One of the first beading techniques I learned was one of the beaded spiral rope variations, known as a Spiral Staircase. Since then, I have learned a lot more different types of beaded spiral ropes, some easy some harder. I just love them. For me, they are a staple technique and one that you can learn with no previous experience. Spiral ropes make gorgeous necklaces and bracelets in their own right. They are also incredibly useful for suspending pendants and can be worked into a quick beaded chain. If you want to skip the rest, then you can head straight off to buy my booklet that shows you five different beaded spiral ropes, covering the techniques and offering extra design ideas to try. If you want a little more information first, then read on!
A Brief Introduction to Beaded Spiral Rope Variations
Let me start by saying that most beading techniques that have a tubular variation, also have a way of creating a spiral pattern. The Spiral Staircase that I mentioned when I began is an exception to this rule in that it is a set technique in its own right. I think it is also the easiest place to start. You can find a beginner’s pattern here. The photo shows a sample of one variation, but this technique has an almost endless number of different variations. The best bit is that they are all easy and you can make them up as you go – just get to learn the basic workings, then experiment. In my booklet, I give you a few ideas to try to set you off on your own journey of discovery.
The remaining beaded spiral rope variations that the booklet covers, are all variations of other beading techniques. The Russian Spiral is really a form of tubular netting. Herringbone and Peyote stitch both have their spiral variations and the Cellini Spiral is a special variation of Peyote. In essence, the spiral is created by using different coloured beads and stitching in a special pattern. As with all good rules, the exception to this is the Herringbone spiral. Rather than having to use different colours, you create a spiral texture through the thread path.
Different Beaded Spiral Rope Variations
Talking about the theory is all very well, but what you really want to know is what the spiral ropes look like. You’ve just seen a sample of a Spiral Staircase. The photo to the right here is a Russian Spiral. The beauty of this stitch is that it can be made with seed beads, or it can be created using all sorts of larger beads. You can see some pearls mixed in. It is also often made with bugle beads. I love it because once you get into the flow, it works up really fast. Depending on whether you use larger or smaller beads, you can create a real statement or a dainty chain.
Herringbone spirals are so versatile. You can make them very strong or softer depending on your thread path. You can spiral clockwise or anti-clockwise. You can mix together different bead sizes and you can even embellish them! Just take a look at some of the ideas below. And if you want to get started, this beginner kit is just the place.
Peyote spirals can also be turned either way – and in the booklet I will tell you how – but the basic spiral can really only be stitched in different widths. If you want to give that a try, then this pattern is a good place to start. The really interesting thing about Peyote spirals is the Cellini spiral variation. As you can see from the photos below, there are so many different ways this can be used. Once you have got the technique, it is easy to create your own variations. In the booklet, I show you both the basic technique, several variations, and I share the rules for creating your own.
There really is nothing like a good beaded spiral rope to create a statement piece of jewellery. The best news of all is that it doesn’t have to be difficult! So I hope this whets your appetite to find out a bit more, try the five beaded spiral rope variations I have on offer, and then create your own. If you want single patterns to try, then pop over to the Beadflowers website and use the right-hand search bar to look for ‘spiral’ – you’ll find plenty to inspire!