Peyote Stitch

Create Items Using a Classic Stitch Technique

Peyote Stitch

 

Flat - Even Count Peyote


Materials:

Seed beads
Thread
Needle

You May Also Need:

Scissors
Bead Cups
Ruler

Note: These directions are intended for right-handed weaving.  You may wish to adjust the direction of the stitching for left-handed weaving.

1) Atttach a stop-bead to a comfortable length of thread, leaving an 8 inch tail.  Pick up and even number of beads.
2) With the stop bead facing away from you, use your left thumb and forefinger to grasp the last two beads in the stack, as well as a bit of the working thread, to keep the beads steady.  Pinch the beads from the side, to allow access for your needle.  
3) Pick up one bead, and stitch up into the second bead in the stack.  Pull tight, making sure the new bead is side-by-side with the first bead in the stack.
4) Without letting go of the beadwork, pick up one bead, and stitch up the the fourth bead in the stack.  Pull tight.
5) Carefully shift your grip to cover the new beads as you work, and pull the working thread to keep the stitches tight.  Don't worry if the beadwork appears curved.
6) Continue adding one bead at a time, skipping one bead in the stack and stitching through the next.
7) When the row is complete, flip the work over so the working thread is facing you.  Pick up one bead, and stitch up through the first raised bead in the previous row.  Pull tight.
8) Continue adding one bead at a time, stitching up through each raised bead.
9) Flip the beadwork over to start the next row.  If the bead work is curved, gently pull it straight with your fingers from the center out.
10) Continue adding rows until the beadwork is the desired length.  Remove stop-beads, secure the tails and trim.


Adding and ending thread:

With about 6 inches of working thread remaining at the end of a row, stitch down into the previous row, and continue following the thread path diagonally towards the center of the beadwork.  Tie a knot every 4 to 6 beads and trim after the final knot.  To secure the thread without knots, stitch a figure-eight pattern in the beadwork with the thread and trim the excess.

Attach a stop-bead to the new thread, leaving a 6 inch tail, and enter the beadwork at least 4 beads below the point where the last row ended.  Stitch in a zig-zag pattern up the beadwork, to exit the last bead in the row.  Continue stitching normally.

 

Two-drop Peyote


Materials:

Seed beads
Thread
Needle

You May Also Need:

Scissors
Bead Cups
Ruler

Note: These directions are intended for right-handed weaving.  You may wish to adjust the direction of the stitching for left-handed weaving.

1) Attach a stop-bead to a comfortable length of thread, leaving an 8 inch tail.  Pick up an even number of beads.
2) With the stop-bead facing away from you, use your left thumb and forefinger to grasp the last two beads in the stack, as well as a bit of the working thread, to keep the beads steady.  Pinch the beads from the side, to allow access for your needle.  
3) Pick up two beads, and stitch up through the 3rd and 4th beads in the stack.  Pull tight.
4) Continue adding two beads at a time, skipping two beads in the row, and stitching up through the next two.  As you work, shift your grip on the beadwork to grasp the new beads added, pulling snug as you go.
5) Flip the beadwork over to begin the next row.  Pick up two beads, and stitch up through the first set of two raised beads in the previous row.  Pull tight.
6) Continue adding two beads at a time until the beadwork is the desired length.  Remove stop-beads, secure the tails and trim.


Adding and ending thread:

With about 6 inches of working thread remaining at the end of a row, stitch down into the previous row, and continue following the thread path diagonally towards the center of the beadwork.  Tie a knot every 4 to 6 beads and trim after the final knot.  To secure the thread without knots, stitch a figure-eight pattern in the beadwork with the thread and trim the excess.

Attach a stop-bead to the new thread, leaving a 6 inch tail, and enter the beadwork at least 8 beads below the point where the last row ended.  Stitch in a zig-zag pattern up the beadwork, to exit the last bead in the row.  Continue stitching normally.


Peyote Stitch Hints:


  • Peyote stitch is one of the most difficult techniques to learn.  It is best to begin with delica or japanese seed beads, which have a more uniform shape that lock together much easier.  If delicas aren't available, silver-lined czech seed beads are a good substitute.  The have a less rounded shape than most solid colored czech beads, and are much easier to work with.


  • Peyote stitch can take a lot of practice to master. For new beaders, two-drop peyote is recommended to start with.  You may want to practice with this stitch before tackling the more difficult forms of peyote.  The first few rows of regular flat peyote can be the most difficult.  It can be practical to skip these steps and become more comfortable with weaving using this method:


1) Create a bead ladder 16 beads long.  Exit the last bead in the ladder, and pick up 3 beads.
2) Stitch down through the next bead in the ladder, then up through the following bead and pull tight.  This will form a picot.
3) Continue adding 3 beads at a time in this manner until the ladder has 8 picots.
4) Stitch up throug the previous bead in the ladder, and up through the last bead added.  (This step is similar to a step-up in flat herringbone stitch.)
5) Pick up one bead, and stitch through the raised bead of the picot.  Pull tight.
6) Continue adding one bead at a time to the raised beads, until the working thread exits the last picot.
7) Flip the work over, and continue adding beads with peyote stitch until the bead work is the desired length.  Finish the ends as desired, secure threads and trim.

  • Dutch Spiral is also an excellent stitch for practicing the techniques of peyote stitch.
  • A finished piece of flat peyote will have on equal number of bead stacks on top and bottom.  To avoid counting each row by hand, leave your original stop-bead in place until the piece is complete.  The rows are equal when the working thread exits the side opposite of the stop bead.