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Beading on Sweater Knits

Threads Issue #211, Oct./Nov. 2020
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I’ve always loved the beaded sweaters that were popular in the 1950s. They were luxurious, elegant, and surely reserved for the most special of occasions. I saw them from time to time during my childhood. It seemed to me beyond glamorous to own and wear one of these exotic beauties.

It wasn’t until I had grown up and acquired a few of these garments for myself that I was able to get a good look at how they were decorated. I realized that what seemed like a time-consuming and tedious job—applying each bead by hand—was not how the embellishment was done. The beading was worked with strings of beads rather than single beads attached individually. This technique reduces the time spent building each motif and makes it possible to create complex designs efficiently.

You may want to try this technique on a swatch first before working…

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