What's Your Favorite Bead-weaving Stitch?

May 6, 2011

Hello Beading Daily Community!

Some of you might already know me —I'm Jennifer VanBenschoten, and I've been a contributor to Beadwork magazine for a few years now.  I'm incredibly excited to introduce myself to you now as the new online editor for Beading Daily!

Bead-weaving (beadweaving) has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember.  Back when I was in high school, I started out with one of those little "Indian" bead looms, making bracelets and headbands and rings using seed beads.  Even at the age of fifteen, I was totally entranced by those wonderful little pieces of glass with their shiny colors and the way they just seemed to magically work themselves into jewelry with just a little thread and a needle.

And speaking of bead-weaving stitches we asked what your favorites are, and you answered!  Peyote stitch was the most popular reply, followed by right-angle weave and herringbone.  Personally, I love all of these bead-weaving stitches for different reasons . . .

Peyote Stitch Earrings - Randy Drobny - Antique Inspirations
Antique Inspirations
Randy Drobny

Peyote Stitch

What's not to love about peyote stitch?  Well, when I was just a baby beader way back when, peyote stitch was the most difficult bead-weaving stitch for me to learn.  I had mastered brick stitch, right angle weave, herringbone stitch and square stitch and had even made some cool spiral ropes—but peyote stitch?  Forget about it.  Luckily, I found a class nearby and quickly mastered peyote stitch, which only fanned my budding beading fire!  Lately, I've found myself working in all of peyote's wonderful variations—even count, odd count, two and three drop, and free form, and peyote stitch is by far my favorite stitch for making beaded bezels.

Lavender Lattice
Hortense E . Thompson

Right-angle Weave

I was surprised to see right-angle weave up there as a favorite stitch because of its, um, reputation.  You know what I'm talking about.  Right-angle weave is a really intimidating bead-weaving stitch for some beaders.  (That's how I felt about peyote stitch!)  But with a little practice, you can discover how much fun it really is.  Right-angle weave is my go-to stitch because of the way it creates a piece of beaded fabric that feels just like regular fabric.  You can drape it, stitch it together or wrap it around a form.  And if you like to embellish your bead-work, right-angle weave gives you the perfect base for adding crystals, pearls or whatever bling your heart desires!

Ode on a Grecian Urn
Jennifer VanBenchoten

Herringbone Stitch

Also called Ndebele (EN-duh-belly) after the African tribe that developed this stitch, herringbone stitch is steeped in history, culture, and tradition.  And it's just fun.  It's a pretty stitch—it makes beautiful tiny beaded flowers (something that I love as a way to get through the long, cold Adirondack winters), and with a few twists, it makes flowing beaded ropes.  My favorite way to use herringbone stitch is to use a range of sizes of seed beads, turning a piece of flat herringbone stitch into a graceful curve. 

Want to Learn More?

The possibilities of these stitches are really only limited by your imagination!  You can learn these stitches, and much more in the new special issue Favorite Beading Stitches from Beadwork magazine.  Get forty-one favorite beading projects plus learn variations and techniques for your favorite beading stitches, including peyote stitch, right-angle weave and herringbone stitch. 

What's your favorite bead-weaving stitch?  Tell us below!

Bead Happy!

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on May 6, 2011 11:22 AM

My favorite bead weaving stitches are, in order of preference are peyote, Ndebele, brick.  I am getting use to right angle and can do it but I would not put it on my favorite list.  I really love doing all kinds of spirals.

Glad to see a bead weaver as the new editor of the newsletter, welcome.


AngelaY2 wrote
on May 6, 2011 1:32 PM

When something new isn't working for me, I always fall back to Brick stitch and Russian Spiral.


Laida wrote
on May 6, 2011 1:56 PM

My favorite one for now is RAW, it was my first love, now am trying peyote, don't know why I see it more difficult, well. Up I go to keep learning!

on May 6, 2011 2:13 PM

Hi , Spanish Beader here,

I love the peyote stitch, but I can't follow a pattern in peyote. I lose my place.

Pamela Caton wrote
on May 6, 2011 4:28 PM

Hi Jen, Ny favorite stitch is also peyote stitch but I also love spiral stitch & St. Petersburg stitch. I was so glad to see your post about bead weaving today. Lately all the posts have been wire related. Guess I wasn't the only bead weaver feeling left out. Welcome aboard. Looking forward to many more bead weaving posts.


b.barth wrote
on May 6, 2011 5:30 PM

I love Right angle weave because it looks new and different with each type of bead I use it with.

frostyspal wrote
on May 6, 2011 6:55 PM

I am just barely twenty-four years old, and have been beading for twelve years. I am mostly self taught, but I learned Peyote stitch in a private lesson for my twelfth birthday. Peyote stitch has always been my favorite stitch, because I come up with the most new ideas, out of all of the stitches I have learned, from it.

traciking wrote
on May 6, 2011 7:20 PM

My favoriet weaving stitch is the right angle weave.  I learned it in a class at my local beading store and loved the look and just kept making them.  Once you know how to do it it isn't hard at all.  I'm not really a beader, more of a metalsmith, but this particular weave has been added to my designs.

traciking wrote
on May 6, 2011 7:22 PM

My favorite bead weaving stitch is the right angle weave.  I learned it in a class at the local bead store and have been doing it ever since.  I am a metalsmith but this technique looked so great I just had to incorporate it into my repertoire.

on May 7, 2011 2:39 AM


Have to say that RAW was the first stitch I mastered (before I even knew that it had a reputation!) and although I use other stitches it's the one I come back to.  Good to see some beadweaving last - I'd almost stopped reading.

BeadBarn wrote
on May 7, 2011 7:12 AM

Hi Jennifer... Welcome aboard... hope your stay is long and beadiful...Have to say that RAW is my passion with peyote coming in at 2nd place... and I don't include Herringbone anywhere... tried it several times and it just does nothing for me... don't know why, just don't feel it.

tpfrank wrote
on May 7, 2011 8:55 AM

Hi Jenifer,

I will have to say my favorite so far is Herringbone, I just like the way it looks either flat or spiral. I enjoy weaving beads and have used several different stiches and I'm still learning.


Eve-marie wrote
on May 7, 2011 2:50 PM

The first weaving stitch I did was probably right angle weave. I just love it. And then I did spiral stitch next. Most of what I've done so far has been the spiral because so many people loved it and wanted stuff made. Just about 2 weeks ago I finally got around to peyote and I've done a couple bracelets in that for myself. I think my favorites would have to be 1 right angle weave, 2 peyote stitch and 3 spiral stitch  with flat spiral being a close fourth. I'm still learning other ones and I guess I have learned the 'difficult' ones first. I've done an off-center right angle weave that came out great after I got it figured out. Beading rocks and I'm so excited about the whole thing. Beading has changed my life.

CathiT wrote
on May 8, 2011 10:18 AM

Hi Jen,

Congrats on your new assignment!  Your reputation precedes you - you are a natural for beading daily online editor.

My fav  stitch is peyote; I learned it myself years ago, and spent 1 year with "what ifs". What if I did this or what if I did that?  I taught it around the country for 3 years, with all its variation and became an "expert" at it.  It is so versatile, you can create just about anything with it.

Good luck again in the new assignment.  You will do well!

Cathi Tessier


kose2 wrote
on May 8, 2011 4:41 PM

My favourite is Raw and the diff peyote still learing For me they still are dificult Have to practice

waase wrote
on May 9, 2011 9:17 AM

I also was going to unsubscribe from Beading Daily turned Wire working daily.  Why not start a site for that alone? Waase

TashaMc wrote
on May 9, 2011 9:29 AM

Peyote, every time. I love the fact that my preferred (ridiculously) tight tension is a benefit, instead of a curse (darned RAW...). Plus it's the most fabulous stitch for creating shaped beadwork with different sizes and shapes of beads!

LisaS21 wrote
on May 9, 2011 1:28 PM

My favorite has to be tubular herringbone stitch -it has a nice even look and goes a lot faster than tubular peyote ;)

JanG@25 wrote
on May 10, 2011 2:00 PM

Welcome, Jen!  I'm not a bead weaver at all, so this is probably a good column for me to use for my 4 cents' worth.  Deep breath, now --

If bead weavers have been feeling left out, I have, too.  I enjoy stringing and working in polymer clay the most, and want to learn PMC and more about using those sacks of jewelry and parts friends give me.  Maybe I'm having a senior moment here, but I seem to remember more variety and much less advertising space in the column's early days.  Now, everything is slanted toward the next magazine, which I find quite limiting.  Time to widen the focus again, please!

So, even though you see nothing about peyote or RAW in my commentary, know that I have other beading interests and enjoy seeing a big variety of techniques and designs.  Thanks!

SASmith wrote
on May 10, 2011 2:22 PM

My favorites are St. Petersburg, Dutch Spiral and peyote (in all of its variations).

Helen@174 wrote
on May 10, 2011 4:48 PM

Hi Jen.

Favourite bead stitch is probably peyote,  I made my first beaded beads in peyote and was really pleased with the result, so will probably make more in future.

I also like ndebele because of the way it feels and looks, although I haven't done much with it as yet.  The next project I plan to make for myself is going to be an ndebele cuff in a houndstooth check.

I find that netting is great for a quicker stitch when making things like amulet purses, but was rather tedious the first (and only) time I made a lariat necklace!

I have to say I was quite intimidated by RAW until I made a pair of crystal cube ear-rings recently - and liked it so much I just had to make a bracelet to match!

If I ever get around to mastering it, St Petersburg could become another favourite too.

JerryI wrote
on May 11, 2011 10:22 AM

My favorite bead-weaving stitch isn't a stitch at all but is called Diagonal Weave or Bias Weave or Side Stitch.  There are no needles and no loom used in this Native American finger-woven technique.  I've been hooked on diagonal weave for over 30 years.  I was taught by Mrs. Thundercloud, a member of the  Ho Chunk  Nation (AKA Wisconsin Winnebago).


grammy@22 wrote
on May 11, 2011 1:17 PM

I do not have a favorite stitch.  I like whatever the project I am working on at a time needs.  I just enjoy working with the beads.  I have been working with beads for almost 20 years, and it all pleases me.

JaneMichael wrote
on May 11, 2011 3:11 PM

I can't get enough of the "Dutch Spiral." It is a form of the peyote stitch with a slight variation that allows for great freedom when choosing what beads to use. Check out some examples of my work here: www.facebook.com/janemichael.beads

on May 21, 2011 12:04 AM

my favourite stitch would have to be peyote, altough i would use herringbone in all my ropes, i found right angle weaving a challenge there for a while , loving embellishment i had to tackle and conquer it and now i love it

joyleen from down under