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All You Need to Know about Soutache

In this latest Better Beader Episode from PotomacBeads, Tereza talks all about soutache!

Episode Transcript


Soutache jewelry has been gaining popularity in recent years, captivating beaders with its unique, textured designs and endless possibilities for customization. In Better Beader Episode 44, the talented hosts from Potomac Beads dive into the world of soutache, sharing their expertise and guiding viewers through the creation of a stunning soutache pendant. In this article, we'll provide a step-by-step guide based on the episode, empowering you to recreate this beautiful piece and explore the art of soutache jewelry-making.

Materials Needed

  • Soutache cord (2-3mm wide)
  • Beading thread (Fireline or Wildfire)
  • Size 11/0 seed beads
  • Size 8/0 seed beads
  • 3mm fire-polished beads
  • 4mm fire-polished beads
  • 6mm fire-polished beads
  • 12mm rivoli or round crystal
  • Beading needle (size 10 or 12)
  • Scissors
  • Beading mat
  • Chain and clasp for necklace (optional)

Step-by-Step Tutorial

  1. Begin by cutting a 20-inch piece of Fireline or Wildfire beading thread. Thread your needle and tie a knot at the end, leaving a 6-inch tail.
  2. String a stopper bead about 6 inches from the end of the thread, and pass through the bead again to secure it in place. This will prevent your beads from sliding off as you work.
  3. Cut two 20-inch pieces of soutache cord. Align them side by side and fold them in half, creating a loop at the top.
  4. Secure the loop by sewing through it with your beading thread, passing through several times to create a strong hold.
  5. Begin embellishing the soutache cords by picking up 3-4 size 11/0 seed beads and sewing them between the two cords. Continue adding beads along the length of the cords, alternating between 11/0 and 8/0 seed beads for added texture and interest.
  6. As you reach the center of the pendant, add your focal beads. In this case, we'll use a 12mm rivoli or round crystal. Surround the rivoli with 3mm and 4mm fire-polished beads, sewing them securely between the soutache cords.
  7. Continue embellishing the cords with seed beads, working your way towards the bottom of the pendant. Add 6mm fire-polished beads near the bottom for a balanced design.
  8. Once you've reached the desired length, trim the excess soutache cords, leaving about a 1/2 inch tail. Secure the tails by sewing through them multiple times with your beading thread.
  9. To finish the pendant, create a bail at the top loop by adding a few more seed beads or fire-polished beads, sewing back and forth through the loop until it's sturdy and well-reinforced.
  10. Weave in any remaining thread ends and trim them close to the work.

Tip: As you work, be sure to keep your tension consistent and sew through the soutache cords, not just around them, to create a secure and durable piece.

Customization Ideas & Inspiration

One of the joys of soutache jewelry is the endless potential for customization. Here are a few ideas to make this pendant design your own:

  • Experiment with different color combinations, such as monochromatic schemes or bold, contrasting hues.
  • Try using various bead shapes and sizes, like daggers, drops, or pearls, to add visual interest and dimension.
  • Create a larger, statement piece by increasing the length of the soutache cords and adding more embellishments.
  • Incorporate other beading techniques, such as bead embroidery or fringe, to further enhance your design.


With this step-by-step guide, you're now ready to create your own stunning soutache pendant inspired by Better Beader Episode 44. As you work through the project, remember to have fun, stay patient, and let your creativity shine. We'd love to see your finished pieces, so please share your creations in the comments below or on our social media channels. If you enjoyed this project, be sure to check out other Better Beader episodes for more beading inspiration and techniques. Happy beading!

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