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Beadwork is an artwork in which we work with beads and this artwork has different types. In this article, we will talk about five different types of beadwork and what you can do with each type? Let’s get started!
Depending on certain criteria, professionals use different types for different projects. The most common types of beadwork include:
Off-loom bead weaving
Braiding with beads
You are not restricted to these only. There are other different types too, but these are the most common. Now, let’s talk about this five beadwork.
A bead loom is a device to weave beads into cloth-like beaded fabrics. You can use this to create larger-sized beaded panels strips of flat-beadwork. These then can be used to make different artwork such as purses and more. The beads are aligned in rows and columns in loom beadwork. Loom beading is quicker than the off-loom bead stitches. However, you need to set up the loom for some additional steps before starting with loom beading.
This beadwork type is the most common and straightforward. But you cannot take it too easy. Bead stringing involves carefully adding beads to different materials that include such as thread, leather, elastic, cord, beading wire, or other materials. The final outcome of the beadwork can be a single strand, multiple strands, and braided strands. You can separate the beads with different knots like pearls or some other spacer beads. If you have just started out, stringing beads on a material such as an elastic cord is a great way to make beaded bracelets. Another great option to make bracelets, earrings, or necklaces is stringing beads on a beading wire.
Bead embroidery is another beadwork type where you will be stitching or sewing the beads onto a fabric material or backing. There are several bead embroidery stitch types. You can use bead embroidery work for itself or in relation to the other craft like quilting or cross-stitching. On top of that, bead embroidery is one of those techniques of bead artwork recommended by the Native Americans for embellishing fabrics and other liked items.
In off-loom beading, you will use a needle and thread along with one or more beading stitches. This way, you can make a delicate and elegant chain of fabric beads. This technique is called off-loom beading.
Off-loom beading is usually done using small beads. These beads are called seed beads. The name is given to the beads due to their resemblance to seeds. The size of seed beads varies from small to large. They also include different types of shapes like bugle beads, cubes, drop beads (that do not have the same small, round shape as a traditional seed bead).
The size of seed beads can range anywhere from 15 (too small) to 6 (too large). The bead size is determined by how many beads laid side-to-side will fit in an inch. As a general rule of thumb, the larger the number, the smaller the bead.
To do off-loom beading, you need a needle and thread to stitch small beads together. You will find different beading stitches for connecting the beads. Each stitch is unique in its own way with a different thread path. This way, you can create different types of beadwork.
The most common beading stitches include:
Herringbone stitch (also known as Ndebele)
A lot of these stitches come with different variations making either a round tube, a flat circular shape, a spiral, or a flat beadwork strip. Native Americans used off-loom beadwork stitches like the brick stitch or peyote or a different version of peyote called gourd stitch for making elegant jewelry, utensils, and other items.
Some other mentionable beadwork includes bead knitting, kumihimo (it is a braiding style that uses a disk and the beats are also strung before the braiding) with beads, bead crochet, and macrame (it is a knotting technique which incorporates beads in the overall artwork) with beads. To do bead crochet or bead knitting, you need to string the beads onto a heavy thread in a particular way. Then, include the beads into the crochet or knitting.
This is all you need to know about these five common types of beadwork. However, you are not limited to these only. There are other different types used in the industry. Each having its own purpose and use. The more you get into it, the more you will learn and the more you learn, the easier it becomes to master this craft.
If you still have any questions about beadwork or in particular, custom embroidery digitizing, feel free to reach out to us at Migdigitizing. We will be happy to assist you.
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