4 Tools and Supplies You Need for Off-Loom Beadweaving

First of all, some of you may be confused with beadweaving and beadwork. So let’s differentiate the two: beadwork refers to using different styles of stringing, knitting, loom work, quilting, and needlework to create various types of jewelry designs. Beadweaving on the other hand refers to the specific technique of forming “fabricated” or 3d designs by weaving little seed beads together.

Essentially, beadweaving is like a branch of beadwork. Also, loom work beadweaving refers to using looms for beadweaving while off-loom beadweaving requires none. Anyways, now that everything is cleared up, let’s discuss the tools and supplies that you need for your off-loom beadweaving projects. 

 

1. The Seed Beads

-Seed bead is a general term given to tiny beads. The shapes vary since there are seed beads that have oval, circular, tube, and other shapes. Also, not all seed beads have the same sizes, there are assigned numbers for different sizes. For example: there are sizes like 8, 10, 11, 15, etc. Do take note that the higher the number, the smaller the seed bead. Deciding on what seed bead will entirely depend on what size and design you plan to make with your beadweaving. 

 

2. Threads 

The best threads for off-loom beadweaving are strong nylon threads. Popular brand choices include: Nymo, C-Lon, Silamide, and Fireline. You can try out these different brands and compare each other to find out which one you’re comfortable using. Also, the color of the thread will greatly affect your design so be sure to keep that in mind. 

 

3. Needles 

Do not use sewing needles since it’s ineffective when used in beadweaving or beading in general. What you need is beading needles. These needles are longer which allows you to string numerous seed beads. Also, there are different sizes of these needles, so here is a quick summary on the recommended beading needles for common beads—and threads that are used for off-loom beadweaving.

 

Size 10 is best used for

Thread Size: D

Bead Size: 15°

 

Size 12 is best used for

Thread Size: D or Smaller

Bead Size: 15°

 

Size 13 is best used for

Thread Size: B or Smaller

Bead Size: 15°

 

Size 15 is best used for

Thread Size: AA

Bead Size: 15°

 

 

4. Bead Mats

Bead mats are not really required but they will make your beadweaving a whole lot easier. These mats help organize your beads, tools, and supplies. Bead mats are definitely worth your investment. 

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