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Easy Instructions and Amazing Patterns for Peyote Stitch Beading

Peyote Stitch Beading
Do you know what is peyote stitch beading? If not, then let us together learn this unique art of beading, and make something for our loved ones.
HobbyZeal Staff
Last Updated: Mar 12, 2018
Peyote stitch is a hand weaving technique for creating off-loom bead weaving, i.e., bead weaving without a loom. It is an old form of stitch to make beaded objects that were used in the religious ceremonies of the natives Americans. But now, it is different from the traditional techniques used by the native Africans and Americans.

The authentic peyote stitch was also known as gourd stitch. In this bead work, beaded fabrics are created without any loom of threads visible. Any shape or size can be made by taking the thread in a zig-zag way through the rows and branches of the beads. Even the handcrafted jewelry and accessories can be made by peyote stitch. It looks great and amazing in small bags, bracelets, necklaces, and amulets. This is a very easy technique to learn, and here are eight simple step-by-step instructions for you to master this stitch. For this, you will need a beading needle, seed beads of size eleven, and a 60 cm thin nylon thread.

How to Peyote Stitch?
  1. Thread the first bead tightly. This bead is called stop bead.
  2. Thread seven more beads in a straight line.
  3. Thread one more bead, and then take out your needle from the hole of the third bead from the end. Pull the thread, and make sure that the new bead sits on the eighth bead of the first row.
  4. Thread one more bead and now take it out from the hole of the fourth bead from the end, and make it sit on the third bead from the end of the first bead row.
  5. Repeat the previous step twice by taking out the needle from every alternate bead of the first row. By now, there should be four new beads in the second row.
  6. Thread a bead and take out the needle from the first bead of the second row, and make it stable on the stop bead.
  7. Thread one more bead and take out the needle from the second bead of second row and make it sit in between the first two beads of the second row. Repeat the same procedure to complete this pattern.
Flexible diagonal weaves are created by this hand weaving technique. Peyote stitch has many patterns like flat, tubular, round, etc., and can even be made into a three-dimensional object. Some of the three common patterns are discussed below.

Various Patterns You Can Make

Flat Beading
It is the simplest and most basic form of peyote stitch. It gives a product that is symmetrical, and is the easiest pattern for beginners.
  • Flat Even Count: Beads are used in even numbers, and there are no beads at the center. Therefore, it does not give centered symmetrical design.
  • Flat Odd Count: It has a center bead and thus, gives a symmetrically centered design. The needle has to be moved in 'figure-of-eight'. Two needles can be used that will make the stitch easier for beginners.
Tubular Beading
Tubular peyote can be done by using both, even and odd, number of beads. It can be formed around any cylindrical object.
  • Even Count Tubular: Even count stitch creates cylindrical form of seed bead patterns and is used for making amulets. Even number of beads are put in a string to get the desired form.
  • Odd Count Tubular: If you want a symmetrical design pattern, then use the odd count pattern. Beads are used in odd numbers to make a tube-like structure.
Flat Round Beading
This pattern gives a round structure or design as seen in buttons and decorations. The basic design is made by using six beads.

Keep practicing this technique, and make sure that the thread tension is kept tight for keeping the structure flat. You will fall in love with this art because of the varied patterns, versatility, beauty, and flexibility. It gives a look of fabric, and can be used to make objects like trendy beaded jewelry, beaded purse, chokers, and many endless designs.
Zulu Beads Threaded into Armband and South African Flag
Raised floral pattern in peyote stitch