Bead Woven & Embroidery Bracelet -Bead Weaving the Base
The ten warp threads I dressed the loom with created nine working spaces to place my beads. Using approx. 18” C-Lon beading thread, I threaded nine beads of a similar size for my first row. Once my first few rows of beading were established, I was able to choose among the 8/0 seed beads, 10/0 delica beads and an occasional larger 6/0 bead. The concept here is that the base beads all be of a similar size to not expand or contract the space between the warp threads too much. It really is very much like creating a puzzle with smaller beads sitting atop larger ones from the previous row, and vice versa. The good news is that after making my first bracelet I learned the important fact that this base will be pretty well covered with embellishment beads and will only show through as a background so don’t sweat it too much. As long as the width of the bracelet remains fairly consistent you’ll be ok. (And I say fairly even” because even this can be fudged later on if need be.)
You can approach the weaving of this bracelet in one of two ways: You can bead weave the entire bracelet’s base and then completely embellish the full piece or you can weave the base for several rows, embellish just these rows, go back to weaving the base and embellishing those rows, etc. For these photos I did it the second way, initially weaving ten rows before embellishing. I was not patient enough to weave the whole bracelet before indulging in the fun part which for me is the embellishment. That is where you really get to play.
It is best to do your embellishing when you are relaxed and not in a hurry. I must warn you that this is a very time consuming process. Each and every embellishment bead is threaded and secured individually and forcing a bead where it does not belong will only bring misery. Trust me on this- ask me how I know.
When you are ready to begin adding your embellishment beads, you begin by coming out the side of the last row you wove and picking up a larger bead. In my case I used a bugle bead on the top right hand side of the photo. I then sewed through the bead below that is two warps over.
According to the instructions the rule here is to sew through a bead that is far enough away that the embellishment bead will lie flat but not so far away that the beading thread will show. Although you will initially measure each bead before finding its landing spot, with a little experience after a few rows, you will pretty much be able to eyeball it and this will make things move along a little faster.
After placing the first embellished bead you can go anywhere you want in the woven piece. In my case, the next bead I added was a crystal traveling across the piece. You can choose to travel anywhere you like across the piece however you will probably find that working in small sections makes the most sense rather than criss-crossing all over the place and getting the embellishment threads tangled up. The point is to cover a lot of the base beads nearly entirely while angling the beads differently so that they add interest.
You will continue weaving and embellishing until your piece is large enough to fit around your wrist keeping in mind the type of clasp that you intend to use. In the case of this kit, we will be making a loop on one side with a button on the other. Your piece will shrink at least a third of an inch when you take it off the loom because the warp threads are under tension so keep this in mind while measuring.
Next: Finshing Your Bracelet