Happy new years to you and yours! While I can’t quite believe it’s 2015, I’m always excited to start a new year. Even if I don’t happen to change much in my life or follow through on resolutions, I like the idea of “starting a new chapter” with each year that passes. Anywho – let’s start this year off with a bang (and some knowledge!), shall we? Put on your learning hats, you’re about to find out what a peyote stitch is!
Originating from the Native American tradition of decorating gourds for the peyote ceremonies, the peyote stitch (also known as the gourd stitch), is an off-loom bead weaving technique which can be worked with even or odd number of beads per row. Pieces using the peyote stitch can be woven as flat strips, flat round shapes, or tubes. In addition to pieces of jewelry, the peyote stitch can be used to decorate objects like the gourd, bottles, or fan handles; can be made into pouches or even a headdress. For the more experienced beader, the peyote stitch can be used to create three-dimensional pieces using sculptural peyote techniques, as seen in the photo in this blog!
This stitch is not only popular today but examples of the peyote stitch have been found in Ancient Egyptian artifacts, used in Native American beadwork, and is even still utilized in traditional African symbolic headdresses. Learning how to do a peyote stitch is typically one of the first stitches a new beader learns but it also remains favorites for most experienced beaders also. This stitch can be almost a meditative exercise for beaders all over, and is one of our favorites!
We hope you enjoyed learning a little more about this beautiful stitch and technique.
If you’d like to learn the peyote stitch for yourself, we found this informational video with good close-ups on how to do the stitch!