Huichol bracelet

The Huichol Indians of Mexico have developed a distinctive style of beadweaving that produces intricate, symmetrical designs through a two-needle netting technique. While many netting Huichol designs are stitched with tiny size 159 beads, this simpler version is worked in size 110 beads.

by Sylvia Sur

The bracelet s stitched portion is 6Vi in. (16cm) long with 12 design repeats. Add or remove complete design units to change the size. To substitute 15V beads for the 1 lrs, use finer thread and stitch more repeats to increase the length.

Netted band

When you work with two needles, it's easier to have the working needle on the right-hand side when you start each row, so you can work the row from right to left (reverse for lefties). [1] Thread a needle with 6 yd. (5.5m) of conditioned Nymo (Basics, p. 5). Wind half the thread onto a bobbin until the netting is established. Each step below begins with the beads you pick up to add to the pattern. Row 1, right-hand (first) needle (figure 1. a-bi:

Two As and a B five times, then four As. Slide the beads against the bobbin.

a. Two Bs, then go through the last B on the previous row.

b. Three Bs. go through the next B. Repeat three more times.

e. Two Bs and slide them against the other beads. Undo the bobbin and thread the sccond needle on the tail. Row 3, second needle (a-di:

a. Two As. through the last B.

Huichol Seed Bead Netting


Huichol Beading Patterns


Huichol Seed Bead Netting



• 6g each of sizo 11 Japanese seed beads:

opaque black, color A vwtet-lned purple, cokx B metaBo purpto. cotor C turquoise, color 0 meialic matte gray, cokx E AB rosy red . color F

• 2 2mm beads or Si2e 1r seed beads

• beeswax or Thread Heaven

f. c:, two Bs, through last B on row 2. Row 4, second needle (d-e>: a. Two As, two Bs, through B. I>. Q two Ds. through D. C. C, two Es, through F.

f. Two Bs. Slide the heads against the netting.

f. C, two Bs, through B. Row 6, first needle lf-gl:

f. C, two Bs, through B. Row S, second needle (H—i>:

a. Two As. two Bs. through B. 1». C. D, A, through E.


[2] Repeat rows 4-9 until you arc one design unit from the desired length. As you stitch row 4 in the body of the bracelet, substitute A (black) beads for C (metallic purple) beads in steps c and d. Then, at the last repeat, omit row 9 and work the following rows to finish the border. Row 1, first needle Ifigure 2. a-bi:

d. Three Fls, through E.

f. C, two Bs, through B. Row 2, first needle (b-c):


Repeat four times, c. Three Bs. through B. Row 4. second needle (e-fl:

b. Two As, through B. Repeat four times.

c. Two As and slide to netting.


[1] Stan with at least 18 in. (45cm) of thread. Exit through an A on the short edge (figure 3. point a).

[2] String four As, an 8mm bead, and a 2mm bead. Go back through the 8mm bead, string four As, and go through the second A of the base pair ta-b). Go through the beads again to reinforce them.

[3] Skip two pairs of As and repeat step 2. Secure the thread with a few half-hitch knots (Basics) and trim.

[4] Anchor a new thread at the other end and exit an A as in step 1 ifigure 4, point a). String 19 As <or enough to go over the 8mm bead) and go through the second A of the base pair ta-b). Go through the loop again.

[5] Skip two pairs of As and make a second loop as in step 3. Secure the thread in the netting with half-hitch knots and trim, o



Beadwork Bracelets HuicholesHuichol Seed Bead Netting



• s>zc 107 seed beads (size 11-seed beads con be i hank each: s»ver-hned gcW, otic* A bkjoms.cotof 8 •A hank each:

siver-kied brown, cotor C s*«<ir-fcned bJue. cotof D

• 32 sitver-bnod gcid ff' seed bead3

• Nymo B boating thread

Ukrainian netted necklace

Join woven panels with beaded strands by Maria M. Rypan horizontally from the bottom up. The first row forms the lower edge, and you'll use the bottom connector beads for hanging the fringe or to connect the bands.

• Tighten the thread as you work. Tight tension allows you to see the connector beads on the previous row.

• Two gold beads outline each side edge. The right-hand edge forms automatically as you bead, but you'll have to add the gold beads on the left-hand edge after completing the strip.


[1] String a stop bead (Basics, p. 5) 9 in. (23cm) from the end of a 60-in. (1.5m) length of beading thread. You'll remove this bead to complete row 2.

Netting is a very forgiving technique where irregular heads can get worked into the fabric without showing. However, you need to cull the beads to make sure that the accent and connector beads are consistent in size. You must sort the bugles to select the straightest, most even ones of equal length.

The kilim-patterncd medallion, two midsection bands, and one long back band are worked individually in horizontal netting, following the charted patterns. If you use size l lv seed beads instead of I 0"'s, add extra motifs to the back band to achieve the desired length. Next, join the netted pieces with strands of connector beads and finish with a double fringe.

Netting basics

• This three-bead netting has one bead on each side of each connector bead throughout. Color changes create the design motifs, and color sequences change each row.

• Head and work each chart

14 The test ci 8«*iHfc.ftao

[3] To start row 2. go back through the edge point bead (#29) toward the stan. Tick up three Bs for the next stitch (#35-37) and go through the next B on the row below (#25). Continue adding three beads per stitch. End the row by picking up one B (#53) and going through the first B on the row below (figure 21.

[4] Remove the stop bead, and tighten both threads. Tie a surgeon's knot to keep the foundation rows right (Basics and photo al.

[5] Pick up three Bs and go through the center bead on the stitch below. Tlie piece may twist until you've added a few rows, so be careful to go through the correct beads •figure 3. p. 16).

[6] Follow the medallion chart to complete the piece, using a marker to keep track of the color changes, and tighten the work as you go.

[7] On the top (A) row, connect the bst A to the middle B on the left-hand side (figure 4. a-bl. Thai stnng two As and go through the next middle edge bead ib-ci. Repeat for c-d. Keep the work tight and continually square up the medallion.

[8] Every so often, secure the thread by circling through an adjacent inesh unit next to the newly added edge beads id-ei. Check to nuke sure the piece remains square.

[9] Continue edging through the start bead and bottom edge beads #2-3. This is where you'll start the fringe. You can work it now or as the last step. If a long thread remains, leave it for the fringe. If the thread is short, end it in the bead work.

Midsections and back band

Both midsections and the back band use the same chart, a small two-rhomb pattern repeated as many times 3s necessary to achieve the desired length. Work these pieces with the same netting technique as the medallion. [1] Start as in figure 5. The repeat pattern is eight rows, as marked on the chart. Work A'A repeats for the two midsections and l9'/i repeats for the back band. You may need more repeats for the back if you use size 11" beads.

Sd o • 9 9 9 9 9 999999 99 9 9 99 #ti • • • 99 t ¿wr



[2] Bead from the start through row 10, then work the repeat as many times as necessary. Finish with the half-repeat marked on the chart and the top two rows. Then add the edge beads along the left-hand side as for the medallion.

Huichol Beaded Bracelets


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Connector joinings

When the four netted pieces arc finished, join them by stringing a sequence of beads between the connector points.

[1] Secure a 60 in. (1.5m) length of thread in a midsection, and emerge from the center bead on the first bottom stitch.

[2] Pick up the sequence of connector beads shown in figure 6.

[3] Go through the matching top-edge connector bead on the medallion and then sew back up the connector sequence (a-bl. Go through the midsection connector bead from the opposite direction (b-c and photo b).

[4] Retrace the thread path ic-d>, zigzag through the netting to the next connector bead.

[5] Repeat steps 2 and 3 to make the next connector id-c).

[6] Retrace the thread path and repeat steps 2-5 to make the additional connectors.

[7] After making the four connectors between a midsection and one side of the medallion, sew back through the connector thread path to the beginning for security and to tighten and square up the necklace.

[8] Connect the other midsection to the other side of die medallion as in steps 1-4.

[9] Make sure the back section is not twisted, and connect the ends to the tops of the midsections as in steps 1-4.

Fall Knot Hitch



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Huichol Brachellets Images







Do not pull the fringe tight. Work loosely so it will fall gracefully. [1 ] If you left a long thread at the bottom of the medallion, scan fringing with it. Otherwise, secure a 60-in. (1.5m) thread in the medallion, emerging left to right from bead #3.

[2] String the fringe sequence as shown in figure 7. Skip the last seed bead, and sew back up the fringe. Go through the same fringe point in the opposite direction.

[3] String a second fringe from the same fringe point. Go back up the fringe, through the fringe point from left to right, and follow the netted edge to the next fringe point. The two fringes should straddle the fringe point |figure 8).

[4] Repeat steps 2 and 3 across the bottom of the medallion, o

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Hitch Knot Bracelet
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