Looking at a few of my favorite bead weaving stitches, the first thing that I notice is that the beads are lined up in pretty much the same way: rows stacked on top of each other, nice and neat, with a few variations in the alignment of the seed beads themselves.
|Four of my favorite bead-weaving stitches: peyote stitch, brick stitch, herringbone stitch, and square stitch.|
But taking a closer look reveals that not all bead-weaving stitches are created equally. Each one has its own unique set of qualities based on the thread path that make it suited for certain jewelry-making tasks. If you're someone who loves to design your own beading projects, take a good look at the thread paths of these four popular bead-weaving stitches and see how they compare.
|Peyote Stitch. Peyote stitch is by far one of the most popular bead-weaving stitches of all time. The thread path of flat peyote stitch makes flexible when you bend it in pretty much any direction. Working in tubular peyote stitch makes it a little stiffer, so that your peyote stitch ropes can support heavy pendants or work well as stand-alone beaded jewelry projects.|
|Brick Stitch. Brick stitch has a unique thread path among bead-weaving stitches. Beads in brick stitch are actually stitched together by their connecting threads in a manner similar to African Helix. (Which is probably the one bead-weaving stitch I have yet to master!) The alignment of seed beads in brick stitch look nearly identical to the alignment of seed beads in peyote stitch, but with one crucial difference: flat brick stitch can be bent relatively easily from side to side, but because of the nature of the thread path, it is extremely difficult to bend a piece of flat brick stitch from top to bottom.|
|Herringbone Stitch. Much like brick stitch, the thread path of herringbone stitch runs from side to side, making it easy to bend a piece of flat herringbone stitch from side to side. And again, just like brick stitch, it's difficult to bend a piece of flat herringbone stitch from top to bottom. Tubular herringbone stitch, however, has a wonderful, supple, and sturdy feel to it, making it suitable for beaded ropes where you want to hang a heavy pendant. The multiple passes of thread through each bead also create a sturdier structure.|
|Square Stitch. For those who like the look of loomed bead-weaving but don't want to weave in lots of threads or want to make tiny components for earrings and bracelets, square stitch is a great choice. Flat square stitch is quite flexible when you bend it from side to side, and can even be bent from top to bottom. But, beware: for those who don't like a lot of thread showing in their bead-weaving, bending a piece of flat square stitch will expose even more of the threads that hold the beads together. (Using a colored thread like Nymo or the colored Fireline from Sparkle Spot Bead Shop can help disguise those threads.)|
I didn't talk about my right-angle weave, my other favorite bead-weaving stitch, because the thread path of right-angle weave is unlike anything else I can think of in the world of beading stitches. Because of that unique roundabout thread path, right-angle weave can be stitched and sewn together just like regular fabric. Like square stitch, there can sometimes be quite a bit of thread showing in between the stitches of right-angle weave, so using a beading thread in a color to match your seed beads is important.
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What's been your favorite bead-weaving stitch discovery? Have you found a new and innovative way to use one of our favorite bead-weaving stitches? Leave a comment and share your discoveries here on the Beading Daily blog!