Improve your beading tension with this one simple tip

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Do you worry about whether your beading tension is right? Or do you know that you struggle with it? Well, I have one simple trick you can use to improve your beading tension from today!

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What is beading tension?

I’ve written a whole other blog about beading tension. In that, I explained what it is and how it differs for different techniques. I also outlined some factors that can affect your tension. So, I invite you to have a read to get all the details. Use this link to access that blog.

Today, I want to add another thought.

Now, in case you really don’t know, beading tension is basically how tight you pull your thread when you stitch. As I explained in the other blog, ‘good’ beading tension will vary from technique to technique. What we mean by ‘good’ is whether your tension keeps your beads where you want them to be.

So, for some stitches, you need them to lock into place. For other techniques, you need a softer tension.

What I want to look at today is the parts that create beading tension.

Think about it for a second…

When you add a bead, you go through a series of steps:

  1. Picking up a bead, or beads
  2. Passing your thread through bead(s) in your existing work
  3. Pulling the thread up tight
  4. Then repeating this sequence again…

Now, it’s that last part, the starting again, where things can unravel.

Clamping thread, Katie Dean, My World of Beads

My simple tip

Now, what  I mean is, as soon as you move on to pick up the next bead, your thread goes limp. You’ve ceased pulling it through your work. So, although you may have used the appropriate force to give you the right tension as you were pulling, the thread can now begin to unravel.

Basically, it may start to loosen. So, if you want to keep it really tight and maintain tight tension, you should teach yourself to clamp the thread at the end of each stitch.

Very simply, you can immediately improve your beading tension by holding your work as I am in the photo above. So, support your beadwork between your thumb and middle finger. Then use your forefinger to clamp the thread against your middle finger. This pulls the thread taut, keeping your last bead in place while you add the next bead.

Just keep repeating this process for every stitch and your beads won’t have the chance to loosen.

If you want to see this in action, I’ve pointed it out in some of the videos in my online courses.

But give this a try straightaway. You might find it a little tricky at first, as your brain and fingers get used to a new way of holding your work. But once you master this, it should help. Then, using that tip in conjunction with everything else you learned about beading tension here, should improve things quite quickly.

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