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Making flower-chain fabrics by joining braids together.
These tassels are made by attaching a flower-chain skirt onto the neck of a wooden mold that is painted all over because the base of the mold might show through the skirt
The verdigris tassel has a single layer of fringe, but the bronze tassel has two. because the neck of the mold was so thin that not enough chains could be attached in a single layer. The buried bugles were added only to the layer underneath, more would have given a too-heavy look.
Materials painted wooden mold, or combination of molds cord size 11 beads fringe beads
Fold the cord in half and knot the ends together Pull the loop through to the top of the mold, using a sling if necessary Wipe PVA glue on the knot and pull the loop until the knot is hidden just inside the mold. Let dry. Knot the top of the cord.
Skirt: Pick up enough of the beads to go around the neck of the tassel mold. leaving a space the size of one bead so that you can get your needle between them Take the thread through all the beads again, making a ring. Slip it over the neck of the tassel and pull the thread tight Tie the ends together in a knot. Fringe: Plan a single flower-chain for the fringe, which should be at least three times as deep as the mold. Add heavier beads, or buried bugles, at the bottom of the string to add weight
String one of these chains into every bead around the neck If the neck is very small and the fringe is a bit thin, add a second layer of fringing. This layer can be shorter if you wish, and have a different set of beads at the bottom of each flower chain Add a ruff if you wish, following the instructions on page 103, or put a collar around the mold.
These simple braids can be used for so many things—to suspend fringe, cover a tassel neck, decorate tassel skirts, make into such trimmings as loops, coils, or knots, make rings for linked chains, or use as a base for ruffs for the final trimming of tassels. Beads are so beautiful now that often all you want for many purposes is simply a plain flat strip of braid; or you can use the color mixing patterns given on page 16.
For most purposes, even-count pey-ote is simplest, but square stitch, four-sided stitch, or the peyote variation given earlier are more flexible for hanging as tassel overskirts or tying into knots.
The braids can be made using any type of size of bead, even bugles if you wish a more ladder-like look. They can be decorated along the edge with picots or loops or frills, or on the top with beads sewn on—which provides a rich texture.
Flat braids using peyote stitch showing different color combinations.
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