Postage £2 per order. Spend £20 for free postage.

Right angle weave bracelet

Right angle weave

This stitch is called right angle weave because each time you pass through a bead, you are forming a right angle with the previous bead. You will never pass through two beads in the same direction. (A right angle is like an L shape and can also be upside down or a mirror image.) You will often see it abbreviated as RAW.

This bracelet uses 6mm round beads and size 11 seed beads. You'll need somewhere around 46 to 54 round beads depending on the length of your bracelet, and less than a pinch of seeds. This also works with 4mm or 8mm beads, or bicones, ovals and other shapes.

Thread is a personal choice. There are lots of brands. My current favourite is 10lb woven fishing line (no, not the brand you're thinking of) and I also like nylon loom thread, but you can use pretty much anything. I've even used fine crocheting thread when I've had nothing else, but don't use it with bugles because they'll cut it to shreds.

Use the smallest beading needle you can thread, and don't worry at all if it bends because it definitely will. If it gets too bad you can straighten it up gently with flat nose pliers, but very often the curve will actually help anyway and make it easier to access out-of-the-way beads. Please note that you must use a needle; you absolutely cannot manage without one no matter how stiff you think your thread is. If your bead holes are large enough you may be able to use a sewing needle for the main part and swap to a beading needle for the end loops, or use size 8 seeds for the loops.

I like beeswax if I'm using thread but never use it with fishing line, though it can be handy to wax the very end of fishing line to make it easier to get through the needle. Make sure it's genuine beeswax and not that yellow stuff in the plastic circular case that is actually paraffin wax (even though it's often labelled beeswax).

Begin by threading your needle and pulling about two metres of thread from the reel. Don't cut the thread, leave the reel attached. When you eventually run out of thread you can just unwind more from the reel and carry on working from the opposite end of the necklace.

Work with a single thread, not doubled. It's much easier to get the tension right, and you get a lot fewer tangles.

Thread path

I know, I haven't drawn the picture yet for the thread path. They tend to take me a long time so I decided to publish the pattern now and do the drawing another day.


Thread four 6mm beads.

Pass the needle through all four beads again

Pull the thread through so that the beads snug up together to make a circle.

Pass the needle through the first bead again and pull the thread through.

Pass the needle through the second bead again and pull the thread through.

Pass the needle through the third bead again and pull the thread through.

Add three beads.

Pass the needle again through the bead your thread is exiting.

Pull the thread through so that the beads snug up together to form a circle.

Pass the needle through the first of the three beads you have just added and pull the thread through.

Pass the needle through the second of the three beads you added and pull the thread through.

Now pass through all four beads again in the circle, one at a time, so you end up back where you started with the thread exiting the end bead.

Add three beads.

Now continue in this manner, adding three beads at a time to form the circles, work through til the end bead, then go through all four beads again.

You are forming the circles alternately clockwise and anticlockwise.

Don't neglect to go through all four beads again (step 12) as this helps to maintain the tension.

When the bracelet is the length you require (or you're running out of thread) ensure you are exiting from the end bead.

Add enough seed beads to make a loop. I've used 9 here but you may need slightly more or less, and you'll need more if you've used larger beads for the bracelet. Don't make the loop too small or the beads will not lie nicely side by side, and you won't have room to attach the clasp.

Pass the needle through the end bead in the same direction.

Pull the thread through so that the beads snug up together to make a loop.

Reinforce the loop by sewing through the seeds and the end bead as many times as you can, keeping the thread tight so the loop goes quite stiff. Don't force the needle through or you might break a bead. Weave back through some of the beadwork to finish off, then back to the seeds.

If you want to, before the last bit of the thread goes through the last beads, put a bit of glue or clear nail varnish on the thread so it goes inside the bead. Try and end inside the seeds, otherwise wait until later before gluing and fastening off, so that you don't block a bead hole that you'll need to use again.

Cut the thread end.

Don't add your clasp just yet, wait until you've finished the whole thing, otherwise all you are doing is giving yourself a nice little hook to repeatedly get your thread snagged around.

Make another loop in the same way at the opposite end using the tail of the thread, which was still attached to the spool of thread. Cut this long enough so you have plenty to reinforce the bracelet.

20 And now for the worst part. Go back and sew through the entire thing all over again to reinforce it. Be careful here as it's really easy to get the thread snagged around a bead somewhere and not notice it until it's too late. Depending on your choice of thread and the size of your beads you may like to do this more than once just to be safe, but be careful you don't crack any beads by trying to get too many passes through them.
You don't necessarily need to follow the exact same path, but make sure that each stitch always at a right angle to the previous stitch.
I like to go all the way along the bracelet here in an S pattern, which reinforces alternate beads on each side, then back again to reinforce the ones missed the first time, and I often repeat this more than once depending on the size of the bead holes..

Use a jump ring to attach a lobster clasp to one end of the bracelet, and a short length of chain to the other end.

You could also use a toggle clasp here instead, or a soldered ring instead of the chain.

The completed bracelet.

A note about weaving in the thread ends...

In general I don't like knots. They're too easy to come undone and they also take up valuable space inside the beads. I like to weave through the work as much as possible, and make sure some sections are going around in rough circles so it doesn't pull back through if the finished piece gets snagged.. Then when I am pulling the thread through the very last bead, I put a tiny blob of glue or clear nail varnish onto the last bit of thread so it disappears into the bead. But if you prefer to knot your thread, go right ahead - it's your work.

"Can I sell the finished work?"

Yes you may. You have my permission to make and sell as many pieces as you like, provided you have made them yourself, and for as much or as little profit as you like. Be fair, though, if you make a fortune you should give me a cut!

Copyright: Paula Caddick 2014