Bead Weaving Techniques – Netting Stitch and its variations

Simple Netting

Netting stitch is one of the simpler beading stitches, and can be learned easily. Having said that, however, it is one of my personal favorites because it results in a beautiful, lacy effect. Netting stitch has been widely used, for centuries, in Russian and Ukrainian beadwork as well as during the Victorian era in American and English beadwork. I know of many experienced contemporary beaders who have taken this stitch to new heights, and designed many interesting variations.

The pictures of the netted amulet bag necklaces (below) are of pieces I have created using one of these new variations. I do not know who to credit with this particular design, but it is one I have enjoyed immensely. I have created at least 10 of these bags in the past. Although I am a relatively experienced and fast beader, these always take me at least 16 hours to complete.



The tiny little perfume bottle necklaces shown below (created by me) were based on an article, some years ago, in Jewelry Crafts magazine. These actually each house a tiny glass vial inside, and can be used to carry a favorite perfume.


Although the examples I have shown you are of pieces I have completed that were based on the creative designs of others, I have created a good bit of my own custom designed netted beadwork. I find this stitch particularly agreeable for working “ad-lib”, and I often enjoy creating my design with no restricting guidelines. The original piece (below) that I created is a table setting that features a large vase and a matching candle holder. Much of this piece was created with the netting stitch, although there are also elements of peyote stitch, and some other miscellaneous techniques involved. Unfortunately, this picture does not do the piece justice (I’ll have to try for a better picture later – I still own this, as my Mother particularly likes this piece and didn’t want me to sell it). The actual piece is loaded with embellishments such as autumn berries, leaves, and butterflies. One note that may be of interest: Not only is the vase and candle holder beaded with netting stitch, but also the spider web which has been beaded over wire.

Ogalala Lace Netting

“Ogalala Lace” is essentially an altered & embellished variation of the simple and well-known netting stitch, which results in a fanciful ruffled effect. I find this stitch particularly useful for custom design work, as it is possible to downplay or enhance the ruffled effect as you see fit. The two necklaces shown (photo, below) have both been created with this stitch, and as you can see . . . the results are quite dissimilar.


Last modified on: April 20th 2014.