You may have already seen my right angle weave video tutorial on my "sister site", but now it's time for another look at right angle weave. Because it doesn't always look the same!
When you think of RAW (as it is also called) you probably think of a piece that looks like a grid of sorts. And you're right -- it does often look that way. It is usually a very regular beading stitch.
But what happens when you choose a different kind of bead to make your piece? What happens is what I call "Slink Stones"! And if you want to make your own, read on and you'll get a video tutorial!
Get Slinky with RAW
This isn't a typical look, and isn't immediately obvious that it's right angle weave. But once you see how it's made, it's definitely RAW.
The feeling of this particular piece is very, very slinky on the wrist -- thus the name.
I made this bracelet with one of the toughest beads to use easily -- gemstone bead chips. Sure, they are easy to use as a component, in (for example) a strung necklace. But it's not all that often you'll find a project that uses the chips as the main bead.
Before you get to the video, though, I do want to mention something -- this bracelet is pretty heavy due to all the gemstone chips used. You will definitely want to use doubled thread and/or something like Fireline.
Slink Stones -- Supplies and Video Tutorial
All that being said, it's time for the list of supplies and then the video. Here you go:
- Gemstone chips, roughly a 16" strand. You won't use all 16", but unless you have a 6 inch wrist, you'll use more than half. In the video, I use a jasper -- usually I hear it called either "autumn jasper" or "harvest jasper".
- Seed beads -- size 11, somewhere around 2 grams, give or take a little.
- Clasp. I use a sterling silver toggle clasp. A two-strand bar clasp would also work nicely or a lobster claw would be good.
- Thread -- use something like Fireline or PowerPro. Use at least a 6-lb test -- 8-lb is even better. This is a heavy bracelet! Although I don't show it as doubled in the video, you might want to consider it. Don't bother with something like Nymo -- it will end up stretching and sagging.
- Needle -- size 10 will work, or you can use a size 12 if you wish. You can use a sharp or the longer beading needle, whichever you prefer.
- Scissors or other cutter. I know a lot of people say don't cut Fireline with your good scissors, but I've been doing it for at least two years now. Just don't cut it with the tips.
Now that you know the supplies, here's the video. It's longer than my usual videos, so get yourself something to drink and plop yourself in your favorite chair. And if you enjoy the video, how about liking me on Facebook (thank you kindly).
There are a lot of beading threads out on the market; plenty of options, depending on what you need. Let's talk about some of the pros and cons of each of the three main types of threads used in bead weaving stitches.
The three main types I will talk about today are Nymo, Silamide and Fireline.
Nymo thread was the first beading thread I used, and I used it for many years. The pros are that it comes in various diameters, depending on what size beads you are using, and quite a few different colors. It's fairly strong (the name Nymo comes from nylon monofiliament), and easy to tie off. It's also the least expensive of the three threads (around $2 for about 120 yards).
The cons are that is frays easily and tangles badly (although using beeswax or thread heaven helps a great deal with the tangles).
Silamide is a multi-ply thread, unlike Nymo. I mostly see it in 2-ply, which is 2 threads tightly twisted together. It comes pre-waxed, so it's not quite as tangly as Nymo.
If thread color is something important to your project, Silamide has more colors available than Nymo; you're far more likely to find just the shade you need.
The downside of using this thread is that there is little variety for thread diameter, although it seems to work fine with Delicas and up. I wouldn't try it if I had a project where I had multiple passes through a size 15 seed bead, though. It also is difficult (for me anyway) to thread onto the needle, due to it being multi-ply. And it does fray, although not quite as badly as Nymo.
The cost is more than Nymo, as Silamide is around $2 for 40 yards.
Fireline isn't really a thread so much as fishing line! Or at least that's how it started out. Then beaders discovered it and now it's usually the thread of choice for many.
The upside is that it doesn't fray, is very strong and comes in plenty of diameters. It does tangle if you're using long lengths of thread, but the tangles are easy to undo.
The biggest downside is that it comes in only two colors - a light gray called "smoke" and a white called "crystal". If thread color is important to your project, you'll probably have to choose another thread type. But honestly, the thread is so fine that it shows very little, so two colors should suit the majority of projects. (Actually, there may be a green out on the market now, too.)
When you see Fireline offered for sale, you'll see it marked in pounds. It starts at 1-lb and moves up through 80-lb (maybe more). The sizes for bead weaving are mostly 4-lb and 6-lb. I mostly use 6-lb, but I also have both 4-lb and 8-lb that I use, depending on my project needs. If I wanted to use a double thread on my project, I'd pick 2-lb or 3-lb for size 11 and larger beads.
Fireline is the most expensive of the threads, although it pays for itself in peace-of-mind (like I said, it's very strong). The cost is about $10 for 50 yards. I buy it only on ebay, on account of the fact that it's the best price there. I've also snagged great auction prices, where I got multiple spools for the price of a single spool - my best so far was 4 spools, 125 yards per spool, for $20 total (including shipping)!
So which beading thread should you use? It all depends on your project and how much you have in your beading budget to spend on thread. In my mind it would be:
- Nymo if you have a very limited budget -- it's easily the least expensive.
- Silamide if the color of your thread is important to the project.
- Fireline for all else.
So there you go -- the three main types of beading thread. In case you are looking for Fireline, here are some of the ebay listings -- look for listings that are $19 or less for the thread + shipping combined, for 125 yards.
NIP BERKLEY FIRELINE FUSED CRYSTAL 8 125 yards In CLEAR
$7.99 (1 Bid)
Time Remaining: 14h 52m
THE NEW AVENGERS Fireline AAFES Exclusive Comic Book 6 Military Issue
Time Remaining: 27d 16h 46m
Buy It Now for only: $1.95
BERKLEY FIRELINE 8lbs Test 100 to125 Yards Orange color
Time Remaining: 6d 14h 59m
Buy It Now for only: $13.99
015mm diameter smoke Berkley FireLine Thread 6 pound test 50 yard spool
Time Remaining: 7d 15h 2m
Buy It Now for only: $9.50
NP Fireline Neoprene Kiteboarding Kitesurfing Heat Beanie NEW L XL size
Time Remaining: 2d 14h 7m
Buy It Now for only: $24.94
4 Pound Beadsmith FireLine Bead Thread 006 50 Yd
Time Remaining: 29d 17h 52m
Buy It Now for only: $10.58
Berkley Fireline Original Fishing Line
Time Remaining: 22d 8h 20m
Buy It Now for only: $21.40
PGI Fireline Classic Yellow Large Indura Wildland Forest Fire Coveralls
Time Remaining: 26d 14h 31m
Buy It Now for only: $49.99
FIRELINE BRAIDED BEAD THREAD AND STRETCH MAGIC BEAD AND JEWELRY CORD
Time Remaining: 26d 12h 20m
Buy It Now for only: $2.50