It’s been a while since we posted a beadweaving tutorial, so today’s post is all about how to do netting stitch! This is a great technique to learn in beadwork as this stitch lends itself to lots of different jewelry-making and beading projects.
You can use netting stitch to form a base for bracelets and necklaces. On its own, netting stitch creates a pretty, lacy effect. Once you’ve created a base of netting stitch, it’s easy to embellish your beadwork by creating another beaded layer on top of (or in between) those lacy windows.
This tutorial is based on horizontal netting stitch. You’ll be working side to side to create the beadwork and it’s quite straightforward to learn, making this an ideal project for beginners or intermediate level beaders. You’ll only need a few materials to get started!
These are the materials that you’ll need:
Round seed beads in two different colours in any size (Toho beads work well)
Beading thread e.g. Nymo
Beading needle size 10 or 12
To begin, thread your needle and pick up a bead that’s completely different from your seed beads to create a stop bead. Thread through the bead and go back through it again, leaving a 6 inch thread tail. Your bead should sit securely on the thread and act as a stopper.
We’ve used blue and pink contrasting seed beads for this tutorial to demonstrate exactly how the stitch works. The pink beads are slightly larger (size 8/0) so they are easier to differentiate, but you can use the same size seed beads throughout if you prefer.
The pink beads in this case, are our “link” beads. They’ll be acting as connectors to create those little windows or the lacy effect of this stitch. Our blue seed beads are size 11/0.
This tutorial is based on 7 bead netting which we’ll explain more about in the next step. To start the stitch, pick up a pattern of seed beads, starting and ending with a “link” bead as follows:
1 x (pink) link bead and 3 x (blue) seed beads – repeat 5 more times – and then pick up 1 more (pink) link bead.
You should have 7 (pink) link beads on your thread with 3 x (blue) seed beads in between each one.
Note – this first row forms the width of your beadwork. If you want it to be longer or shorter, you can reduce or increase this first row.
In step 2, to form another row, you’ll need to create a “turning” chain. To do this, pick up 3 x (blue) seed beads, 1 x (pink) link bead and 3 x (blue) seed beads onto your needle.
This is why this particular technique is called 7 bead netting. If you were to use only 2 (blue) seed beads either side of your link bead, this would be called 5 bead netting. (Note that the first row would have to use only two blue seed beads in between link beads too).
Slide those 7 beads down your thread and working in the opposite direction, skip the last 2 (pink) link beads and go back through the third one as shown in the step 2 picture. Pull through, so that your beadwork looks like the example in step 3. This is the only time that you’ll need to skip 2 link beads.
In step 4, pick up the same 7 bead pattern of 3 x (blue) seed beads, 1 x (pink) link bead and 3 x (blue) seed beads. Working in the same direction as the last step, skip only 1 link bead and go through the next one in the row as shown in the step 4 image.
Repeat step 4 to complete the end of this second row. Your beadwork should look like the example in step 5.
To move up to the third and subsequent row(s), the “turning” chain needs to be done slightly differently from last time.
Pick up 3 x (blue) seed beads, 1 x (pink) link bead, 3 x (blue) seed beads, 1 x (pink) link bead and 3 x (blue) seed beads onto your needle. This will be 11 beads in total as shown in step 6.
Working in the opposite direction again, go back through the next link bead in the row. No skipping required. This will be the second to last link bead that you’ve just sewed through.
This is as complicated as it gets, we promise! This might seem tricky, but the pattern remains the same from now on. When you pull your thread through the link bead, your beadwork should look like the example in step 7. Both ends of your beadwork should look more or less the same now.
Continue working across the third row using 7 bead netting, your pattern of 3 x (blue) seed beads, 1 x (pink) link bead and 3 x (blue) seed beads. Skip 1 link bead each time as you work across this row.
When you get to the end of the row, repeat steps 6 and 7 to create a turning chain with 11 beads.
Repeat steps 6, 7 and 8 to continue horizontal netting stitch until your beadwork reaches your desired length!
To finish your beadwork, go through a few beads near to the end of the piece and tie a double knot next to one of your beads. Go through a few more beads and tie another knot in the same way before trimming off any excess thread with scissors.
We hope you enjoyed this beadweaving tutorial! In case you missed our other tutorials in this series, here they are: flat even count peyote stitch, right angle weave stitch, ladder stitch and spiral rope stitch.
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