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Soutache experiments

Two weeks ago, I showed you a piece that I made for the Bead Journal Project (shown above) that uses soutache braid in its construction.  Next week I'm going to start showing you how I put the piece together, but I felt that I needed to show you some of the basic skills first.

Soutache isn't hard to work with, but it does take care and patience to get it to come out right.  I suggest that before you dive headfirst into a big project, that you practice first.  The best book that I've found is Soutache, and it shows in beautiful glorious detail how to do the stitching.

Some of my own tips follow:

1.  Practice wrapping the soutache braids around beads in different directions.  Stitch your bead to the inner layer of soutache alone first, and then stitch on the additional layers.  Yes, I know that it takes longer this way, but it will save you from uneven stitching and needing to rip out work.  See how my braids do not line up perfectly in the middle?  This is the very first stack I ever stitched, and they can be a bit slippery!  As I practiced, I did get better!

2. Practice stitching beads between layers of braid.  Even though I didn't use this technique in my necklace, it's a very useful skill that I see in lots of soutache projects.  Again, it will probably work best for you if you stitch on the inner layers first and then add the other layers.

3. Not covered in the Soutache book, here is a technique that I decided I needed to practice.  Using a bead embroidered piece that has been finished with edging brick stitch, stitch it to a stack of soutache braids, first to the inner layer and then adding the others.  Each stitch will go down through one of the edging beads and up through the next.  This is the technique that I used the most in my finished necklace, which I'll share starting next week!

Soutache braid experiments
Part one
Part two
Part three
Copyright 2014 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

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I'd never heard of Soutache. It's lovely and seems it would make a lot of bead weaving easier. Very elegant look. I love it!
I love it too and I LOVE YOUR tips!
Becky Pancake said…
I am interested in trying this technique so i will be watching for your posts.