Tension Beads

When starting any stitched bead project, you'll need to add a "keeper" bead or "tension" bead to your thread to keep your beads from sliding off as you start. 'I his bead will be removed later after the first few rows of beadwork arc established.

The purpose of rhe tension bead is to help keep the beads 011 the thread and allow you to stitch the fust couple of rows of beads together without die beads being too loose.

Contrary to how their name may sound, these beads are nor like worry beads!

To add a tension bead:

1. Pass through a bead with your needle and move the bead down toward the end of the thread, leaving a 6' tail on the thread.

2. Pxss through the bead again from the same direction.

3. Pull on the tail of the thread to tighten the thread around the bead.

4. After you have stitched four or five rows» onto the beadwork, use the tip of your needle first to loosen die thread that is through the tension bead and then to pull the thread our of the hole. Remove rhe tension bead.

5. Thread the needle with both thread rails, if possible, and stitfl the tails into th e beadwork. You may need to stitch them in one at a time.

Most bead artists ao not use knots to stort or end threods knots are difficult to hide in the beadwork and ore unoltrocli1 to see. Trte bulk of the knots also fill up the hote o» the making it difficult'o stitch through a bead several times. This: o particular conccrn when creating o complicated plcce whlc require» »lltchlng through beads many time»—sometimes many as f-ve or »1* times.

m through several , on the edge of r beadwork. bringing : needle out of an up

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