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Right Angle Weave Beadweaving Technique: Why It's So Versatile

Rose is a full-time freelance writer who frequently writes about education, special education, DIY projects, food, Milwaukee, and more.

Little Girls Handmade Bead Woven Bracelet in Light Sapphire and White

Little Girls Handmade Bead Woven Bracelet in Light Sapphire and White

Right angle weave (R.A.W.) has always been one of my favorite beadweaving stitches. It can be hard to explain why people prefer some stitches over others, but I think that I am most drawn to right angle weave because of its versatility. I think that it's a beadweaving technique that all beaders should attempt because there is so much that you can do with it. Once you master the basic technique, you'll be off running in a hundred different directions. I hope that the following insight about right angle weave is helpful for you. Happy beading!

If you're just started out with right angle weave, check out this free tutorial. If you need more assistance, check out this tutorial as well. Click on the pictures to enlarge them.

Right Angle Weave Bracelet with Fire-Polished Beads

Right Angle Weave Bracelet with Fire-Polished Beads

One thing that is wonderful about right angle weave is that you can make great pieces with the most basic techniques. Experiment with different colors and beads to make pieces in different styles, such as classic, modern, and elegant.

right-angle-weave-beadweaving-technique-why-its-so-versatile
right-angle-weave-beadweaving-technique-why-its-so-versatile

Right angle weave provides a wonderful base for a wide variety of embellishment and fringe techniques. You can use techniques that are also right angle weave or you can combine your right angle base with other stitches such as peyote. The most layers that I've ever created for a right angle piece is three, but there is no limit to how many you can make.

Olive Green Glass and Sterling - Beadwoven Bracelet - 'Olive Lace'

Olive Green Glass and Sterling - Beadwoven Bracelet - 'Olive Lace'

Right Angle Weave Bangle

Right Angle Weave Bangle

Instead of using an embellishment or fringe technique that strictly follows another stitch, consider creating a freeform embellishment. Right angle weave is very ordered,and the freeform creates a nice balanced of ordered and random in a piece.

Beaded Cuff Bracelet - Strawberry Fields Forever

Beaded Cuff Bracelet - Strawberry Fields Forever

Beaded Cuff Bracelet - Freeform Embellished - The Allure of Sand

Beaded Cuff Bracelet - Freeform Embellished - The Allure of Sand

Right angle weave works beautifully with other stitches. The base is so versatile that it is easy to combine other techniques with it. One popular technique is to create a right angle weave base with peyote embellishment. Once you are comfortable with multiple beadweaving stitches, let your imagination run free and have fun experimenting. Not all of your experiments may be successful, but you will probably be surprised by how well some things do work.

Blue Variety Necklace This piece combines peyote, twisted herringbone, and right angle weave.

Blue Variety Necklace This piece combines peyote, twisted herringbone, and right angle weave.

Bracelet - Wish Makers Path This stunning bracelet combines peyote and right angle weave.

Bracelet - Wish Makers Path This stunning bracelet combines peyote and right angle weave.

With right angle weave, it is very easy to convert a single bracelet design into a bangle and vice versa. Similarly, you can create a long necklace without a clasp or a shorter necklace with a clasp using the same pattern. I have only provided my own examples for this because I have no idea how to search for something similar. I'm sure that there are other examples out there. If you don't want your pieces to look as similar as mine do, consider using different color palettes, kinds of beads, and/or embellishments/fringes for the two versions.

Beaded Bangle Bracelet - Turquoise

Beaded Bangle Bracelet - Turquoise

Beaded Bracelet - Turquoise

Beaded Bracelet - Turquoise

You can use one or two needles to work right angle weave patterns. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. Personally I prefer two, but you have to give the stitch a try before you can decide which one you like better.

One needle
Advantages: You only have to keep track of one needle. For larger pieces with turns and/or increases/decreases, you only have to focus on where the one needle is heading.
Disadvantages: One needle means that you will work back through your beadwork a lot more. This can result in a tighter piece, which can be problematic for working the embellishment and attaching a clasp.

Two needles
Advantages: It is just as easy to follow two needles for most of the work because right angle weave is mirrored on the left and right sides of the piece. You do not end up backtracking as much, keeping your piece looser, which allows for adding embellishment, fringe, and a clasp much more easily.
Disadvantages: You have to keep track of two needles the entire time you are working on the piece. It is trickier to work turns, increases, and decreases.

You may find that your preference changes for different patterns. Don't be afraid to experiment so that you can figure out what works best for you.

You may have noticed that the examples that I've included here primarily use seed beads. Seed beads do make up the majority of the bead mix for many right angle pieces, but there is no reason to feel limited to this. Many patterns can easily be worked with pearls and/or Swarovski beads. Additionally, consider using other beads such as Czech glass in any number of different shapes and sizes, gemstone chips and rounds, wooden beads, and shell beads for embellishment and fringe techniques.

This is one of my pieces from my rock garden series.  In addition to seed beads, I frequently use gemstone chips and rounds and Czech glass shaped beads in these pieces.

This is one of my pieces from my rock garden series. In addition to seed beads, I frequently use gemstone chips and rounds and Czech glass shaped beads in these pieces.

Embellished Mint Green Woven Bracelet The creator combined seed beads with new and vintage Czech glass for this piece.

Embellished Mint Green Woven Bracelet The creator combined seed beads with new and vintage Czech glass for this piece.

For Pay Right Angle Weave Beading Patterns. Search Etsy and Artfire for More Patterns.

Right Angle Weave is Great for Earrings, Too

What's The Angle Beadwoven Earrings With Swarovski Crystals

What's The Angle Beadwoven Earrings With Swarovski Crystals

Free Right Angle Weave Beading Patterns. Search Google for More Patterns.

Great Beading Hubs

Great Right Angle Weave Beading Books

Comments

Jacobb9205 on February 10, 2015:

Awesome! Thank you for the tutorial.

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on September 05, 2012:

Thanks, Messkena! With practice and patience, it's a skill that many people can learn. Best of luck.

Messy from Singapore on September 05, 2012:

Loved all your these pieces and hope that one day I'll be able to turn some of my beads into one of these beautiful pieces.

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on September 18, 2011:

Thanks! Videos can definitely be helpful for step by step visuals.

NiaLee from BIG APPLE on September 18, 2011:

These pieces are merveilles~I will take my time to learn more and practice those wonderful techniques...I also go on youtube when it gets alittle difficult to do step by step...that's how I learned everything I know.

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on September 07, 2011:

I would be happy to help you if you lived closer! A lot of bead stores offer classes in various techniques, including right angle weave. They can be a great way to get you started.

Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on September 07, 2011:

Oh my - how I love this hub! I am dying to learn how to make these bracelets. Just need to find an hour to begin the learning process. It takes me forever to learn and follow directions. I need someone to sit down with me and point out my mistakes along the way :)

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on August 27, 2011:

Thanks so much! It's always great to meet someone else who enjoys using right angle weave.

Susan Hazelton from Sunny Florida on August 24, 2011:

I love using the right angle weave. You have some great examples of it. Wonderful hub. Up and awesome.

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on August 19, 2011:

Thanks everyone! Strawberry Fields is my own design so that means a lot to me. :)

Joseph De Cross from New York on August 19, 2011:

I second Carrie too.. ST FF Bracelet is out of this world. Very hands on and practical pics!

carriethomson from United Kingdom on August 19, 2011:

i second om paramapoonya. the Strawberry Fields Forever bracelet is just awesome. great beadwork hubs here :)

carrie

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on August 17, 2011:

You are welcome and thank you much in return!

Om Paramapoonya on August 17, 2011:

I love the Strawberry Fields Forever bracelet! Thanks a lot for the tips and inspiration. :)

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on August 15, 2011:

Thank YOU! I appreciate your feedback.

Pretty Pretty Swicy on August 15, 2011:

You put together such interesting and informative and colorful tips/instructions. Thank you for all of it Rose!

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on August 13, 2011:

Thanks! You should definitely give it a try if you get a chance.

lady rain from Australia on August 12, 2011:

Wow! This is amazing. I hope I can learn how to make these type of jewellery pieces. They are really beautiful. Thanks for the ideas.

Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on August 12, 2011:

That's awesome! Me too.

Fayme Zelena Harper from Lucerne Valley, CA on August 12, 2011:

I've gotten a lot of mileage out of this technique. I hope everyone will try it.