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Beading: Basic Beading Terms to Know

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Published on Aug 9, 2011

Beading: Basic Beading Terms to Know - as part of the expert series by GeoBeats.

When you are starting to bead, it is important to know what you want to do so that you know what you want to learn. It is really hard to go online or go to a bead store or find a class or a tutorial to teach you what you want to know if you do not actually know what that is called. So the five basic beading terms that you should know before staring to begin beading are:


Stringing: Stringing is placing beads onto a string and attaching a clasp. Typically these days this is done on a stainless steel stringing cable, and you attach your clasp with crimp beads. Stringing means that you place the beads onto the cord one right after the other with no knots in between.

Knotting, the second term, is usually done on a silk cord and in knotting you place the beads on the cord following each one with a little, tiny knot that you precisely place right next to the bead. And there are some little tricks that you can learn that make that really, really easy.

Wire wrapping is the third term. Wire wrapping is a general umbrella, kind of encompassing everything having to do with wire. But in its most basic sense, it means taking wire, putting it through a bead in some fashion, and making a loop with a little twisted part to secure the bead, either to another beaded length or to secure the bead onto a chain. And that is something that is really prominent in fashion jewelry these days.

Bead weaving or bead stitching is another term. And this is a really fun way of making jewelry where you actually stitch a fabric or a pattern of beads. So on this piece, this is peyote stitch, and this entire fabric is made strictly of beads and threads. So you start with a pile of beads and make a really pretty thing out of them. Bead weaving and bead stitching is very time-consuming, but you can create absolutely beautiful pieces of art with it.

And the fifth term is metal crafting, which is a very, very general term. At a bead store, and in a beading environment, typically metal crafting will involve what we call cold connecting, which means that there is no fire involved, so it is not scary. But cutting metal, texturing metal, stamping metal to create charms with words or initials on them, and then using rivets to hammer and connect the pieces of metal together to make pendants or bracelets or other pieces of jewelry.

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