Make Beaded Tassels, Cuffs, Ornaments, Sprays, and Fringes the Weldon’s Way

PieceWork’s electronic pattern book Weldon’s Practical Bead-Work, First Series, opens a window on another time and another place. The time is the turn of the twentieth century and the place is London, England. Needleworkers of that era would be amazed to see their favorite beading patterns in a virtual format of which they could never have dreamed.

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 crafts (beading, knitting, patchwork, and the like). These newsletters were typically 14 pages and cost 2 pence. Later, they were collected into book form, titled Weldon’s Practical Needlework.

Weldon’s Practical Bead-Work

Illustrations of “No. 23—Bonnet or Hat Crown” from the eBook Weldon’s Practical Bead-Work.

Weldon’s reminds us, “[A] great advantage possessed by bead-work is the large range of materials upon which it may be executed. Amongst the transparent fabrics are net, gauze, tulle, lace, muslin, while for those who prefer to work upon firmer foundation, there are silk, velvet, plush, satin, besides cashmere and other soft woollens.”

In Weldon’s Practical Bead-Work, we have reproduced for you the beading material from Volume 4. The 27 projects range from simple to ornate, from tassels and buttons to sash ornaments and bonnet crowns. The instructions might perplex a contemporary beader accustomed to detailed charts and succinct directions, but the patterns are often ingenious, and many of the objects transcend the century-plus span of years since they were devised.

This eBook serves as a curiosity, an inspiration, a resource, and a link to a time beyond our memories. In using and enjoying it, you keep the craft alive.

Download your copy of Weldon’s Practical Bead-Work, First Series, “How to Make Beaded Tassels, Cuffs, Ornaments, Sprays, Fringes, &c.” and transport yourself in time!

Featured Image: Illustrations of a “No. 14—Wing for a Hat or Bonnet” and “No. 13—Transparent Leaf for Millinery” from the eBook Weldon’s Practical Bead-Work.

Discover more Victorian-era needlework from Weldon’s!