see that with one bead less, the row would lie completely flat:






Now keep working in the same manner. Thread another 8 beads and take another running stitch that is as long as the width of one bead, but this time on the bottom guideline:











Keep working like this until you've reached the end of the lane. The most important thing is to get the spacing of the stitches right. If your stitches are to short, then the rows will be crowded and overlap. If your stitches are too long, then there will be spaces between the rows. If at any time you take a stitch that is too long or to short, then you can simply undo it by pulling on the thread and thus pulling the needle backwards through the leather. Beading needles are so thin that this works without problems (those tiny needles had to have an advantage ).



Once you've reached the end of the lane you will have to knot the thread off.






It is best to do this in an area that will later be covered by beads, so take a stitch to someplace within another lane:











Now simply make three small backstitches.

One:




Two:






Three:






Done:






Now the thread is secured and you can cut it off close to the leather:






Now you're ready to start the next lane. Knot the thread to the leather in a spot close to the beginning of the next lane like I showed you above. Then take a stitch to the point where you will begin the next lane. This time start at the bottom of the lane, right next to where the first bead-row of the previous lane is. Your thread should emerge very close to the previous lane, exactly in the center of the beads of the first row:






Note:

I bead the lanes from bottom to top (starting with the bottom lane and working my way up). That's just a personal preference, you can also work from top to bottom if you prefer.



Pick up 8 beads, go to the top guideline and take a stitch, like you did when beading the first lane:











Now thread another 8 beads and take a stitch on the bottom guideline:






The first lane helps you determine the length of the stitches of the next lane. While you had to work "blind" when beading the first lane, now the first lane shows you exactly how long your stitches have to be:






The needle enters the leather at point A, which is the center of the second bead-row in the first lane. The needle emerges at point B, which is the center of the third bead-row in the first lane.

The stitches of the previous lane help you make the stitches of the next lane. This is why it is very important to get the spacing of the stitches right in your first lane. If the spacing in the first lane is not good, then it won't help you any for the next lane.






Continue working until you've reached the end of the lane:






Done! Now tie off the thread like I showed you above. After beading the last lane, there is no space to tie off the thread that will later be covered by beads. In this case you can either tie the thread off between the beads of the lane or very close to the lane.





To make designs you can either change bead colours with each row of beads. This will result in "blocky" designs like this:




For more intricate designs, you can also thread beads of different colours for each stitch. I used this for the red and green triangles on this knife sheath:






A quite impressive example of lane stitch beadwork (not done by me):









OK, now you know how to do lane-stitch beadwork!




Coming up next: Edge-beading
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123Sharo
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July 7th, 2009, 1:02 pm #3

WOW!!! Michael thank you sooooooo much! It is a wonderful thing you did, I'm sure many beginners (like me) will be happy to read it!

It is perfectly clear said and the photography is great!

Thank you very much for your time and your efforts! Fantastic job!!!


Iliana

p.s. Please Michael, post some of your fantastic bead work at the end, it will inspire us all!
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Michael Bootz
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July 7th, 2009, 6:56 pm #4

"Advanced" Lane Stitch Work



Now that you know how the lane stitch works it is time to show you some things that are a little more difficult to do.



Tapering lanes



Sometimes you will have to make lanes that taper to a point. Fortunately this is pretty easy to do. It doesn't matter if you start the lane on the "normal" or on the "pointy" end. I started on the "normal" end for this tutorial. If you want to start with the other end, just follow the instructions in reverse order.



First draw your guidelines:






Start beading as described above and work until you reached the point where the lane begins to taper:






Since the lane is getting narrower, you'll need less beads for the following stitches. How many beads you will need depends on how sharp your lane tapers. Just string a number of beads and check before you make the next stitch:






My lane doesn't taper very sharply so one bead less (7 in this case) is good. Make the next stitch on the upper guideline. The guideline is slanting and your stitch should be on the guideline. That means your stitch should follow the guideline and not be horizontal as usual:






Then string the beads for the next row. In my example I strung another bead less than before, which makes 6 beads. Depending on your taper you might need more (if your taper is very shallow) or even less (if your taper is very sharp):









Next stitch, again one bead less (now I'm down to 5):






Keep working like this until you've reached the end of the lane. For each row I used one bead less than for the previous row. If your lane ends in a sharp point, then you will use only one bead for the last row:





Done:









You can also use this method to make triangles like this one:

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Michael Bootz
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July 7th, 2009, 7:01 pm #5

Curved lanes



Curved lanes are more difficult to bead than straight ones. You'll soon see why. Here is a curved lane I drew:






(It's not really pretty but it'll do to explain the technique )



If you look at the guidelines then the problem becomes apparent: The outer guideline is longer than the inner one! This means that the length and the spacing of the stitches has to be different on the two guidelines. On straight lanes all the stitches are as long as the width of one bead. On curved lanes, the stitches on the outer guideline have to be longer and spaced farther apart than the stitches on the inner guideline. Sounds complicated? Don't worry, it isn't all that bad.

First let's draw some more guidelines that will make life a little easier:






As you can see I drew a couple of radial lines that would start at the center of the imaginary circles of which the inner and outer guideline of the lane are part of. These lines will help quite a bit because they show how the bead-rows have to be oriented within the lane and thus they will make determining the stitch-length and -spacing on the outer guideline easier.



Enough technical talk, time to start beading:






Here comes the second row. As you can see I used the "usual" stitch-length (i.e. the width of one bead) on the inner guideline while the stitch on the outer guideline is a little longer, resulting in a little gap between the bead-rows:






Third row, same thing: The stitches are close together on the inner guideline. On the outer guideline, the stitches are longer and spaced farther apart.






Fourth row:






Continue working in this manner and watch the radial guidelines. They tell you how the bead-rows have to be oriented at a certain point. If at any time you take a stitch that is too short, too long or in the wrong place just undo it as I described above: pull on the thread und pull the needle backwards through the leather. Adjust the length and position of the stitch and continue working.









Done:

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Michael Bootz
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July 7th, 2009, 7:10 pm #6

Sharp curves



Very sharp curves present an additional problem. Take a look at the guidelines in the next picture:










This curve is very sharp. If you used the technique for curved lanes as I explained it above, then the stitches on the outer guideline would have to be very long and spaced far apart. This would result in very large gaps between the bead-rows on the outer guideline, which would look rather ugly and crude. Fortunately there is a little trick that allows us to bead curved lanes like this one in a way that will look very neat.



Start beading as if this was an "ordinary" curved lane:








I've stitched down a couple of rows, spacing them a little farther apart on the outer guideline than on the inner one. Work like this until you reach the point where the lane begins to bend sharply.

Now the fun starts. We have to do something that will allow us to work around the curve without leaving large gaps between the bead-rows on the outer guideline. The trick is to string less beads than usual for the next stitch: While I used 8 beads per stitch for the previous rows, I will only use 6 beads for the next one:






There is also a difference in how you make the stitch on the inner guideline. You don't place the stitch on the inner guideline as usual. Instead, the needle enters the leather within the lane. The needle enters on the spot you would use if you had a narrower lane that was only 6 beads wide. The needle emerges on the inner guideline, one bead-width apart from the previous stitch. I hope the close-up will make it a bit clearer and easier to understand:








The needle enters the leather at point A. As you can see point A is about 2 beads away from the inner guideline (or 6 beads away from the outer guideline). The distance from the outer guideline to point A is the width you would use for a lane for which you would use 6 beads.

Point B is on the inner guideline and is one bead-width apart from the last stitch on the inner guideline. Point B is the spot where the needle would enter the leather if you took a "normal" stitch with 8 beads.



This is what the new row looks like:











The next row is done in the usual manner, using 8 beads:




The next row after that is again done with 6 beads, exactly as I explained above:








Another close-up that shows you how to make the stitch. This one is a little better than the last one:




The finished row:






Keep working like this, alternately using 6 and 8 beads. Next row has 8 beads:








6 beads:








8 beads:








6 beads:








8 beads:






6 beads:








8 beads:








6 beads:




8 beads:






Now the difficult part is over! We completely worked around the sharp bend. The rest of the lane is only slightly curved and we can work the rest like an "ordinary" curved lane, using 8 beads in every row.

The finished lane:







How many beads you have to use for every other row depends on how sharp the curve is. The curve in this example is pretty sharp, so I had to use 2 beads less (6 instead of 8. If you bead a lane that doesn't curve quite as sharply then one bead less in every other row (7 in that case) will probably be enough.

Coming up next: Edge-beading

(edited to fix the problem with the smiley)
Last edited by Michael Bootz on July 17th, 2009, 8:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Michael Bootz
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July 7th, 2009, 7:16 pm #7

Hmm, that smiley with the sunglasses should have been an 8....
For some reason I cannot edit the posting. Whenever I try to edit it, it doesn't show me the whole posting but only half of it.
Could one of the adminds maybe edit this (or am I doing something wrong)?
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Wulf16
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July 9th, 2009, 4:40 am #8

Michael, thank you thank you thank you for posting these tutorials! I've been beading on/off for about 8 years, and you have hit some of the points that I'm still having some trouble with. And you've made it so easy to understand! Thanks for sharing your techniques! I will definitely be checking back to see new chapters in your lessons!
"Do not be bound by the limits you place on yourself. It is only when you reach beyond what you think you can do that you will almost surely do far more than you thought you could."
~Chiungalla, A Sorrow in Our Heart
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Michael Bootz
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July 9th, 2009, 7:09 am #9

You're very welcome!
I'm really glad if this helpful!
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Michael Bootz
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July 17th, 2009, 5:33 pm #10

Edge-beading



There are several ways to decorate the edges of your work with beads. Most of them are pretty similar to do and they all have some things in common: - You need to stitch all the way through the material, even on buckskin. Therefore no tape is used for edge-beading!

- All edging techniques can also be used to sow two pieces of leather (or any other material you bead on) together (I'll talk about that later).

- For most techniques (as a matter of fact for all except for the last one I will show you), no guidelines are necessary.



Simple bead line



This technique is just a simple line of beads running along the edge. First knot the thread to the leather. Knot the thread to the backside of the leather and close to the edge, about 2mm from the edge. In contrast to lane stitch beadwork we're going to work from left to right (if you're left-handed then you will probably want to work from right to left), so knot the thread on the left end of the piece you work on.






Now turn the piece around so that the thread is on the side facing away from you and string one bead:











Run the needle through the leather. Place the stitch about 2mm from the edge, on the spot where the thread is knotted to the leather. The needle should emerge on the spot where you knotted the thread to the leather:




Do not pull the stitch tight yet.

Now pass the needle through the bead, from left to right:




It is important that the needle passes through the bead from left to right, not from right to left!



Pull your stitch tight:




Passing the needle through the bead from left to right makes the bead stand on its side after pulling the stitch tight.

Now that the first bead is stitched down we can start working. String 4 beads:




Take another stitch, again about 2mm away from the edge. The stitch should be placed 4 bead-lengths away from the first one. Make the 4 beads you strung lay flat on the edge as I did for the picture, then you can see where to place the stitch:




Before you pull the stitch tight, pass the needle through the last bead, like you did before (from left to right!). Then pull the stitch tight:









Now you can see why no guidelines are used for most edging techniques:

- The edge being decorated is usually straight (or it has a regular shape, like a curve), so placing the stitches about 2mm from the edge is no problem, even without guidelines.

- The stitches are placed some distance apart (the distance varies depending on the technique used) and the beads are on the edge (i.e. they do not hide the stitches like in the lane stitch technique). As a consequence the beads would not hide the guidelines and therefore the guidelines would be visible.



Continue working in this manner. String another 4 beads and take a stitch. Place the stitch 4 bead lengths to the right of the last one:




Pass the needle through the last bead from left to right, then pull the stitch tight:






Your work should look like this:






A line of beads, running along the edge.

Once you've reached the end of the edge, tie your thread off like I showed you for the lane stitch technique.
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Michael Bootz
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July 17th, 2009, 5:40 pm #11

Simple bead line II



The next technique is also a line of beads along the edge. But in contrast to the technique I just showed you, here every bead lies flat on the edge.

Start by knotting the thread to the leather and stringing one bead, just like I showed above:






Take a stitch like above, don't pull it tight yet, and then pass the needle through the bead, but not from left to right! In this technique, the needle is passed through the bead from right to left (or from bottom to top):






Pull your stitch tight. The bead will now lie flat on the edge (and not stand on its side like in the previous technique):




String another bead and take the next stitch. The stitch should be placed one bead-width away from the last one (just like in lane stitch beadwork):




Pass the needle through the last bead, from right to left (or from bottom to top) and pull the stitch tight:









Continue working in this manner:






The result is a line of beads that lie flat on the edge instead of standing on their sides:









For a slightly different look you can also string two beads instead of one for each stitch:







Place the stitch one bead-width away from the last one. Although you strung two beads, the spacing of the stitches is identical to the "one-bead version" of this technique. Pass the needle through both beads, from right to left:






Then pull the stitch tight, string another two beads and continue working in this manner:






Here you can see the one-bead version and the two bead version of this technique next to each other:

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Michael Bootz
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July 17th, 2009, 5:53 pm #12

Zipper-edging



The technique I will show you now looks like a zipper and is therefore sometimes called "zipper-edging".

Start just like you did working on the last two techniques: Knot the thread to the leather, string one bead and take the first stitch:











Pass the needle through the bead from right to left (like in the previous technique) and pull the stitch tight:






Now string two beads:






Take a stitch. The stitch should be placed about 1.5 bead-widths away from the last one. I know this sounds weird and complicated but you'll soon see why and trust me, it isn't really difficult.




Pass the needle through the last bead (not through both!), from right to left:






Now pull the stitch tight:





As you pull the stitch tight, the last bead will lay flat on the leather, but the bead in the middle will stand up on its side.



Take a look at the close-up:




Now you can see why the stitches should be placed about 1.5 bead-widths apart:

There should be a little space between the two beads that lie flat on the edge. If the stitches were placed one bead-width apart, then those two beads would touch each other and there would be too little space for the bead standing upright between them. If the stitches were two bead-widths apart, then the bead in the middle would not stand up as nicely, because it would be between the two other beads, touching the leather.



To continue working string another two beads and take the next stitch:






Before you pull the stitch tight, pass the needle through the last bead, from right to left:












Continue working like this. The final result will look like a "bead zipper":

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Michael Bootz
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July 17th, 2009, 6:05 pm #13

Rolled edging



The last edging technique is very similar to the lane stitch. The main difference is that the beads are stitched over the edge instead of on a flat area. This technique is often used to decorate the mouths of bags and pouches.

Take a piece of leather and fold the edge over:
















How much of the edge you fold over is up to you. The more you fold over, the more beads you will need for each stitch. It is best to either use some glue or make a couple of running stitches to hold the folded edge in place. I usually don't bother to use needle and thread and simply use glue, because it is much quicker.



This is the only edging technique for which guidelines are used. Since the technique works like the lane stitch, the guidelines will be hidden by the beadwork. Draw a horizontal line that runs parallel to the edge on both sides of the leather. Both lines should have the same distance to the edge, i.e. they should be in the same place, only on opposite sides of the leather:



On a pouch, this would be the inside of the pouch:




And this would be the outside:






How far away from the edge you place the guidelines is up to you. The farther away, the more beads you will need for each stitch. I usually draw the lines between 0,5cm and 1 cm away from the edge. I wouldn't recommend making the distance larger than 1cm. If you use too many beads for each stitch, then the beaded rows will not be nice and firm.



In contrast to the lane stitch, you will work from left to right (like with all other edging techniques). Start by knotting the thread to the leather (again on the back side of the piece). Take a stitch to the guideline, then turn the piece around:









Now string some beads. Lay the thread over the edge to the front side and string as many beads as are needed to reach down to the guideline on the front side. You will use the same number of beads for every stitch:




Here's a side view:






Take the first stitch. The needle enters the leather on the guideline, opposite to the spot where the thread is on the back side:





On the back side, the needle should emerge on the guideline, one bead-width apart from the last stitch (just like in lane stitch beadwork):






Pull your stitch tight:






String the same number of beads you used for the first stitch and take the next stitch. Place the stitch one bead-width apart from the last one.




Like before, the needle should emerge on the back side guideline, one bead width apart from the last stitch:




Then pull the stitch tight:






Continue working in this manner. This is what the finished work looks like:

Front side:




Back side:




You can see that the work looks like lane stitch beadwork. Instead of being in the same plane, the two guidelines are on the opposite sides of the leather and the beads are therefore stitched "over the edge".



Once finished, tie the thread off (either between the bead-rows or on the back side, close to the beadwork).
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Michael Bootz
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July 17th, 2009, 6:08 pm #14

Using edging techniques to sew things together



As I told you in the beginning, all the edging techniques I showed you can be used to sew two pieces of leather (or other material) together. This is a nice way to stitch up bags and pouches and decorating the edges at the same time. Instead of having a visible seam, you will have an edge that is decorated with beads.



Take the two pieces that you want to sew together. Using a little glue to hold them together is a good idea as is makes life a little easier. This is especially useful when using buckskin because the buckskin stretches. If, while working, one piece stretches a little more than the other one, then the two pieces won't be aligned anymore, i.e. once you've reached the end of one piece, there'll be a little of the other piece left… Doesn't really look neat.



Knot the thread to the leather and start working.






Use one of the edging techniques and work like I showed you above. The only difference is that you will have to stitch through two layers of leather instead of one.

I used the "zipper edging" for my example:














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Wulf16
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Wulf16
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July 18th, 2009, 3:59 am #15

Michael, I hadn't thought of a few of these edging techniques. I've always liked using the zipper edge, but never tried it without the "zipper" bead. I'm going to use the rolled edging next time I make a pouch!

Keep the tutorials coming, if you can! You have at LEAST one person reading word for word. And I'm sure many more are reading as well!
"Do not be bound by the limits you place on yourself. It is only when you reach beyond what you think you can do that you will almost surely do far more than you thought you could."
~Chiungalla, A Sorrow in Our Heart
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Wulf16
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Wulf16
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July 18th, 2009, 3:59 am #16

Michael, I hadn't thought of a few of these edging techniques. I've always liked using the zipper edge, but never tried it without the "zipper" bead. I'm going to use the rolled edging next time I make a pouch!

Keep the tutorials coming, if you can! You have at LEAST one person reading word for word. And I'm sure many more are reading as well!
"Do not be bound by the limits you place on yourself. It is only when you reach beyond what you think you can do that you will almost surely do far more than you thought you could."
~Chiungalla, A Sorrow in Our Heart
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123Sharo
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July 18th, 2009, 5:46 am #17

More then one are reading

And I admire you Michael! Thanks for the patience and the time to take those photos and post the detailed and so clear explanations!

You do amazing job!!!


Iliana

p.s. I'm copying this thread in the Artforum as well, hopefully more people will read it there.
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123Sharo
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123Sharo
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July 18th, 2009, 5:46 am #18

More then one are reading

And I admire you Michael! Thanks for the patience and the time to take those photos and post the detailed and so clear explanations!

You do amazing job!!!


Iliana

p.s. I'm copying this thread in the Artforum as well, hopefully more people will read it there.
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Wulf16
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July 18th, 2009, 9:00 pm #19

;-)
"Do not be bound by the limits you place on yourself. It is only when you reach beyond what you think you can do that you will almost surely do far more than you thought you could."
~Chiungalla, A Sorrow in Our Heart
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jacqueeagonsr
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jacqueeagonsr
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July 25th, 2009, 7:51 pm #20

Awesome tutorial - I tried beading about 2 years ago and the result was less than satisfactory. With this info I'll be willing to try again.
One question - where do you get good imitation buckskin?? Real buckskin is so expensive - and it should be, considering all the work that goes into making it.

Many thanks,
Jacque
Jacque Eagon
Eagon Leather & Knives
Rowlett, Texas
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