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Comparing Loom Beading and Square Stitch

By March 5, 2012

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Whether you bead on a loom or use the off-loom stitch called square stitch, your beads are aligned in a true grid formation -- there are none of the offsets in rows or columns that you find other stitch types.

That means that you can use square stitch patterns for loomwork, and loomwork patterns for square stitch. However, it doesn't mean that your beadwork will look and feel the same.

Here's an example of the Moroccan Coral pattern stitched on a bead loom:

Loomwork

And here it is stitched off-loom with square stitch:

Square Stitch

The most obvious difference is the lay of the beads. In loomwork, the rows are nearly perfectly straight and give the pattern a neat, crisp look. With square stitch, the rows are always a little wavy and are never perfectly straight.

Another big difference is the visibility of the thread. With loomwork, the warp threads on the outside edges of the beadwork are obvious, while with square stitch the thread is pretty visible between beads all throughout the beadwork.

The differing thread paths also give the two pieces of beadwork noticeably different feel. The loomwork feels more sturdy, almost like a belt or watch band. The square stitch is softer and very slightly elastic.

Stay tuned for next week when we'll learn how to use square stitch as a "helper stitch" to set up a loom for "no warps" beadweaving.

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