Bead-weaving Stitches in Action: Choosing the Right Stitch For Your Beading Project

Looking at a few of my favorite bead weaving stitches, the first thing that I notice is that the beads are lined up in pretty much the same way: rows stacked on top of each other, nice and neat, with a few variations in the alignment of the seed beads themselves.

Four of my favorite bead-weaving stitches: peyote stitch,  brick stitch, herringbone stitch, and square stitch.

But taking a closer look reveals that not all bead-weaving stitches are created equally. Each one has its own unique set of qualities based on the thread path that make it suited for certain jewelry-making tasks. If you're someone who loves to design your own beading projects, take a good look at the thread paths of these four popular bead-weaving stitches and see how they compare.

bead-weaving Peyote Stitch. Peyote stitch is by far one of the most popular bead-weaving stitches of all time. The thread path of flat peyote stitch makes flexible when you bend it in pretty much any direction. Working in tubular peyote stitch makes it a little stiffer, so that your peyote stitch ropes can support heavy pendants or work well as stand-alone beaded jewelry projects.
bead-weaving Brick Stitch. Brick stitch has a unique thread path among bead-weaving stitches. Beads in brick stitch are actually stitched together by their connecting threads in a manner similar to African Helix. (Which is probably the one bead-weaving stitch I have yet to master!) The alignment of seed beads in brick stitch look nearly identical to the alignment of seed beads in peyote stitch, but with one crucial difference: flat brick stitch can be bent relatively easily from side to side, but because of the nature of the thread path, it is extremely difficult to bend a piece of flat brick stitch from top to bottom.
bead-weaving Herringbone Stitch. Much like brick stitch, the thread path of herringbone stitch runs from side to side, making it easy to bend a piece of flat herringbone stitch from side to side. And again, just like brick stitch, it's difficult to bend a piece of flat herringbone stitch from top to bottom. Tubular herringbone stitch, however, has a wonderful, supple, and sturdy feel to it, making it suitable for beaded ropes where you want to hang a heavy pendant. The multiple passes of thread through each bead also create a sturdier structure.
Square Stitch. For those who like the look of loomed bead-weaving but don't want to weave in lots of threads or want to make tiny components for earrings and bracelets, square stitch is a great choice. Flat square stitch is quite flexible when you bend it from side to side, and can even be bent from top to bottom. But, beware: for those who don't like a lot of thread showing in their bead-weaving, bending a piece of flat square stitch will expose even more of the threads that hold the beads together. (Using a colored thread like Nymo or the colored Fireline from Sparkle Spot Bead Shop can help disguise those threads.)

I didn't talk about my right-angle weave, my other favorite bead-weaving stitch, because the thread path of right-angle weave is unlike anything else I can think of in the world of beading stitches. Because of that unique roundabout thread path, right-angle weave can be stitched and sewn together just like regular fabric. Like square stitch, there can sometimes be quite a bit of thread showing in between the stitches of right-angle weave, so using a beading thread in a color to match your seed beads is important.


Are you ready to explore more of what your favorite bead-weaving stitches can do? Do you need to complete your collection of Beadwork magazines from 2011? Check out the 2011 Beadwork Magazine CD Collection. You'll get all six issues of Beadwork magazine from 2011 in one, searchable CD. It's the same great content from the print magazine, but made digital for viewing on your favorite desktop or laptop computer. You'll get all of the very popular Designer of the Year projects, plus all the great product reviews, tips, and techniques from the professionals you trust at Beadwork magazine.

Or, if you're the type that can't wait to start beading, the 2011 Beadwork Magazine CD Collection is available as an instant download. Either way, get your 2011 Beadwork Magazine Collection and have fun testing the limits of your favorite bead-weaving stitches.

What's been your favorite bead-weaving stitch discovery? Have you found a new and innovative way to use one of our favorite bead-weaving stitches? Leave a comment and share your discoveries here on the Beading Daily blog!

Bead Happy,


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