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.