Right Angle Weave Beadweaving Technique: Why It's So Versatile
Right angle weave (R.A.W.) has always been one of my favorite beadweaving stitches. It can be hard to explain why people prefer some stitches over others, but I think that I am most drawn to right angle weave because of its versatility. I think that it's a beadweaving technique that all beaders should attempt because there is so much that you can do with it. Once you master the basic technique, you'll be off running in a hundred different directions. I hope that the following insight about right angle weave is helpful for you. Happy beading!
One thing that is wonderful about right angle weave is that you can make great pieces with the most basic techniques. Experiment with different colors and beads to make pieces in different styles, such as classic, modern, and elegant.
Right angle weave provides a wonderful base for a wide variety of embellishment and fringe techniques. You can use techniques that are also right angle weave or you can combine your right angle base with other stitches such as peyote. The most layers that I've ever created for a right angle piece is three, but there is no limit to how many you can make.
Instead of using an embellishment or fringe technique that strictly follows another stitch, consider creating a freeform embellishment. Right angle weave is very ordered,and the freeform creates a nice balanced of ordered and random in a piece.
Right angle weave works beautifully with other stitches. The base is so versatile that it is easy to combine other techniques with it. One popular technique is to create a right angle weave base with peyote embellishment. Once you are comfortable with multiple beadweaving stitches, let your imagination run free and have fun experimenting. Not all of your experiments may be successful, but you will probably be surprised by how well some things do work.
With right angle weave, it is very easy to convert a single bracelet design into a bangle and vice versa. Similarly, you can create a long necklace without a clasp or a shorter necklace with a clasp using the same pattern. I have only provided my own examples for this because I have no idea how to search for something similar. I'm sure that there are other examples out there. If you don't want your pieces to look as similar as mine do, consider using different color palettes, kinds of beads, and/or embellishments/fringes for the two versions.
You can use one or two needles to work right angle weave patterns. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. Personally I prefer two, but you have to give the stitch a try before you can decide which one you like better.
Advantages: You only have to keep track of one needle. For larger pieces with turns and/or increases/decreases, you only have to focus on where the one needle is heading.
Disadvantages: One needle means that you will work back through your beadwork a lot more. This can result in a tighter piece, which can be problematic for working the embellishment and attaching a clasp.
Advantages: It is just as easy to follow two needles for most of the work because right angle weave is mirrored on the left and right sides of the piece. You do not end up backtracking as much, keeping your piece looser, which allows for adding embellishment, fringe, and a clasp much more easily.
Disadvantages: You have to keep track of two needles the entire time you are working on the piece. It is trickier to work turns, increases, and decreases.
You may find that your preference changes for different patterns. Don't be afraid to experiment so that you can figure out what works best for you.
You may have noticed that the examples that I've included here primarily use seed beads. Seed beads do make up the majority of the bead mix for many right angle pieces, but there is no reason to feel limited to this. Many patterns can easily be worked with pearls and/or Swarovski beads. Additionally, consider using other beads such as Czech glass in any number of different shapes and sizes, gemstone chips and rounds, wooden beads, and shell beads for embellishment and fringe techniques.
For Pay Right Angle Weave Beading Patterns. Search Etsy and Artfire for More Patterns.
Right Angle Weave is Great for Earrings, Too
Free Right Angle Weave Beading Patterns. Search Google for More Patterns.
- 6 Free Bead-weaving Patterns: Herringbone Stitch and Right-Angle Weave - Beading Daily
- Embellished Floral Choker (beadwork.about.com)
- Cubular Right Angle Weave Beaded Bracelet (beadwork.about.com)
- Right Angle Weave - Fire Mountain Gems and Beads
- Right Angle Weave Heart Pouch - Beadwork
- Beaded Right Angle Weave Pearl Necklace Pattern by Allegra