Fabric Bezels? Bezels Without Metal? It’s Not a Joke, It’s Soutache Jewelry Making
Fabric bezels? Bezels with no metal? These might sound like April Fool’s Day jokes, but would I do that to you? It’s true, you can bezel gemstones (or crystals or beads) with fabric instead of metal or wire, thanks to soutache.
Technically, soutache is a narrow, flat cord or braid traditionally used to trim clothes and other fabric items. In her beautiful five-star-rated book Sensational Soutache Jewelry Making, Csilla Papp shares that soutache is a decorative braid that is “extraordinarily light, luxurious and stylish. Not to fall in love with a technique using this wonderful material is simply impossible,” Csilla says. I agree, because soutache jewelry-making results in beautiful, colorful, summer-friendly jewelry designs.
Are you wondering: Is soutache jewelry making for me?
Csilla also shares that soutache jewelry-making doesn’t require much planning, which I love for those days when I just want to sit down and play and see where my materials take me–or if I want to work from the car, the train, the beach . . . Plus, Csilla says, “It almost doesn’t matter what kind of pearl, stone, crystal or other materials you use–the result is always amazing.” A new way to use pearls in jewelry? I’m in!
Soutache jewelry making can be the answer for all of these common jewelry-making dilemmas:
- irregular stones won’t fit a traditional bezel or it’s too difficult
- can’t use a torch
- have little or no jewelry-making workspace
- looking for ways to use more affordable jewelry-making materials
- like to work from anywhere, anytime
- large bezeled multi-gem and crystal pieces can be heavy in metal
- prefer more color in jewelry
- want to combine sewing or needlework with jewelry making
- want to add fiber (fabric, ribbon, cord) to gemstone or crystal jewelry designs
- just want to try something new!
Does any of that sound like you? Csilla has provided a way to overcome all of those dilemmas while having fun and creating unique jewelry. Each piece is built around the stone (or open space) that you begin with, so soutache offers endless possibilities for experimentation and one-of-a-kind pieces. “You don’t have to follow the instructions precisely, as you might have a different stone available or you may want to try alternate colors,” Csilla writes. “Go for it! I encourage you to let your imagination run free. Soutache is the kind of art where you can feel free to experiment.”
Ready to experiment?
Want to add some color to your jewelry? Looking for a torch-free, budget-friendly way to create bezels around gems, crystals, beads, and more? Or maybe you just feel like trying something new. Soutache jewelry making is the answer! Give soutache a try with Csilla Papp’s new book, Sensational Soutache Jewelry Making, which includes soutache jewelry-making supply info, tutorials for attaching the soutache foundation to various stones and components, and how to create soutache jewelry without stones by creating interesting negative space.
This beautiful book is packed with thorough soutache jewelry-making background information and instructions (including how to make clasps and how to incorporate rhinestone chain, leather cord, and metal components in your designs), along with 15 complete soutache jewelry-making projects, including bracelets, necklaces, brooches, earrings, even rings. Get Sensational Soutache Jewelry Making and see how easy it will be to master and enjoy this fun new technique!
Start your colorful soutache journey with either version of this fabulous book.