HOW TO DO---Traditional Native American Beading “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Romans 5:1,2 (KJV)” Table of Contents Chapter 1 • • • Materials Needed: Selecting a pattern Construction supplies Beads – everything needed to know Chapter 2 • • • Styles of Native American Beading: Lazy stitch Applique Edging of bead work – sawtooth and rolled Places to buy your supplies: Crazy Crow Trading Post: Catalog P.O. Box 847 Pottsboro, TX 75076-0847 1-800-786-6210 www.crazycrow.com Moscow Hide & Fur 1-208-882-0601 www.hideandfur.com Chapter 1 MATERIALS NEEDED Selecting A Pattern: When starting a project, the first thing to do is select a pattern. There's a lot of patterns out there. Weeyaa's Designs has a lot of patterns for anything you want to make. If this is your first project of Native American beading, start with pattern that's easy, small and not a lot of details. If you are doing Native American regalia, make a list of what you want to bead, then measure the area so that you have square inches. This will help you buy close to the amount of beads you will need. Even regalia bead work can be a very simple pattern with two or three colors of beads. You can also pick one of my more complicated patterns (as an advanced bead artist) and have several different colors of beads. Once you pick your pattern and how many times you will do this pattern (like for regalia) make copies of the pattern. Copy machines come in really handy now. When I first did my outfit, I got some pictures of Native American dancers (ladies) and decided how much bead work I needed. I bought 5 yards of felt at a fabric store. I used butcher paper for my pattern to be put on. The I asked everyone I knew for “brown” grocery bags. Now you can buy brown package shipping paper in any size rolls. For ladies traditional bead work, make a list and as you get it put together and ready to bead, mark it off your list. Here is the list I made for my first set of bead work: 1. Eagle Barrette 2. 2 small barrettes 3. 2 hair ties 4. scarf slide 5. cuffs 6. belt – 4 inches wide 7. buckle 8. side tabs to go on belt 9. purse 10. strike purse 11. knife case 12. leggings 13. moccasins 14. shawl clip or blanket strip 15. awl case 16. decoration for breastplate 17. dress top See picture of completed regalia. When doing the top of a traditional buckskin dress, do it in pieces. See top of dress in photo. Make sure you measure everything so you will get close to the amount of beads that you will need. Here is a formula to find out how many square inches you have. Measure the width of each pattern and the length, then multiply these numbers to get the square inches. Patterns that are beaded will last 200 years so make sure your pattern is what you want to see for the rest of your life. Other dancers will remember your bead work. My pink rose dress is almost 30 years old – yet other dancers still remember that dress so it is a life choice, because it will follow who you are. As a novice bead artist select an easy pattern, 1 – 2 colors of beads that is not too large. You want something that you can finish in a short time; a small barrette, a small pin or medallion. Then if you want to continue beading pick a little harder pattern each time until you are confident in doing bead work. Construction Supplies: To get started with your pattern and beading, you need to purchase your supplies. There are a few places that carry the supplies that you will need to start your beading project: Tandy Leather, JoAnn Fabrics, Craftsman's Warehouse, Crazy Crow Trading Post, almost any craft supply warehouse, or Native American trading post. Some of these places are in your town, but online you can find some places that will mail the supplies that you will need. You need felt for beading. For small projects you can get felt squares from any craft place. If you are planning on Native American regalia, go to the fabric store and buy 2 – 6 yards of felt in the widest size they offer. Colors don't matter because you will not see the felt. For a small project, computer paper works well to put you pattern on. For larger projects, such as needed for Native American regalia; a roll of butcher paper works. I have heard it comes in small rolls. Get the paper as wide as you can for larger patterns. If the butcher paper is slick on one side it won't hurt it, just as long as one side can be drawn on. Brown wrapping paper or large brown grocery bags work well. When doing large patterns the brown shipping paper works the best. Get the largest in length you can. For smaller patterns the brown grocery bags work well and these bags are free. One of your best investments are colored markers. Sharpies in every color are a little pricey but if you are planning on doing a lot of beading they are well worth the investment. A fine point and an ultra fine point are what you will need. I have bought both point sizes in one set, all the colors, for around $40.00. For every pattern you do, color them in with the same color as the beads you will be using. Then if your beads gap open you will not see white paper below. It will make your bead work look more professional. When buying needles, get the same size as the beads you are going to use. If you plan on using size #10 beads, use a size #11 or #12. Make sure you buy needles of all sizes. To sew your pattern together you will need a heavier needle. I use a buckskin need (also called a glover's needle) size 4. The best beading needles are called “Sharps” sizes 10s, 11s and 12s. They are short in length. If you are using a loom then the long beading needles are used. Scissors are very important to cut the beading thread; which is cut on an angle. That way it will thread through the eye of the needle better. Awls and pliers are also used if you are beading on commercial leather, which I advise against doing. A seam ripper is used to break the beads when you have sewn down too many beads and they are too crowded and ruffly looking instead of laying down flat. Beads: Of course your beads are very important, they make the regalia. When buying beads make sure they are in a hank. Some stores are taking the hanks apart and putting the beads in small tubes. Another thing to look for is are the beads uniform in roundness. Check the holes to make sure a needle can go through them. Czech seed beads are the best and most desired by Native Americans. Also Delica size 11 are preferred because they are so perfect in all things, but they are expensive compared to Czech beads. A lot of time and effort is put into bead work, so you want your beads to look their best. Beginning bead artists should start with size #10 beads. They are the easiest to use. After you have beaded for awhile, try the other sizes, even #18. When using #13, #15, or #18 size beads you must use needles that are size #13, and thread that is “00” in size. If you order through a catalog like Crazy Crow; order extra, because the dye lot often if the number stays the same. Hanks are 24 strings (2 strings = 1 loop) and 10” long. Size 10 beads = 130 beads per square inch 1 Hank has 3,120 beads Size 11 beads = 187 beads per square inch 1 Hank has 4,080 beads Size 12 beads = 228 beads per square inch 1 Hank has 4,560 beads Size 13 beads = 273 beads per square inch 1 Hank has 5,040 beads Size 14 beads = 298 beads per square inch 1 Hank has 5,500 beads If you are making a large project, like Native American regalia, buy your background beads in kilos and all other colors in ½ kilos or hanks. The dye lot changes from time to time even if the lot number stays the same. To do the sawtooth edging on your project, you will need pony beads – size 8 or size 5. They come in several different colors. The sawtooth and rolled edging will be explained. If you can't get Czech beads then the French seed beads and pony beads are the next best for being nice beads. Thread is extremely important. Use “Nymo” nylon white or black beading thread. This thread can be burned with a lighter to knot it. It comes in different sizes and shapes. If you are planning on doing a lot of beading buy a cone; size A for beads sizes #13, #14, and #15. It comes in double 0 size for tiny #18 size beads. Cones also come in sizes B & D for size 10 or 11 beads. These cones hold 115 yards for size A, 73 yards for size B, and 62 yards for size D. Cotton thread wears out quickly and can't be burned. You will need a lighter to knot your thread. The cone shape white heavy duty cotton thread is what I use to sew my patterns on the white paper, felt, and brown paper. It comes in size #10. Beeswax will keep the thread from tangling. Chapter 2 STYLES OF NATIVE AMERICAN BEADING Lazy Stitch: Lazy stitch is a very early technique used. The reason this stitch was used is because deer, elk and buffalo sinew was used to attach beads to brain tanned regalia. Some rawhide leather was used for belts, also had bead work attached. The Native people used awls to make a hole. The sinew was knotted then threaded through the hole: then the beads were slid onto the sinew and stretched out, where another hole was punched through with the awl, the sinew went through and was knotted. This was a line of beads and then another line of beads measuring the same size as the first line of beads. There was no tacking them down. It was a very primitive style of beading. The Native American people wanted their regalia to be made as pretty as possible with what they had. Lazy stitch is a style all tribes accept. It covers large areas and is fast to do. When first beginning this style: measure out the area that you are going to cover in the lazy stitch. Using a dress makers pencil (white) make a straight line where you want your beads to lay. Next put how many beads you want in each row 9 to 11 beads or less work well. Keep them inside your lines. So I do a bead test on the thread then I decide how wide I want my rows. If you make the rows too wide the bead will droop and make your outfit look poorly. Although there is a way to fix this sometimes. Lay the bead work on a folded towel, put a light weight hand towel over the bead work. Now turn your steam iron on and let the steam tighten the nylon threads, this will not work on cotton thread. Don't put pressure on your iron as it will break your beads. Don't pull your lines of beads too tight or it will cause a pucker in your fabric. Always double your thread and knot it. Remember there is no tacking these lines of beads. By having lines drawn as guidelines, your lazy stitch will look good. This is a fast way to bead and will last 200 years. Applique Style: There are two kinds of applique beading. With some patterns a two needle style works the best but one needle also works well. With two needles, one is to lay the beads down, as you would in lazy stitch. Then the second needle is what you put the beads on, and stays on top of the project. The second needle stays under the project as it is the needle you use to tack your work down. When using only on needle, it does all the work. You string your beads on your needle and put them down; then take your threaded needle and back track to talk down every 2-3 beads. Both ways work well. It is all in how you were taught to bead. When doing applique beading, your pattern will have a more complicated pattern. This pattern needs to be colored and sewn into a sandwich of white paper, felt and brown paper (sewn together). Whatever your pattern is – applique means the main pattern will stand out. Most of these patterns will be outlined or shaded for more detail. That is what makes it stand out. The beads also should all go in the same direction to give it depth. When doing shading of flowers, the beads go like a shadow would. This style of bead work can be made to look like a painting. It is also a hard style to get the perfect look. Rolled Edging: double your thread, start (see figure 1), end view (see figure 2), bottom and front view (see figure 3) figure 1 figure 2 figure 3 Sawtooth Edging: start with 3 beads, go through 3rd bead it pulls the beads over the edge (see figure 1), next add 2 beads going through the 2nd bead (see figure 2) figure 1 figure 2 Lacy Edging: Is the same as sawtooth, except add to the 3 beads, 3-4 more beads, place close together, makes a lacy edge on your work Applique: means to fill in – in order of design – then outline with a different color Applique – single needle: double your thread – lay down a few beads, then go back and tack every two or three beads down. Applique – double needle: double thread on both needles Lazy Stitch: double your thread - draw outlines to keep your design straight,make 7-9 beads in a straight line (see figure 1), do not tack the beads, not recommended to use more than 7 beads. Lay your row of beads down – make sure they lay flat. If for some reason they seem to bunch up use your seam ripper to break 1 bead (see figure 2) Figure 1 Figure 2 How To Do Traditional Native American Beading by Weeyaa Gurwell Published by Karen Salas at Smashwords Copyright 2014 Weeyaa Gurwell This e-book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
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