Some Finishing Techniques

Finished bracelet using square beads with button closure.

Finished bracelet using Delicas.
Today, I was talking to one of our recent Mirrix customers about finishing a bracelet. She took notes, but was afraid they might not make a lot of sense at a later date. I promised her I would write a blog detailing how to finish the warp ends of a bracelet and how to create a button closure that will allow the ends of the bracelet to overlap around your wrist and not leave space between the two ends. I am stealing these directions directly from The Checkerboard Bracelet kit.

Before removing your bracelet you need to weave in a header and a footer with thread. This thread can be the same thread you used for the warp. I prefer to use a slightly heavier silk thread (which is included in the Checkerboard bracelet kit). Cut a length of thread about a yard long. Thread a blunt nose tapestry needle. You will be weaving a half inch of this thread on either end of the bracelet. Using the needle, go under and over every other thread (or pairs of threads, if you have used the shedding device), then reverse direction and go under the threads you went over and over the threads you went under. After you have woven a half inch, sew both ends of the silk thread into the woven part so it does not ravel. When you’ve finished weaving your header and footer, loosen the tension on your loom and slip out the warping bar. Lay your piece flat and trim the ends so that you have at least four inches left to work with. Tie overhand knots with warp pairs. When you’ve tied all the knots, trim the warp as close as you can without allowing the knots to be undone. Fold the header (or footer) at the seam where the header and beads meet. Turn the knots under so that they are buried. Carefully sew this header down so that you knots are buried and it looks neat. Do the same with the footer. This will be the back of your bracelet. You want to make this hem as sturdy and neat as possible. Make sure that you avoid covering the button hole.

I also like to add a picot edge to the sides of the bracelet. In order to do this, string a workable length of warp thread (a yard) and sew it through the beads at one end of the bracelet in order to firmly attach it. You will pass your needle through the last bead at the edge of the bracelet, pick up three seed beads and then pass back through the next edge bead. Pass your needle through the next bead so that you are once again working on the edge of the bracelet. String three more seed bead and pass back through next bead. Continue this way until you have come to the end of the bracelet. If you have left over thread, work your way back to the other side of the bracelet and repeat this procedure until you’ve reached the far end. If you have only a short length of warp thread, string a new piece and firmly attach to bracelet. This edging is very attractive as well as reinforcing your bracelet and disguising the warp threads on the side of the bracelet.

Making a Button Hole and a Button

At about row 102, you will need to create a button hole. Continue weaving with your current thread, but only go to the middle of the piece. Weave this half section for eight rows. Start a new thread to weave the columns on the other side of the bracelet. Weave that side for eight rows. End one of the threads and continue weaving a straight row of beads for four or five rows. Weave two rows of a solid color.

The “button” will be created using peyote stitch:

Using cylinder bead color of your choice to make a flat peyote piece that you will sew into a cylinder.

String 12 cylinder beads. Make the piece 10 rows wide. Zip the first and last rows together to form a tube. Sew the tail back into the bead work. Use the left over thread to sew to the sixth bead in one of the rows. You will be sewing this button onto the bracelet at a point that creates the best fit for you. String up three cylinder beads, sew onto bracelet, thread three cylinder beads, sew back through button.

This bracelet will hug your wrist and feel great.