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Backing Help :confused_

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  • Backing Help :confused_

    I'm SO new to, have torn these threads apart, and am THRILLED that there are so many wonderful teachers in here willing to lend their advice. I'm completely self taught, but have always had a problem: putting backing on ANYTHING after the beadwork's done (sad, no?). Most of the stuff I make doesn't usually require a backing (earrings, pipebags, breastplates, mocs), but i wanna expand my horizons! I was wanting to make a beaded set for northern traditional and while i've read the threads on what to use, i am completely clueless as to the step by step finishing of a beaded piece. So my questions are:
    1) when i'm beading, say, hairties, do i leave an edge around the work or just tear the pellon as close as i can get to it? And if there's canvas under the pellon, do i just trim it?

    2) after the work itself is isolated on the pellon/canvas or left with its edge.... now what? Do i invert the edges (if any) or do i just wonder under the piece to fabric or leather?

    3)after the wonder under, is there any edge beadwork necessary? if so how do i sew the two together with beadwork?

    4) what's the best stiffeners to use for medallions?

    5)so my understanding is that fully beaded pieces are usually stiff enough to hold their own, but which articles will generally require a stiffener in between the work and the backing? And what works best?

    I think that's all. I know it's a lot, but the only people i can ask these things to are very far away, and one input isn't the same as many experienced inputs, and I would love all of yours!
    Much respect,

    doksa ake

  • #2
    With something like hairties, I'd back it with ultrasuede. I make a sandwich of the beadwork, stiffener and ultrasuede. The edge on ultrasuede doesn't fray and can just be attached with edge beading, or whip stitched down and covered with "rolled" edging (lane stitch over the edge).

    If I use fabric, I often cut a piece of fusible interfacing the same size and shape as the tie. Iron it on to the backing. Pull off the paper, fold the edges over, and carefully iron them down. Then I hold the two pieces together the same way as above.

    If I used fabric for the substrate for the beadwork, I do exactly what I do with the fabric back to the beadwork side. This works well, unless you beaded on velvet.

    In my opinion, work without some kind of edge treatment is like a skirt without a hem. Look at the old stuff, our artistic predecessors almost always did some kind of finishing technique.

    I'm old-school on my rosettes. I use file folders or brown paper. I've never had a rosette on powwow gear outlive the paper. But, if the acid worries you, get archival paper at the office supply big box.

    Whether a fully beaded piece is stiff enough or not depends on the beading technique, substrate and final use. What's Ok for a dress, may not be for a martingale or purse.


    • #3
      We bead all our backed items on LAP-PAD, it is stiff, waterproof, and does not stretch.
      We use plastic behind our finished beaded piece, cut slightly smaller. Laudry bottle plastic works best, as milk jugs have been made thinner in recent years.
      We back this with leather, deerskin works best, but other scrap leather is good.
      You sandwich these three parts together; beadwork, then plastic, then leather. You do an edging through all three of these layers at once, and your done.
      If for instance this is a hairtie of barrette, you cut the appropriate holes for a thong or metal barrette through both the plastic and backing leather, and put these items in place before closing the edges with you beading.


      • #4
        If you're beading/backing with something that doesn't unravel, just leave a little edge, then edge bead it. DON'T TEAR your pellon - you risk tearing where your stitches are. Just trim with scissors.

        If you're beading/backing with canvas or other fabric that ravels (I beaded my first girl's fancy outfit on a velvety burlap kind of fabric and backed it with same), you need to edge it first. Either edge with Bias or tuck the edges under and secure them. is what it is...


        • #5
          hmmm...When I beadwork, I beadwork on Lap Pad...that works goot!!! I don't really use a stiffener thing between the lap pad and the backing...I just do an Iron On...

          That's how I do all my small stuff, my larger items, I get that double sided iron on and iron my two pieces of canvas together, then I sew on some Bias Tape, then I bead up to 1/4 in away from the edge. Then after that, I sew on my backing, and then my fringes, then finish off the 1/4 in gap with some small lazy stitch all the way around or if I'm lazy, slap some rhinestones on. It all looks good...and I've never had any problems. I usually superglue my knots too when I tie off a string that is at it's end during beadwork. So none of my work has ever come loose/broken. Hope That helps Ya...


          • #6

            Thank you guys SOOOO much for all the advice. I've been watching this thread since i've put it up and made a hair stick cover. Came out great, but encountered another problem: Some of the spaces in the beads at curves or points could have held a parked car! Any suggestions on reducing spaces in the beads? I used size thirteen charlottes.


            • #7
              What style of beadwork did you use? I use 13 charlottes all the time.
              The things you are doing today are the traditions of twenty-five years from now.
              -Daryl Baldwin: Miami



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