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Preciosa Braided Bracelet Project - Soutache meanders

A practical Pressed Bead, PRECIOSA Pellet™, whose shape enables it to supplement many varied types of beads and seed beads, has been presented in Preciosa Ornela’s new collection for the upcoming season in the second half of 2013.
The so-called interlocking effect is enabled by the central slimming of the glass cylinder in the 4 x 6 mm size which means that the individual beads interlock precisely during a simple stringing. These beads are especially an excellent
partner for both sizes of the PRECIOSA Farfalle™ seed beads or for the new PRECIOSA Thorn™ bead. PRECIOSA Pellet™ is also ideal for use in techniques such as braiding. Braid was once abundantly used to decorate uniforms or folk costumes. At present, the popularity of braid or soutaches in the production of original pieces of jewellery and decorations is on the increase.
The PRECIOSA Pellet™ bead excellently supplements the best selling braid size at a width of 3 mm.
Try out the braiding technique in connection with this universal bead and produce a simply, basic soutache meander.
We wish you much adventurous inspiration when discovering further combinations and options using the beads and seed beads from the PRECIOSA Traditional Czech Beads brand.
 
TOOLS and MATERIALS:
 
PRECIOSA Pellet ™ GBPEL6 (34x) (P)
A soutache in 2 - 3 colors (ca 0.8 m - 1 m of each color), a ruler, a thin needle and a transparent nylon thread, scissors, metal parts for a so-called American fastening, textile glue.

 PROCEDURE:

Careful preparation is highly important for the technique of braiding. A soutache is a plaited narrow braid, most frequently made from wool or viscose yarn. Soutaches made from viscose yarn are especially susceptible to damage. It is therefore necessary to use very sharp scissors when cutting them and a very thin needle and preferably a transparent nylon thread or a very fine nylon line for the sewing. Every unpicking of the soutache will also be visible and every stitch must therefore be precisely and expedient. In order to ensure that the soutaches do not unravel during work and do not suffer damage, reinforce them with textile glue or carefully melt the ends on an electric hotplate. Do not use an open flame for this, so that the thread does not go black.

1.
Measure the required length of the soutaches. 
Choose one color as the main soutache and cut it at a length of ca 1 m. The remaining 1 - 2 soutaches will be about 25 cm shorter.
Pay attention to the direction of the fibres which are intertwined in the central section and create a herringbone effect.
Place the individual soutaches together so that the direction of the fibres is always the same. (fig. no. 1)
2.
Place the soutaches together so that the longest of them is longer by ca 12.5 cm on each side.
Sew the soutaches together in the central section so that the knot is hidden in the first meander.
Place the individual stitches carefully in the central section and do not overly tighten them so that you do not deform the soutache fibres.
The stitch will be longer from the external part of the meander and shorter from the internal part. (fig. no. 2)
3b.
Sew 1x P into each meander. Then sew the resulting soutaches together.
Sew through the next part of the soutache meander together and add another P and then sew all of the soutaches together again.
The outer color of the soutaches alternates in the individual meanders. A standard 17.5 cm bracelet requires 34x P. (fig. nos. 3a, 3b)
3a.
4.
After reaching the necessary length of the bracelet, thread the excess soutache through the loop on the American fastening and tighten
well. Create a bow from the remaining part of the soutache, and hide the ends of all the soutaches in it and then carefully sew it up.
Use the same procedure on the other side of the bracelet where you should shorten the soutaches as needed and melt the ends.
(fig. no. 4)