Beading Then and Now

Kristal Wick
Kristal Wick
is the editor of
Beading Daily

I've discovered one of the most important aspects of nearly anything and everything is "in the details." Jewelry making is certainly no exception! Sure, you want your pieces to be stunning in the design category; of course you want them to be well made, to stand the test of time, and not fall apart scattering deadly seed beads across the dance floor (seriously, I've had a few nightmares about this scene); and you want each piece to please the eye aesthetically. But do you always tend to each finishing detail, or are you in such a hurry to wear it/sell it/give it to your BFF that you miss adding that extra something-something to add the final "pop."

As you've journeyed with me through my seed-bead escapades of late, you've witnessed my new addiction 24-7, called seed-bead stitching, more specifically, the delightful peyote stitch. I've explored combining color pallets and different-sized seed beads, but I've got to say my favorite part is adding the final touch-I love fringe!

Bead Stitching from the Beginning of Time

Fringe has been popular for eons and I pause to think of those ancestors fringing the most basic of items using the very same stitch I use today, only my fringe sparkles with Swarovski crystals, and theirs was done with a more organic feel, using materials and styles of the times. Funny, not all that much has truly changed. This really hit home while perusing Weldon's Practical Bead-Work: How to Make Beaded Tassels, Cuffs, Ornaments, Sprays, and Fringes. These needlework beading patterns are from London at the turn of the twentieth century. In an effort to bring needlework to the emerging middle class, Weldon's, a paper pattern producer of the Victorian era, began to publish monthly newsletters devoted to various needle crafts. Later they were collected into book form, and we now have them in electronic form. My, how times have changed, or maybe not so much . . .

Here are some of my first seed-bead fringes inspired by Weldon's beadwork series and those ancient beaders who stitched the path for me and all of you!


More elaborate types of trims using seed beads, 6mm, 4mm, and 3mm Swarovski crystals and pearls.


Much simpler trims using seed beads, 3mm, and 4mm Swarovski crystals.

Join me in exploring embellishment beading projects from the Weldon's Practical Bead-Work: How to Make Beaded Tassels, Cuffs, Ornaments, Sprays, and Fringes. Add a breath of fresh air from long ago to your beadwork.

Come bead with me!


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