Visit My Website, A Personal Gallery!

Click on Logo Bar Below, to visit my website!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Weaving with Large and Small Beads

Recently, some one emailed me a note asking if I am familiar with this style of bead weaving, 'large and small' beads on the same warp set up.

I have made many like this. The email made me decide to share this technique, as it can lead to many other design ideas!

The loom is warped to handle the wide width of the beads in the center, weaving across the top first to hold the cuff width, then only weave down one side.

Notice how the loom is warped. Many warps are wider apart then how they would be warpped if you were weaving small seed beads, one in between two warps. These warp widths are warped to handle 'more than one seed bead across' or 'in between two warps', even 'one large bead in between the same warps'.

Keeping the warp width bead count in mind, weave the first row, completely across the entire width of the cuff, to hold the spaces open for more weaving downwards.

The picture above depicts me weaving two seed bead in between two warps and one seed bead in the row, along the outside edge. The width of the warps in the center, not yet woven, were sized far enough apart to hand three seed beads across or one large bead in between two warps.

When I got to the desired length, I also wove across the base.

Then I started the other side, the same way, weaving just up the edges. Notice that I also used two beads per warps, giving a different look to the woven beads. No one says we have to weave just one bead per warp pair!!!

When both sides were done, I began to fill the center, as shown below. I ran the weft through two beads, not the entire row, to weave the larger, (4mm) size beads down the center. This allows more room inside the outer beads for me to finalize, with an edging.

The 4mm were equal to three of the 11/0. Again, just a bit of calculation, but not much. Since many options can be available to create a similar weaving, decide how many seed beads equal the large size bead width you are also weaving, before warping the loom.

Once the entire length of this cuff was woven, in this manner, I added the edging. I am not sharing this portion, for finishing the cuff, in this Blog post. You can use options I have shared in other posts, here in this Blog.

Usually I suggest warping the loom with a matching thread color, to the predominant bead color you are weaving. However, to make a creative statement, I used a black thread this time. Because the warps are not running between every single seed bead, the dark warp thread give off a wide stripe feeling. As a matter of fact, I am going to use some lime green or royal blue (with light color beads) to create another cuff using a loud color warp thread.

White weft threads are also a stable suggestion I give, but because you are turning the weft through rows of beads already woven, multiple times, it would be better to continue the weft in the same color you warped. Don't forget to consider how the weft becomes the 'bead color boss', as I shared in another Blog post! This knowledge may also help you decide the bead finishes you choose. Here I opted for 'opaque' bead finishes, to handle the black weft thread and not change the color of my beads.


  1. That looks so cool. I'll put it on my want list.

  2. Thanks for the posting. Your instructions are always so clear and the pictures are wonderful.

  3. How interesting!!! As usual!! Thanks so much for providing us this info!!

  4. O... I love this one too.

    A Belgium lady showed me a loom made with buggle-beads this way.


  6. I really love your technique with this. If I had a loom, this is definitely what I'd try first. Absolutely gorgeous, and such workmanship! You continue to amaze me.

  7. Thank you for posting this thread, it answers a lot of questions and makes the impossible, possible.

  8. still trying to make the impossible possible. Thank G_d I have a good teacher

  9. Anytime I buy small seed beads I get a pack of uneven bead sizes and it makes it hard for me to make something. Is there a brand that has consistent beads within a size?

    1. Consider Japanese Seed Beads, Miyuki, Toho, etc. Those are more evenly sized with less culling.