Glossary of Beading Terms

H

Half Hitch

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.

Half Knot

A half-knot is half of a square knot that is tied around one or more filler cords. See our tutorial for instructions.

Half-drilled bead

Half-drilled bead

Beads with a hole that goes only half-way through, instead of all the way through like a normal bead. There are many findings that are made to take a half-drilled beads, like ring settings and earring posts. You can also use them to finish memory wire bracelets–an end cap. They are affixed with bead glue.

Hammered

Hammered

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.

Hank

Hank

A hank is made up of multiple strands of beads. Many bead shops display strands of beads in hanks and the buyer can purchase as many strands as they need. The number of beads per strand and strands per hank depends on the type and size of bead. A hank of size 13 seed beads contains twelve 20-inch strands, approx 400 beads per strand and 5000 beads per hank. A 16-inch strand of 6mm round beads only contains 68 beads. The average 6mm bead hank contains 10-12 strands. photo credit

Headpins

Headpins

Headpins look like small thin nails. Put a few beads on a head pin, bend a loop in the top, and you have a dangle which can be made into an earring with the simple addition of an earwire.

Heishi Beads

Heishi or heishe beads are small disc or tube shaped beads usually made of stone, shell or wood. They were first made from shell by Native Americans of the New Mexico area. Authentic heishe beads are handmade and can take days to produce strands of 2 – 3mm beads. Strips of shell or stone are drilled with evenly spaced holes, cut into squares, then shaped and smoothed by hand. The beads are beautifully smooth and uniform donut shapes.

Hemp

Hemp

A fibrous plant of the Cannabis family, or the fiber from it. Hemp is used in jewelry primarily to make macrame jewelry, especially chokers. Hemp is one of the most versatile plants on the planet and produces a strong fiber. Until recently it has been illegal to grow in the US because it is related to the marijuana plant, but laws are currently changing due to marijuana becoming legal in certain states.

Hook and Loop Clasp

Hook and Loop Clasp

A type of clasp that is very easy to use. It can be made by hand with some wire (gauge 20 or thicker), however it may come apart if the hook is stretched. Hammering the wire with a ball pein hammer and anvil can harden it so this is not an issue.