Glossary of Beading Terms
The running back stitch is a basic stitch often used to add beads to fabric. Both easy and durable, it can be used for a small embellishment or to cover an entire area with an elaborate design.
Bead embroidery is technique for adding beads to fabric using traditional embroidery stitches. Beads can be used as embellishments on an incredible array of items from garments to shoes to home decor.
Gauge is a measurement of the thickness of something, be it beads, wire, thread, or needles. Generally, smaller numbers indicate thicker sizes. Wire gauges ranges from 10 (very thick) to 28 (very thin). Seed bead gauges are written as fractions, like 6/0 (~3.7mm) to 15/0 (~1.5mm). Size 11/0 seed beads are the most common. Thread does not have a standard gauging system, leaving each manufacturer to invent their own.
The half hitch is a simple knot and is useful in a varity of situations, like carrying light loads. Usually it is a component in many more complicated knots, but when done alone it’s usually done twice (as in tying off the ends of a knot you don’t want to come undone). To tie a half hitch knot you would drape your string (or rope, etc.) over a stationary object, like your finger, or a stick, and then loop one end of the string around itself and back over itself through what is now the loop created with the previous steps.
A technique used when making jewelry to distress metal, or create a bent, wavy, or flattened effect. Hammering hardens wire and can shape and add texture to it. Hammering is performed with a ball pein hammer on a small jeweler’s anvil. It is a good idea to wear protective eyewear while you work. Hammering is an effective way to harden handmade earwires so they do not bend when used.