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.
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.
2. Pick up an odd count of beads then pass the needle through the 4th bead in the base row.
3. This is continued around the ring of beads, forming loops that hang down from our first row.
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.
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).
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.
7. Continue adding netted loops. 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.”
No matter which way you go with netting, it’s a beautiful stitch and yields very pretty designs.
With limited availability, Nichole is offering the original “Paradox” design, made using flat triangles, as a kit!
Happy Netting – Happy Beading!