Monday, January 10, 2011

The Versatile Peyote Stitch

One of the most versatile off-loom beadweaving stitches is the Peyote Stitch or Gourd Stitch.
Many cultures around the world have used peyote stitch in their beadwork. Examples of peyote stitch have been found in artifacts from Ancient Egypt, and the stitch has also been used in historic and contemporary Native American beadwork.
The name "peyote stitch" derives from the use of this stitch to decorate objects used in peyote ceremonies by members of the Native American Church. The name "gourd stitch" similarly derives from the use of the stitch in decorating gourd containers. There are many applications for using this off-loom weaving technique. You can see by the following photos how peyote stitch can be applied with very different results.

Tubular Peyote can be used to make bracelets and necklaces. In this "tube" of beads, I used 16 gauge wire as its base to give it a bangle shape.


Flat Peyote Stitch -Almost any image can be adapted using this variation you can print peyote stitch graph paper here

Peyote Stitch is geometrically friendly. This stitch can be used to make just about any shape. From circles to octogon and even three dimensional pieces like the ones below.

Peyote Stitch can also be used to create a "beaded bezel" for cabachons like this one that I did around a redline marble cabachon.

Some Peyote projects are very structured like this bottle. This is traditionally what peyote stictch was used for, to cover objects.

And lastly, this is my favorite form of peyote stitch. It is freeform peyote. Usually done with different color and size beads, there is no pattern, no structure. You just start beading and let your imagination run.

So, just how do you do the Peyote Stitch? Well here is a basic illustration for flat peyote

You can find many tutorials on YouTube regarding tubular peyote techniques.
Here is one to start you out. Peyote Stitch Tutorial for Beginners.

Happy Beading

1 comment:

Me said...

I love peyote stitch! I really need to practice up.