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Beading Stitches Used to Make Beaded Ropes


Beaded ropes are fun to stitch up and can be made from any tubular variation of a flat beadweaving stitch.  There are also a couple of beaded rope stitches that aren't related to another beadweaving stitch.  Beaded ropes are incredibly versatile and can be used to make beaded bracelets, beaded necklaces and beaded lariats. 

Explore each of the stitches listed here to find a beaded rope stitch for your next project.

1. Tubular Even Count Peyote Stitch

Jennifer VanBenschoten

Tubular even count peyote stitch is worked with an even number of beads in the initial ring of beads.  The even number of beads causes a "step up" at the end of each round and keeps the rounds even. 

Tubular even count peyote stitch can also be used for other projects, such as making a beaded bezel for a Swarovski crystal Rivoli or cabochon.

2. Tubular Odd Count Peyote

Jennifer VanBenschoten

The sister stitch to tubular even count peyote, tubular odd count peyote stitch is worked by using an odd number of beads in the initial ring.  Because there is no "step up" at the end of each round, the beads spiral together for a series of smooth twisted lines.  It is more difficult to keep track of rows in tubular odd count peyote stitch, but it works just as well as tubular even count peyote when making beaded ropes and lariats.

3. Tubular Herringbone

Jennifer VanBenschoten

Also known as tubular Ndebele, this stitch creates a smooth tube that almost looks like metal work when done with metallic seed beads.  It is extremely flexible and can be used for all sorts of things, including amulet bag straps and anklets.

4. Twisted Tubular Herringbone

Jennifer VanBenschoten

A variation on tubular herringbone (Ndebele) stitch, this stitch is worked so that the rows of beads twist around each other.  Because of the way it is worked, it is a little bit stiffer than regular tubular herringbone, and can be used to support heavier pendants and slides.  Try working it with three or four different colors and finishes of seed beads for a beautiful effect!

5. Tubular Right Angle Weave

Jennifer VanBenschoten

This is an extremely soft and supple beading stitch, but strong enough to support a heavy pendant or slide.  It is best worked around some kind of form - either a pencil, dowel or other stick to support the stitches until you have reached the desired length of your rope.  It is also easy to embellish using crystals, pearls or other glass beads.

6. Tubular Netting

Jennifer VanBenschoten

Tubular netting can be either very stiff or very soft, depending on how tightly you bead.  This is another stitch that is very versatile when used for making beaded ropes and can be embellished in lots of different ways.  It can also be used to cover a colored or decorative piece of satin or drapery cord for another interesting effect.

7. Spiral Rope

Spiral rope is a stitch that does not have a flat relative.  It is worked by adding sets of accent beads around a core.  It is extremely flexible and strong and can be used for bracelets, necklaces, lariats and even as fringe for beaded pendants.  It does not require the use of a form such as a pencil or stick to hold it's shape.  Embellish it with fringe, crystals, pearls or sea shells to make one-of-a-kind pieces.

8. Double Spiral Rope

Jennifer VanBenschoten

A variation of spiral rope, this rope uses two sets of accent beads for each core bead.  Still very flexible, it is somewhat thicker than regular spiral rope and is great for supporting heavier beads and pendants.

9. Dutch Spiral

Jennifer VanBenschoten

This stitch is a variation of tubular odd count peyote stitch in which the beads just spiral evenly around each other.  It looks wonderful when worked with two different colors of beads, and can be made either very flexible or very stiff depending on how tightly you stitch.  It is best worked around some type of form - a pencil, dowel or stick.

10. Cellini Spiral

Jennifer VanBenschoten

This stitch is a variation of tubular even count peyote stitch.  It's texture and spiral actually come from the use of different sizes of seed beads in the same round.  It is extremely stiff, and makes a great focal piece for bracelets and necklaces.  Try finishing the ends with a softer stitch such as tubular netting or tubular right angle weave.

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