Basic Techniques

Simple Techniques For Beaders

Stop-Bead

Also called a lock-bead or tension-bead, this is a bead attached to the thread to help keep beadwork in place. 

To attach a stop-bead, thread your needle, and pick up one seed bead.  Slide it down until to the point where you want the beadwork to begin.  Stitch back into the seed bead and pull tight.  The bead should now be secure on the thread.

Adding and Ending Thread:


When your working thread is running out, it is time to start a new thread.  Different stitches will require that you end threads and different lengths, but 4-6 inches is generally a good place to stop. 

Ending Thread: 

Finish the row or addition and make a note of where you left off stitching.  (You may want to add new thread at the same time so that you don't loose your place.  See below.)  With the finishing thread, stitch back into the bead work, following the thread path

If you prefer to knot the thread, you can move in a straight line across the bead work, securing the thread with a knot every 4 to 6 beads.  Otherwise, weave in a circular pattern, and try to have the thread cross over itself at least once before trimming.


To secure with knots, exit a bead and gently stitch under a nearby thread in the beadwork.  Pull the working thread slowly until you have a small loop.  Pass the needle through the loop and pull snug.  Continue stitching along the thread path and adding knots - 3 or 4 is suitable for most projects.  Secure the final knot and trim the thread as close to the beadwork as possible.

Adding thread: 

Cut a comfortable length of your preferred thread and attach a
stop-bead with a suitable tail length.  Stitch into the beadwork and exit where you left off stitching.  You may want to secure the new thread with a knot, or weave through some the beadwork to secure the thread before you resume.  The type of weaving you are doing will determine the best place to enter the beadwork with new thread.


With flat weaving, it is recommended that you add new thread on the same side of the beadwork each time, so that your knots and/or trimmed threads are all together.  You may want to leave your first stop-bead in place until the project is complete to help you remember where to add new thread. 

Otherwise, you can secure the tails of new threads as soon as the working thread is secure in the beadwork - a few rows or additions is usually enough.



Tail Threads: 

Finish tails from added thread in the same manner as working threads (above).  First remove the stop-bead, and stitch into the beadwork, following the threadpath.