Thursday, August 28, 2008

Beading Backing?

What is everyone using for stabilizer or backing for their beading?

I've used cotton fabric backed with paper, non-woven sew-in interfacing, or thin cotton quilt batting. I've also used an embroidery hoop to hold the cotton fabric taut. I also tried Lacy's Stiff Stuff a couple of times. Each of those has advantages and disadvantages.

What works best for you? I'd like to hear what the more experienced beaders have learned about backing for beading.

Marty S
Crackpot Beader


beadbabe49 said...

hi depends on what I'm making...if it's a wall piece, I use pellon or timtex with cotton batik on top...when I'm making a cuff I use a softer, thinner interface behind the batik and then back the piece with ultrasuede...pins and pendants I go back to pellon, then batik and backed with ultrasuede and a pin/pendant finding.

Drea said...

I used to love canvas. I was really into pictoral applique & the canvas was great as I could paint directly on it. The finished work was very stiff or rigid, which worked well with that style of work. The stiffness of the canvas was a pain to sew through tho.

After that I got into stiff stuff (easier on the hands, not as nice to paint). These days I favor pellon.

HTH :o)

2008 Bead Journal Project said...

Marty - I use wool felt - probably not the best choice but I like the feel of it in my hand.


Dee D said...

I've been using the stiffened felt that is sold at Michaels. Easily available for purchase and it does come in colors. I bead directly on it.

Sabine said...

Hello, Marty,

that's a very interesting question, and I have no answer, just want to comment. So far, I only did very little bead embroidery with no backing at all.

During the BJP I will just experiment, also keeping in mind the suggestions made here. I have collected several kinds and thicknesses of interfacing, other materials like muslins and something I cannot name in English, plus felt and a small piece of interleaving paper. Maybe at the end of the year one of them will be my favourite.

It would be nice to exchange experiences.

Best wishes for a happy year,

Denise said...

I make a quilt sandwhich with two pieces of material and warm and natural batting. This year I'm doing two layers of the batting to make it have more heft. I have used pellon, and timtex, but I like bending in to the material. I have also used stiffened felt, which is good to use if you don't want to bead on white.
Beadbabe also makes a good suggestion - material on timtex or pellon is a very nice choice, it hides the white and material is always a source of inspiration.
Cheers, Denise

nologic said...

I generally use the Pellon Peltex 70 as my base. I have used pens to color the fabric when I covered the whole page in beads and didn't want white showing through the beads. When I want fabric to be part of the page I usually use a Therm O Web heat bond product to attach the fabric to the Peltex. I want to try some of the other ideas listed here.

a2susan said...

At the beginning of last year I tried a few different materials. I found ultrasuede hurt my wrist too much, fabric with acid-free backing was too loose for me, plus the fabric design was very distracting. Then I tried Lacy's stiff stuff and that was perfect. It didn't hurt my wrist, it was easy to put the needle through, it had some heft. The only downside is that I used all white stiff stuff, so I really had to bead the entire piece and that was a lot of work.

KV said...

I use Peltex 70, too. Sometimes I cover it with fabric and other times I color in some areas of my design.

A note of interest for anyone using Lacey's Stiff Stuff -- it can be dyed quite easily to any color your heart desires . . .

Kathy V in NM

Lois B said...

Depending on whether it's a jewelry piece or an embroidery piece... For jewelry, such as a pin or neckpiece, I love to use Lacy's Stiff Stuff. It is easy to color with fabric paint or even watered down acrylics, and a needle goes through so easily. For an embroidery piece, like the BJP, I usually use acid-free interleaving paper, a technique I learned from Robin's book and classes. It gives enough support for the beads but becomes very soft to work with over time. I've also used a tear-away stabilizer with good results, too.

Robin said...

Seems I'm the only one who uses paper. Good grief! It's so fabulous... easy to sew through, melds with the cloth in the end (especially when beaded solidly), bends, is easily torn away from places where there's no beading, inexpensive... I use acid-free interleaving paper for ALL of my bead embroidery. Another paper that's easy to find and works very well is Japanese Smumi painting paper, available at Michaels or most art supply stores.

I think those who suggest experimenting are on target!

Robin A.

Z'anne said...

I know this is going to sound strange, but I've been using lap pad since I started beading. It's the rubberized flannel you use to put under the baby when changing diapers. It's sturdy enough for heavy projects and works for my embroidered pieces. I also like to use non-woven fabric sheets for small pins or lighter weight projects. These have been used and washed before I use them in my beading.


Marty S said...

Is it hard to get the needle through the rubberized flannel?
Marty S

Z'anne said...

It's not too tough. I regularly use a #12 beading needle and don't have a lot of problems with getting my needle through. Would you like me to send you some to see if you like it? That way you won't have to go through the expense of buying a whole package.

Marty S said...

Thanks for the offer. We actually have some similar rubber backed flannel that we used to put on the beds when our grandsons were younger. I know where it is, so I can take a needle to it and see what happens.
Marty S

feather said...

A number of years ago a friend explained to me that when working mandelas in beads the native indians used layers of newspaper but that over time it deteriorates and distorts the shape of the beadwork. She since uses buckram which she told me was the stiffening material at the top of drapes that you stick the curtain hooks into. Any way, tried it and love it. Very easy to work with but stays stiff so the project doesn't lose its shape and then you stitch that to your backer materials.