The simplest form of RAW is the four bead unit, stitched in flat rows. This technique is great for bracelets and rings, but can also be adapted to make 3-D objects, beaded beads and more.
To make a basic strip of flat right angle weave:
Pick up 4 seed beads, and slide them down the thread, just before the stop bead.
Pass back through the first 3 beads again, and pull tight to form a cluster. If you’re working with size 8/0 beads or larger, you may want to weave through the entire unit once more before resuming, to lock the cluster in place.
Pick up 3 seed beads, and stitch through the same bead that your thread is exiting. Pull tight, and pass through the first two beads just picked up. Repeat this motion until the row reaches the desired width. Notice the figure eight pattern - the thread path alternates up and down with each new cluster, much like ladder stitch.
As you work, remember that each row you add is still made up of 4 bead units, but some of the beads will be shared with previous ones. Your thread will move in a continuous figure eight pattern.
Continue adding 2 beads at a time until you reach the end of the row. Weave around the last unit added and exit from the first ‘up’ bead to start the new row.
Although the technique is simple, it can be tricky to learn at first. The number of units in the first row will determine the direction that your thread moves for all subsequent rows. After you’ve used right angle weave a few times, it becomes second nature. When you’re first learning, it’s a good idea to look over each row before beginning a new one, to check for missed stitches and out of place beads.
Right angle weave is incredibly adaptable, and almost evolves on it’s own once you have it in your repertoire. I really became attached to it after creating my first RAW chain links.
To make my “Time Warp” link necklace, I made multicolored strips of flat right angle weave, and stitched the ends together to form a ring. Folding the edges together and zipping them up creates a seamless loop with a sturdy shape. This technique eventually evolved into bangle bracelets.
Where will right angle weave take you?
Copyright 2010 Inspirational Beading