Add Variety to Your Beadwork with Fabulous Beaded Fringe!

Jean Campbell is a
contributing editor to Beading Daily


Confession: I collect beading technique swatches like Imelda Marcos collected shoes. My collection is a bit more dorky, a whole lot less expensive, and easier to house, but item for item it may be just as vast. As Senior Editor and all-around Stitch Pro (!) for BeadworkMagazine, I need to know everything there is to know about beading, and collecting swatches of the techniques is one way I do it. 
So, if we were to compare my collection to Mrs. Marcos’s, I might say that the general beading stitches, in all of their flat, tubular, circular, increased, and decreased forms might be like her 
Givenchy, Chanel, and Christian Dior—the classics. But my fringe collection? Those are Alexander McQueen all the way, baby! 

    The huge variety and versatility of beaded fringe techniques makes it absolutely fun to collect. For one thing, fringe is useful in so many instances, like at the edge of a beaded bag or along the edge of a scarf. Even the smallest variation—bead size, bead number, bead type—will give it a different look. But I’ve also noticed that beadwork designers are using it more and more as part of their construction to form bracelet bases, bezels, flowers, and to cover the thread-exposed edges of flat peyote stitch, so as a designer myself, I’ve learned a lot about how fringe might be used as a building block in my own designs. 

Getting Creative
Basic fringe is done by stringing a series of beads, skipping the last bead strung, and passing back through the others. But what about a not-so-basic fringe? Why not get a little creative with this one from Beaded Cords, Chains, Straps, and Fringe?
Kinky Fringe

  1) String a length of 10 to 20 beads. This is the “stem.”
  2) Skip the last bead strung and pass back through the next 3 or 4 beads in the stem, pulling tightly to keep the beads in place.
  3) String 2 to 8 beads.
  4) Skip the last bead strung and pass back through those just strung and a few more on the main stem.
    5) Repeat Steps 2 to 4 until you reach the top of the stem.

Great techniques such as this one are piled high on every page in every issue of BeadworkMagazine, so I hope you’re a subscriber! Do you have a stitch swatch collection or a favorite fringe?

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