Fibre and fabric beads – and fun

On Thursday, we made a mess (well, some of us did). We also made some amazing beads from fabric and fibre at a wonderful workshop tutored by the textile artist Karen Hall. The name of the workshop – wrappin’ and rollin’ – said it all: wrapping and rolling fabric to make beads. That’s on one level… on another, the workshop was all about embellishing our wrapped and rolled bead forms.

We began with templates and cutting out fabric, which was then glued (being careful not to glue the first end!) and rolled onto sticks:

rollinexactly like the classic children’s craft activity of making paper beads.

We made blanks – beads whose fabric was going to be entirely covered – and some of us also made others using fabric which was intended to show. These dried off while we learned all about embellishments, and we had to think about what to use, what techniques would work, what additional yummy extras we wanted to add to our beads.

what to use?

(We also learned how to make sure our beads didn’t unravel on us!)

This bead has been wrapped in yarn made from sari silk:

sari bead

And here is one that was wrapped in some glittery Louisa Harding yarn and then embossed:


(not quite finished at that stage – it was later also wrapped in silver wire), and these are three where the fabric shows, and different co-ordinating fibres have been used:

three bead babies

From left to right, roving, mohair and some more sari silk.

At the end of the day, we spread our beads out – such a wonderful, varied selection.


Many thanks to Karen for such a great workshop, and for teaching us to do something new and fabulous!

Here’s a gallery; just click on an image for a slideshow as usual. (And apologies if your beads don’t feature – there was so much great stuff going on, and it’s difficult to do it all justice when you’re trying to participate in the workshop as well…)


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