Sunday, January 23, 2011

Bead Journal Project - December 2010 part 2

I just realized I failed to give any information on the beading techniques I used in my final 2010 swatch - oops!

The leaves are passed an an article form Godey's Magazine and Lady's book, circa 1854.

This particular article is somewhat unusual, as the directions are actually useful!

Most often, instructions of this era are "Make up in the usual manner" or "Any lady can complete examining our illustration".

The flowers and the dragonfly are made using a technique called Victorian beading.

Victorian beading is often confused with French beading, as both use wire and are frequently used for flowers, but the two techniques are quite different.

Victorian beading is made similar to ladder stitch Is is made with horizontal lines of beads and both ends of the wire go through the whole row. There are more or less beads added to each row, to create the shape of the petal or leaf.

With French Beading all the beads are thread onto the wire before beginning, and the wire is left on the spool and not cut till the end. Rows of beads that are twisted onto a separate section of wire at the top, then the row of beads is passed down the other side, and to another section at the bottom, where it is twisted around again and then goes back to the top until the desired shape is formed.

Completed French beading is typically fairly heavy weight, as a large wire needs to be used; Victorian beading can use a much smaller wire, actually you must use light weight wire as it needs to pass through each bead twice.

I've never seen a vintage example of French beading used for personal adornment, only for decorative home items - thus my choice of Victorian beading for my swatch.

1 comment:

  1. it is beyond me on how you do such beautiful and intricate work. my mom was an amazing sewing (machine - pedal kind of course-not electric and hand sewing) she could also crochet beautifully. she did not enjoy doing either but was a perfectionist all the same. i wish i had her patience and talents.