Adding Beads To Handwoven Cloth

As a weaver and an artist I love being able to add custom touches to my art that add a bit of pop to the finished piece. After I finished weaving this overshot table runner I really wanted to take it up a notch by adding a special artistic element to the piece. After much research I came up with these handmade fair trade brass beads from Africa.

This plate was the inspiration that started this whole project! I loved the simplicity of the design and color. As you work your way through the slide show above you can see how the piece progressed and how it looked when it was finished.

This table runner was woven on one of my Schacht Floor looms. It was woven using 4 shafts and using the overshot technique of weaving. I used Cotton and linen threads to make it a sturdy and hardwearing runner for many years to come. Once I completed the weaving portion of this project, I knew that I wanted to add a little something more to the design. That’s when I came up with the idea of adding some beads to the runner. I didn’t want to add just any beads though, I wanted something that had been handmade and would compliment the finished runner. When I came across these handmade brass beads on Etsy, I knew they would be perfect!

When the beads arrived in the mail I was so excited to get started putting them on the runner. I thought it would be a very simple thing to do, but boy was I wrong! Many of the handmade metal beads needed to be reamed out so that I had a clean hole going all the way straight through the bead, that was task number one. I tried using a beading needle to pull the end warp threads through the beads but that didn’t work very well and I needed to find another tool for adding the beads. I finally realized that dental floss was strong, but thin enough that it would fit through the narrow opening in the beads. Once I knew I had my beads and tools figured out I sat down and drew out how I wanted the bead design to look going across the ends of the fabric. At last, it was time to start adding the beads!

Although it was a very long and tedious task I loved the end results! I soon realized it took me just as long to put the beads on both ends of the table runner threads as it had taken me to weave this piece. I feel the end result was worth it though and I love this stunning piece of art.

I decided to make several other runners using the same beading technique and below are several pictures of those additional handwoven pieces.

Thanks for dropping in to see what art I have been weaving up lately, hope you have a great weekend! Until next time……

…..I wish you peace