BeadBacking for Bead Embroidery


Nicole's BeadBacking in an assortment of colors

If you love to do bead embroidery, I've just discovered a bead backing that beats out everything else I've ever used: Nicole's BeadBacking. This bead embroidery medium was developed by bead artist Nicole Campanella, and is the result of her experiments with felting. Nicole's BeadBacking is a cotton blend fabric that is stiff enough to stand on its own when used for bead embroidery, yet soft and flexibly enough to allow a beading needle to pass through it easily.

The first thing that caught my attention with Nicole's BeadBacking is that it comes in a range of colors. Whenever I've done bead embroidery in the past, I've had to dye my white bead embroidery medium to a different color using fabric dye. This is a messy step, but it made my bead embroidery look more professional and helped my bead colors blend together nicely. Nicole's BeadBacking bead embroidery medium comes in fourteen different colors and three different sizes, so it's pretty much perfect for whatever kind of bead embroidery project I want to do. The smaller sizes are perfect for bracelets and pendants, while the larger sizes make perfect beaded collars and necklaces.


A simple beaded cabochon project

To put Nicole's BeadBacking to the test, I picked out a small cabochon and glued it down. I stitched a peyote stitch bezel around the cabochon and found that my needle went through the embroidery medium effortlessly. Even though I was using a larger needle (my new favorite size 11 Tulip beading needles), I didn't see any large holes in the BeadBacking when I had to tear out a couple of stitches. I was also impressed at how well the BeadBacking held its shape through the many rows of bead embroidery I stitched around the cabochon. I usually stitch my beads down with a tight tension, and the BeadBacking never puckered or warped as I was stitching.

Finally, it was time to add my brass embroidery blank as the filling to my bead embroidery "sandwich" before I attached the Ultrasuede backing. But even after adding all those rows of bead embroidery, I found that the piece of Nicole's BeadBacking that I used was still so stiff that I probably didn't need to use the brass embroidery blank! I almost forgot to glue the bead embroidery to the blank to the back of the bead embroidery! I went ahead and included it anyway, and it made the whole pendant feel more substantial without feeling too clunky.

Overall, I was very impressed with Nicole's BeadBacking for my bead embroidery projects. Nicole's BeadBacking is a thick yet flexible bead embroidery medium that takes the hassle out of creating professional-looking bead embroidery projects.

You can purchase Nicole's BeadBacking in packs of assorted colors through her Etsy shop or in single pieces from her website.

Bead On!



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Jennifer VanBenschoten

About Jennifer VanBenschoten

Born in New Jersey in 1974, I escaped to the Adirondacks for the first time in 1995, making it my permanent home in 2000.  I have been interested in beads, buttons and making jewelry as long as I can remember.  It's probably my mother's fault - she was a fiber artist and crochet historian, and whenever she ordered supplies from one mail order source, she would order a huge bag of assorted buttons and beads for me and my sister!    

25 thoughts on “BeadBacking for Bead Embroidery

  1. Ohhhh Jennifer thank you so very much for your wonderful words about my Nicole’s BeadBacking. I love your personal story of how and what you experienced with Nicole’s BeadBacking.
    I have posted a big thank you on my blog as well.
    You are the best

  2. Thanks for the review Jennifer! It was very timely.. I’ve been wanting to get back into bead embroidery, and this was the inspiration I needed. I just ordered some backing, and a really pretty rose cameo cab from Nicole’s etsy store.

  3. What a great find! I’ve just ordered a selection of colours – it’s so nice to think I’ll be able to start any colour of bead embroidery without having to spend ages dyeing first.

  4. For me, the fact that I don’t have to spend all the time and money on fabric dye (plus the fact that dying bead embroidery backing is just plain messy!) was the first thing that sold me. I was even more delighted when I felt the BeadBacking and saw how it worked in action. In my opinion, it’s a superior product to anything else that I’ve ever used!

  5. I too use Nicole’s Beadbacking. I had used LSS when I first started, but ran into too much frizz… after working on a big project. It was quite comical so I had to blog about the “frizz” because I’m a curly haired girl.

    After using Nicoles, I’ll never go back… especially since I can make things matchy, matchy with all her colors!

    Trust me when I say, you won’t be disappointed!

    Designs by Dawn Marie

  6. I LOVE Nicole’s beadbacking. Its is the best product. Customer service is outstanding as well. Try it out Folks- You won’t go back to any of the other backing products!

  7. Wonderful review of a great product. I have used Nicole’s Beadbacking exclusively for several years and have just started creating french beaded flower cuffs. It is fabulous stuff & available in so many colors! Wouldn’t use anything else!

  8. Just count me as one more fan of this great product. The difference between this product and the competition is amazing. It is sweet to work with and doesn’t have to be dyed or completely covered up to finish it off. I don’t do as much of this type of beadwork, but when I do I am delighted to reach for my stash of Nicole’s Beadbacking.

  9. What a great product. We have been using Nicole’s Beadbacking now for several months for our porcupine quill work. Love the great colors and the fact I do not have to dye the backing. I do enough dyeing with the quills and it is messy. Thanks for the great item and I will be ordering more soon for my students. Sarah

  10. I love Nicole’s BeadBacking! I used the “other” stuff but I just love how it uniformly becomes supple when creating my art neckpieces. I have a bead shop and I sell it to everyone who wants to do bead embroidery – that is when I am not taking from my supply for my own personal beading!

  11. I’ve been using Nicole’s beadbacking since I started beadembroidery about 5 years ago and have not looked back. The quality, choice fo colours and price are unbeatable!!!

  12. Thanks for posting this. I was just about to go buy some Rit dye for my Lacy’s Stiff Stuff. I never would have known about this product if not for your post.

    I just bought 2 sample packs of BeadBacking.

  13. Thanks so much for writing about Nicole’s BeadBacking! I went to her website and ordered large pieces in all my favorite colors (I can always cut them down to the size I want)….Her pricing is so reasonable!

    Of course, I LOVE the fact that I won’t have to try coloring the Lacy’s Stiff Stuff (which is such a pain and a piece made in Sherry Serafini’s class last year at Bead&Button is ruined by the white showing through). I am also looking forward to using a backing that is stiffer and holds its shape throughout the project. I had been feeling that it was necessary to put the LSS in an embroidery hoop in order to work with it.

    I don’t do a lot of bead embroidery at the moment but any product that can help make the process more enjoyable and the results more professional-looking is welcome. Thanks so much for letting us know about this wonderful BeadBacking!

  14. As a friend of Nicole’s, you can rest assured that the awesome vibe of the wonderful person she is will be infused into your piece! That alone, should be enought for ya’ll to use this product. Plus it is wonderful to work with! not having to dye it makes it so you can immediately start your embroidery! And the affordable price is just icing!!

    Mary Beers
    Zhade’s Designs

  15. Just received my order from Nicole’s etsy shop, and lightning fast, I must add! I can’t wait to try out Nicole’s BeadBacking. It looks like it will be excellent to use, and the colors are beautiful. Thank you.

  16. Just purchased and rec’d within 2 days of purchase the set of Nicole’s Beadbacking in a variety of colors. The range of colors is inspirational. I also purchased Nicole’s book ” Gourdgeous Beaded Gourds” and am excited to start a new adventure in beading gourds. Thanx Nicole

  17. I purchased the 9×6 assortment pack. I ordered it on a Saturday and it shipped that day. Pricing was very reasonable. I’m looking forward to working with the backing as the color selection, thickness and stiffness are great. I saw this article as I was about to buy dye for my other backing. Thanks for the article and thanks to Nicole for the backing.

  18. A huge thank you to all of you for writing in. I appreciate the kind words. Glad Nicole’s BeadBacking is the right beading supply for you.

    As always wishing you the best and to bead with honor and integrity.


  19. A beader friend turned me on to Nicole’s BeadBacking for bead embroidery or flatwork, gluing cabochons, and much more. The BeadBacking is great to work with and needles easily go through it easily. It holds its shape nicely, too. I highly recommend using Nicole’s BeadBacking for your beadwork, bead emboridery, flatwork and more. Check it out!