Book Review: Beading on Fabric, Encyclopedia of Bead Stitch Techniques by Larkin Jean Van Horn

“Way back in the dawn on time, when dirt was new and dinosaurs roamed the earth, I got interested in beads.” From this first line in the introduction, you just know there will be liberal amounts of lively humor sprinkled throughout the informative text which recounts the heartbreak of getting back a traveling art piece with most of the beads missing. That experience served as a wakeup call that drove Van Horn to search out all she could about attaching beads to fabric. With an extensive body of work to her credit, it is safe to say she succeeded in her quest and is now sharing the results with other fiber artists.

The basics such as fabric, thread, needle, glue, stabilizer and frame choices are covered in detail before getting into the myriad of bead and button options available to the embroidery artist. After outlining some ground rules like using doubled thread, matching thread colors and how many beads to use, Van Horn dives into the stitches. Attaching cabochons and shacked buttons, adding different fringes and nice finishing details along with tips on wearability, washability and general considerations round out this informative volume.

Of particular interest to this reviewer was the note regarding real silver lined beads being capable of rotting cotton threads as a side effect of the tarnishing process. This is the first place I have seen any mention of silver lined beads doing that although I learned about it the hard way and have looked in vain for more information on the subject. Well written directions with clear drawings and photographs make following along a snap, even for the novice beader. Much of Van Horn’s work is liberally showcased throughout the book providing plenty of inspiration to set the creative juices flowing and needles stitching.

Note the date on this article may be incorrect due to importing it from our old system.