Bead Embroidery applies beads on foundation materials like leather, fabric, or other materials to adorn the surface. Beyond the basic materials for bead weaving, bead embroidery only requires a few specialized tools or materials. You may learn a little bit about the history of this beading technique from this page.
Consider adorning garments, making extravagant theatrical costumes, occasion-wear handbags and accessories, and, more lately, gorgeous beaded jewelry.
How does bead embroidery work?
Bead embroidery is as simple as stitching beads onto fabric. The beads can cover substantial areas of fabric or just as small decorative accents. Seed beads, pearls, crystals, and sequins are common materials for this kind of art.
Bead embroidery can also be categorized as both sewing and beading. Therefore, you could find bead embroidery techniques covered in dressmaking or couture classes. The techniques are very similar to one another. As a result, many of the ancient methods used by beaders have been employed for centuries by dressmakers and fashion designers. However, bead embroidery has advanced along with the beading industry.
Embroidery Foundation for Beads
In contrast to loom beading or off-loom bead weaving, where beads are sewn together, beads are sewn onto a fabric basis in bead embroidery. Knowing which sort of beading foundation would be most effective for your project is crucial, given the wide variety of available options.
Some foundations for bead embroidery work include faux leather or suede, interfacing for fabric embroidery, or a substance specifically made for bead embroidery called Lacy’s Stiff Stuff.
Beading supply companies, fabric stores, craft stores, and online bead shops carry foundations for embroidery.
Lining with Beads Embroidery
You’ll probably need some lining to stiffen your beadwork as part of the bead embroidery “sandwich” you make while constructing a piece of jewelry or art with bead embroidery. Your pieces will be more sturdy, and the beadwork’s shape won’t deteriorate with time if you like them.
A piece of a plastic milk jug or a brass embroidery blank from Designer’s Findings are also suitable materials for bead embroidery linings. Always experiment with different materials to determine the best suited for your tasks.
Embroidery Bead Backings
The backing is the final layer in your “sandwich” of bead embroidery. Not only do backings conceal the bead embroidery stitches and keep the lining in place, but they also safeguard the beadwork and improve comfort.
The fabric of some sort is the ideal choice for a bead embroidery backing. Many seasoned bead artists like Sensuede and Ultrasuede, but you can also use a thin piece of natural leather. Your work will look more polished if it has a decent bead embroidered backing.
String for Beads
You’ll attach your beads to the framework for your bead embroidery with beading thread.
Leaders often utilize two types of basic beading thread: gel-spun or fishing line-type thread and nylon beading thread.
For their bead embroidery, some readers swear by nylon beading threads. They won’t make significant holes in the foundation of the bead embroidery and are soft and sturdy. They also come in various colors and thicknesses to accommodate many bead kinds.
Some people favor using threads made of gel or fishing lines. These are not as colorful as nylon beading threads but are robust and stiffer than nylon threads. Permanent markers can be used to color some of them.
It is a good idea to experiment with both types of beading thread to determine which one you feel most comfortable using because either type will work well for bead embroidery.
Simple Guidelines for Beadwork on Fabric
- For bead embroidery, nylon or silk beading thread is preferable. Cotton thread is prone to breaking, especially when it comes into contact with some beads’ pointed edges.
- Double the thread on the needle for strength and durability when working with beads.
- Apply beeswax to the thread to strengthen it, make it less likely to break, and stop knots.
- For bead embroidery, use fine needles. The beads should be simple for the needle to enter and exit. Ask for beading needles or use a very fine size 28 tapestry needle.
- Remember to interface the cloth back to minimize sagging when creating a large pattern.
- Never pull the thread too tightly or too loosely; keep the tension level.
- Bead embroidery can be ruined by several typical issues, including beads placed too far apart, beads that bulge up from lack of room, and fabric that puckers under the bead embroidery.
- Selecting the thread’s color – Avoid settling for the too-light or too-dark thread if you can’t get the same color as the beads.