Seed Bead Netting Tutorial – Basics and Beyond

I’m in love with bracelets and necklaces with dimension; those designs that have a thickness and depth that make them stand out. In my exploration, netting keeps coming up as the basis for many of these more substantial designs. Of course, they go beyond the basics of netting, but it’s where many seem to stem from. Take “Paradox” by Nichole Starman, “Beadwork Designer of Year 2016,” as an example.

"Paradox" bracelet, Nichole Starman, "Designer of the Year 2016." The design is from Beadwork, April/May 2016 and features flat triangle 2-hole beads stitched using a variation of netting.

“Paradox” bracelet, Nichole Starman, “Designer of the Year 2016.” The design is from Beadwork, April/May 2016 and features flat triangle 2-hole beads stitched using a variation of netting.

The foundation for this beaded bracelet design is tubular netting. Once you look at the basics of netting, you can see where the dimension comes from and then, with variations how it can also have thickness.

Basic tubular seed bead netting tutorial:
1. Thread an even number of beads, pass the needle back through all the beads then through the 2nd bead strung.

Pick up an even-count of beads for your first row. Pass the needle through the beads again then exit the 2nd bead strung.

Pick up an even-count of beads for your first row. Pass the needle through the beads again then exit the 2nd bead strung.

2. Pick up an odd count of beads then pass the needle through the 4th bead in the base row.

Pick up beads for your first loop of netting. It should be an odd number of beads. Then pass the needle through the 4th bead strung in the row.

Pick up beads for your first loop of netting. It should be an odd number of beads. Then pass the needle through the 4th bead strung in the row.

3. This is continued around the ring of beads, forming loops that hang down from our first row.

Pick up the same series of beads for the next loop in your netting, skip a bead in the base row and pass the needle through the 6th bead.

Pick up the same series of beads for the next loop in your netting, skip a bead in the base row and pass the needle through the 6th bead.

4. Continue adding loops for your first row of netting, working around the base row of beads. Pass your needle through the 2nd bead in the row and where you began your first netted loop.

Add loops of netting all around the base row of beads. Pick up your last netted loop of beads then pass the needle through the 2nd bead in the row, the bead you began your first netted loop with.

Add loops of netting all around the base row of beads. Pick up your last netted loop of beads then pass the needle through the 2nd bead in the row, the bead you began your first netted loop with.

5. Pass your needle into that first netted loop, exiting the center bead (this is why you want to have an odd number in this first row of netting, otherwise it would be lopsided).

Pass your needle into the beads of this first netted loop and exit the center bead.

Pass your needle into the beads of this first netted loop and exit the center bead.

6. Pick up beads for the first netted loop of the 2nd row of netting then pass your needle through the center bead of the next netted loop.

Pick up beads for your first netted loop of this row. Pass the needle through the center bead of the next netted loop.

Pick up beads for your first netted loop of this row. Pass the needle through the center bead of the next netted loop.

7. Continue adding netted loops. Pass your needle through the first netting of this row and exit the center bead.

Continue adding beads in this manner all the way around the growing pattern of beads. Pass your needle through the first netting of this row and exit the center bead.

Continue adding beads in this manner all the way around the growing pattern of beads. Pass your needle through the first netting of this row and exit the center bead.

Repeat adding netted loops and growing your beadwork to suit your design.

You can transfer the netting that is forming onto a form, so you have some stability and help in holding the beadwork. To change things up, you can add different beads into the loops – just keep in mind different beads can create different spacing which can be exactly what you want or work against your plan.

As you can see in this basic seed bead netting tutorial, netting is light and airy and without form and structure. Using a variety of beads and variations on the stitch can create designs not only with dimension but also stability, like we see in all the variations of “Paradox.”

'Paradox" design by Nichole Starman, made using 6mm 2-hole lentil beads in place of the flat 2-hole front-drilled triangle beads.

‘Paradox” design by Nichole Starman, made using 6mm 2-hole lentil beads in place of the flat 2-hole front-drilled triangle beads.

'Paradox" design by Nichole Starman, made using 3x10mm 2-hole crescent beads for the flat 2-hole front-drilled triangle beads.

‘Paradox” design by Nichole Starman, made using 3x10mm 2-hole crescent beads in place of the flat 2-hole front-drilled triangle beads.

No matter which way you go with netting, it’s a beautiful stitch and yields very pretty designs.

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With limited availability, Nichole is offering the original “Paradox” design, made using flat triangles, as a kit!

Happy Netting – Happy Beading!
blue_tammy

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