Fashion Design I
Just as there is one thread
And on it are woven breadthwise and lengthwise
Hundreds of thousands of beads
So is everything woven into the Lord
- Nam Dev
Objective: Create a patterned beaded bracelet. The pattern will be created using color and one of the
following beading techniques: peyote stitch, vertical square stitch, brick stitch, right angle weave, chevron,
herringbone stitch or bead netting.
History: Bead Stringing is where beading began. Most people consider "beading" working with very small
beads to create complex integrated forms that become decorative ornamentation. “Adding beads to clothing
can be found as far back as the Late Old Stone Age (the Upper Paleolithic). These were large beads of shell
or ivory. What we think of as beadwork, using small seed beads, is also quite old. There are beaded items
in Egypt, using small faience beads, dating back 4000 years.
King Tut had beadwork in his tomb, including a pair of slippers he must have worn as a child and a hassock
showing captive nations. (Tut didn't capture any nations, but beadworkers flattered the Pharaoh as well as
anyone.) Other early examples tend to be rare because the cloth or leather on which the beads were sewn
disintegrate. There are several beaded items in the ShOsO-in Temple in Nara, Japan, dating to the 8th
Beadwork is recorded in India at an early date. There are 9 th century B.C. references to braiding beads into
hair and horse tails. Around 300 B.C. Buddhist monks were admonished not to wear beaded shoes. The
first reference to bead weaving is from about 1300 A.D.
The earliest African beadwork (outside Egypt) is found in a tomb called Igbo Richard in Nigeria dating
between the 8th and 11th centuries. The earliest recorded beadwork in Europe is, as far as I know at this
point, comes from a 13th century tomb near Burgos, Spain, embellished with blue glass beads, seed pearls
and coral beads.”(www.thebeadsite.com)
“Beading today can not be considered only small beads combined. Artists are creating large complex forms
with large beads or large representational objects, as well as using the smaller beads. Beading is common to
every continent and most cultures of the past and present. For most people who take up beading, it becomes
a way of life; you breathe beads, feel them, need them and want more of them.
Beading has gained popularity and died off only to come back again each time with a new look. From the
1800’s through the early 1900’s, beading with small beads had its heyday. From 1830-1850, the tiniest
beads, the most beautiful colors and graduations of colors were produced. These included sizes 20/0 and
smaller. These small size beads are antiques and are no longer made because the process is too labor
intensive. In the 1990's, the price for the smallest beads zoomed up due to their popularity. These tiny
beads continue to be in demand today. Beads continued to be popular through the 1950’s in designer
clothing and purses. Native American and Oriental beadwork was popular from the early 1800’s
through the mid-1900’s. The 1960’s brought love beads, the 1970’s brought back larger beadwork with
macramé and bead embroidery. Until the mid 1980’s, beads and beading were primarily for ornamentation;
there had been little thought of the historical aspect of beads. Beads have continued to be used in costumes
and haute couture of the rich and famous for decades.
The mid-1980’s set the stage for the massive bead mania of the 1990’s. The History of Beading is a story of
social and economic impact on people of every continent and culture, of romance and intrigue, passion and
obsession and revival of old ideas into new.” (www.beadwrangler.com)
Create a minimum of 5 preliminary full color pattern designs for your bracelet
Use the bead pattern handouts for inspiration etc.
Your pattern is to be created through the use of your chosen specific beading
technique (see handouts of various techniques to choose from)
Share your design ideas with the class for feedback.
HW: Finalize your bracelet design
Present your final design to the class
Create your final full size and full color bracelet design on graph paper
Create a large practice pattern 5” long and 6 rows high using pony beads and plastic
HW: Complete your final bracelet design on graph paper and your practice pattern out of
Purchase any beads necessary to create your bracelet (you will begin making your
bracelet next class)
Create your bracelet
Once your bracelet is completed, write your artist statement
a. Complete your artist statement by answering each of the following
i. Where did the inspiration for your bracelet design come from?
ii. Which beading technique did you use to create your bracelet?
iii. What was the most difficult part of the project?
iv. What did you learn from this project?
Your artist statement is to be in narrative format (paragraphs).
Please do not write it in a question/answer format.
It is to be typed double space.
HW: Finish your bracelet and artist statement
Finished Bracelet and Artist Statement due at the beginning of class
Planning 10 pts.
(Design development and full size pattern completed fully and with high success, thorough exploration of design ideas demonstrated
Use of Materials 10 pts.
(Total control of all medium is strongly present)
Use of Technique 20 pts.
(Beading technique and pattern highly successful)
Use of Time 10 pts.
(At least 95% of class time used effectively for the completion of the entire project, time outside of class used as necessary to
complete the project)
Artist Statement 10 pts.
(Well thought out, thorough, reflective and structurally successful write up completed that answers to all required questions)
10% per day taken off the top for late work
10% per day taken off the top for l ate work