How to Peyote Stitch is Easier than You Think
Peyote stitch is used around the world, in many different cultures, for many different things. Examples of peyote stitch have been found among ancient Egyptian artifacts, but the name “peyote stitch” comes from the Native American bead-weaving tradition of using the stitch to decorate the handles of gourds used for Native American peyote ceremonies. Learning how to peyote stitch is easier than you think (and looks), and this free infographic will help you along your beading journey.
The peyote stitch is usually one of the first things a new beader learns. Flat peyote patterns are a favorite of both beginner and experienced beaders for the beautiful designs and colors used in them, and how to peyote stitch beading is considered to be a form of quiet, mindful meditation for many beaders throughout the world.
Peyote stitch can be used to create sculptural beadwork as well as beaded jewelry like necklaces, bracelets, and earrings, and sculptural peyote techniques are used to create three-dimensional works of art. It’s no wonder that beaders everywhere love to create jewelry from peyote bead patterns! Grab your copy of 7 Must-Know Peyote Beading Stitches infographic today!
Variations of How to Peyote Stitch
Flat Peyote Stitch
Flat peyote stitch is worked back and forth across rows. Odd-count peyote stitch is worked from an initial row with an odd number of beads. Flat, odd-count peyote stitch requires a special turn at the end of every other row in order to get into position to continue bead-weaving. There are a few different ways to make this turn, depending on what you want your finished peyote stitch pattern to look like.
Even Count Peyote Stitch
Even-count peyote stitch is worked from an initial row with an even number of beads. Unlike odd-count peyote stitch, there is no special turn needed at the end of every other row in order to continue bead-weaving.
A variation of flat peyote stitch is two-, three-, or four-drop peyote, where a set of two or more seed beads is treated as a single unit. This variation of peyote stitch is very popular with charted patterns for making a peyote stitch bracelet, freeform peyote beading, and sculptural peyote stitch patterns.
Tubular Peyote Stitch
Tubular peyote stitch is worked in the round, usually around a dowel or some other form to help the beadwork keep its shape for the first few rows.
Tubular peyote stitch can also be worked with either an odd or even number of beads in the initial round. When tubular peyote stitch is worked with an even number of beads in the initial round, a “step up” is required at the end of each round in order to get into position for the next round. This makes it easier to keep track of each row as you stitch.
When tubular peyote stitch is worked with an odd number of beads in the initial round, the beadwork will continue to spiral around with no clear distinction between rounds.
Another variation of tubular peyote stitch is called Cellini spiral. Seed beads of different sizes are stitched in the same round, creating a three-dimensional spiral. Cellini spiral can be worked with either an odd or an even number of beads in each round.
Circular Peyote Stitch
Circular peyote stitch is worked flat, with each round spreading out around from a center point. In order to keep the rows flat and even, a series of increases must be made in each round to keep the beadwork from cupping in on itself.
Basic Flat Peyote Tutorial
Decide whether you want to work odd-count or even-count flat peyote stitch. On a comfortable length of beading thread, pick up a set of beads. These seed beads will become your first and second rows. Pick up a bead on your beading needle. Skip the last bead of your initial set, and pass your needle through the next seed bead in the row. The bead you just strung should line up over the bead below it from the first set of beads. Continue to work, picking up a bead, skipping the next bead in the row, and passing through the next bead. Use your fingers to keep your seed beads lined up properly on top of each other as you stitch. You’ll notice that each row of peyote stitch creates a set of “up” beads that stick out from the rest of the beadwork. Between each of these “up” beads is where you will add your next bead. Make the appropriate turn at the end of each row, depending on whether you are working in odd-count or even-count peyote stitch.
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