Mastering the Basics: Right Angle Weave Patterns for Beginners

What is a Right Angle Weave?

Overall, right angle weave is a fundamental technique that offers a blend of mathematical precision and artistic expression. Its simplicity, versatility, and stunning results make it a cornerstone for aspiring bead artists.

Importance of Mastering Basic RAW Patterns for Beginners

Here’s why mastering basic RAW patterns is crucial for beginners:

  • Building a Strong Foundation: RAW’s simple two-bead unit and repetitive nature allow beginners to develop the basic skills and techniques necessary for any bead weaving project. These foundational skills include:
    • Needle Manipulation: Learning to hold and control the needle with precision.
    • Stitch Consistency: Executing each stitch with uniformity and accuracy.
    • Tension Control: Maintaining consistent tension in the thread for a stable and secure weave.
    • Pattern Reading: Following beading charts and understanding basic symbols.
  • Developing Spatial Awareness: RAW’s grid-like structure helps build spatial awareness and visualization skills essential for more complex beading patterns. By understanding how beads interact and connect in a grid, beginners can readily grasp more intricate designs.
  • Unlocking Creative Potential: Although fundamental, RAW offers immense creative potential through color variations and bead size combinations. Mastering basic patterns allows beginners to experiment with different colors and sizes, fostering their creative expression and design sense.
  • Boosting Confidence: Successfully completing basic RAW projects provides a sense of accomplishment and boosts confidence, motivating beginners to pursue more advanced bead weaving techniques.
  • Facilitating Learning: Mastering RAW patterns serves as a springboard for learning more advanced techniques. The skills and understanding gained from RAW translate seamlessly to other bead weaving styles, opening doors to a vast world of creative possibilities.

Understanding Right Angle Weave (RAW)

A. Definition and Basic Principles of RAW

Right Angle Weave (RAW), also known as peyote stitch, is a fundamental bead weaving technique characterized by its:

  • Two-bead Unit: The core of RAW is a repeating unit of two beads stitched together at right angles.
  • Grid-like Structure: Each stitch creates a right angle turn, resulting in a consistent, interlocking grid pattern.
  • Fabric-like Texture: The close proximity of beads and consistent right angle turns create a fabric-like feel.
  • Versatility: RAW can be used with various bead sizes and colors, offering endless possibilities.
  • Strong Foundation: Mastering RAW provides a solid foundation for learning more advanced bead weaving techniques.

B. Advantages and Versatility of RAW in Beadwork

RAW offers several advantages for beadwork:

  • Simplicity: Easy to learn, making it ideal for beginners and experienced beaders alike.
  • Versatility: Can be used to create a wide variety of projects, including bracelets, necklaces, earrings, and sculptures.
  • Durability: Creates strong and secure beadwork suitable for everyday wear.
  • Visual Diversity: Allows for endless creative expression through color variations and bead size combinations.
  • Scalability: Projects can be easily resized or expanded to desired dimensions.

C. Explanation of Key Terms and Techniques Used in RAW

Here are some key terms and techniques used in RAW:

  • Peyote Stitch: Another term for RAW.
  • Bead Unit: The two-bead unit that forms the foundation of the stitch.
  • Right Angle Turn: Turning the needle at a 90-degree angle after each stitch.
  • Increase: Adding new beads to a row to create a wider section of beadwork.
  • Decrease: Removing beads from a row to create a narrower section of beadwork.
  • Tension: Maintaining consistent pressure on the thread to ensure the beads are evenly spaced and secure.
  • Beading Needle: A long, thin needle specifically designed for beading.
  • Beading Thread: Strong, thin thread suitable for passing through beads multiple times.
  • Beading Mat: A padded surface for working on beadwork projects.

Essential Materials and Tools for RAW Projects

A. Beads: Types, Sizes, and Colors Suitable for Beginners

Bead Type

  • Size 8/0 Seed Beads: These are the most common type of bead used in RAW, offering a good balance of size and affordability. They are small enough to create intricate designs but large enough to handle easily.
  • Size 11/0 Seed Beads: These are even smaller than size 8 beads, allowing for even finer details in your projects. However, they are more challenging to work with due to their size.

Bead Material

  • Glass Beads: These are the most popular and versatile option, available in a wide variety of colors and finishes. They are relatively inexpensive and durable.
  • Gemstone Beads: These offer a natural beauty and added value to your pieces. However, they can be more expensive and delicate than glass beads.
  • Metal Beads: These can add a unique metallic element to your designs. They are generally more durable than glass beads but can be heavier.

Bead Color

  • Solid Colors: This is a good starting point for beginners, allowing you to focus on the technique without worrying about color combinations.
  • Complementary Colors: Using colors that complement each other can create a harmonious and pleasing appearance.
  • Contrasting Colors: These can add visual interest and make your design stand out.

B. Thread and Needle Options


  • FireLine: This is a strong and durable thread, ideal for projects that will be worn or used frequently. It is also relatively thin, allowing you to use smaller beads.
  • Nymo: This is another popular option, known for its flexibility and ease of knotting. It is available in various thicknesses to accommodate different bead sizes.
  • Beadalon: This thread is similar to Nymo but has a slight sheen.


  • Size 10 or 12: These sizes are good for general RAW projects using size 8/0 or 11/0 seed beads.
  • Bent Needles: These can be helpful for picking up beads in tight spaces.
  • Beading Needles: These have a larger eye than regular sewing needles, making it easier to thread them with beading thread.

C. Basic Tools Required for RAW Projects

  • Bead Mat: This protects your work surface and helps to prevent beads from rolling away.
  • Bead Scoop: This helps to scoop up beads from containers and transfer them to your bead mat.
  • Scissors: These are used to cut your thread.
  • Thread Conditioner: This helps to prevent your thread from fraying and makes it easier to slide through the beads.
  • Bead Stoppers: These small beads are used to secure the end of your thread and prevent the beads from unraveling.
  • Crimp Beads and Crimp Covers: These are used to crimp the end of your thread to create a secure closure.
  • Round-nose Pliers: These are used to crimp the crimp beads.

How to do Right Angle Weave?

A. Step-By-Step Tutorial for the Basic RAW Stitch


  • Beading thread (FireLine or Nymo)
  • Beading needle (size 10 or 12)
  • Seed beads (size 8 or 11)
  • Scissors
  • Bead mat (optional)


  1. Thread Your Needle: Cut a length of thread approximately 40 cm long and thread it through the needle. Tie a knot at the end of the thread.
  2. Pick Up Two Beads: Thread two beads onto the needle.
  3. Pass the Needle Through the Second Bead: Insert the needle back down through the second bead, going through the same hole you just came out of. This creates the first “stitch” of your RAW weave.
  4. Pick Up one Bead: Thread one bead onto the needle.
  5. Pass the Needle Through the First Bead of the Previous Row: Insert the needle through the top right corner of the first bead in the previous row. This creates the right angle turn.
  6. Repeat Steps 3-5: Continue picking up one bead, passing the needle through the first bead of the previous row, picking up two beads, and passing the needle through the second bead.
  7. Turning the Corner: To turn a corner, simply continue weaving in the desired direction, picking up the beads accordingly to maintain the right angle turns.
  8. Finishing Off: When you have reached the desired length, weave a few extra rows to secure the end. Then, cut the thread and use a bead stopper or crimp bead to secure it.

Video Tutorials

B. Common Mistakes and Troubleshooting Tips

Common Mistakes

  • Uneven Tension: This can result in your weave being loose or puckered. Make sure you are pulling the thread gently but firmly to maintain even tension.
  • Twisting the Thread: This can make it difficult to pass the needle through the beads. Hold the thread taut to prevent it from twisting.
  • Skipping Stitches: Double-check your work to make sure you are not accidentally skipping any beads or stitches.
  • Adding Stitches in the Wrong Places: Pay attention to the pattern you are following and make sure you are adding stitches in the correct locations.

Troubleshooting Tips

  • If Your Weave is Too Loose: Pull the thread gently to tighten it up. You can also use a beading needle with a smaller eye to help you thread the beads more tightly.
  • If Your Weave is Too Tight: Try using a beading needle with a larger eye to help you thread the beads more loosely. You can also use a bead reamer to slightly enlarge the holes in your beads.
  • If Your Thread is Twisting: Hold the thread taut and use your fingers to gently untwist it. You can also try using a bead twister tool.
  • If You are Having Trouble Picking Up the Beads: Use a bead scoop to help you pick up the beads from your bead mat. You can also try using a beading needle with a bent tip, which can be helpful for picking up beads in tight spaces.

RAW Necklace Pattern: Step-by-Step Guide


  • Seed beads (size 11/0 recommended)
  • Beading thread
  • Beading needle
  • Clasp or closure of choice
  • Scissors


Step 1: Gather Materials

  • Collect all the necessary materials, ensuring you have a variety of seed bead colors for your design.

Step 2: Thread the Needle

  • Cut a comfortable length of beading thread (about arm’s length) and thread it through the beading needle.

Step 3: Start with a Stopper Bead

  • Slide a stopper bead to the end of the thread, leaving a short tail (about 4 inches). This will prevent beads from slipping off as you work.

Step 4: Create the First Unit

  • Pick up four seed beads and slide them down to the stopper bead, forming a square. Pass through the first three beads in the same direction to create a loop.

Step 5: Add the Second Unit

  • Pick up three beads and pass through the next bead in the existing loop, forming a new unit connected to the first.

Step 6: Continue the RAW Stitch

  • Repeat Step 5 until you reach the desired length for your necklace. Maintain the pattern by always adding three beads and passing through the next bead in the existing loop.

Step 7: Connect the Ends

  • To connect the ends and form a loop, pass through the last bead and reinforce the connection by passing through adjacent beads in the loop.

Step 8: Add a Clasp

  • Attach your chosen clasp to each end of the necklace, weaving the thread securely through the beads for reinforcement.

Step 9: Secure and Trim

  • Weave the thread back through the necklace, passing through several beads to secure the thread. Trim any excess thread, ensuring a neat finish.

Step 10: Enjoy Your RAW Necklace

  • Your Right Angle Weave necklace is complete! Admire your work and customize it with different bead colors, sizes, or additional embellishments.

Remember, this is a basic RAW necklace pattern, and you can experiment with variations and more intricate designs as you become more comfortable with the technique. Happy beading!

Right Angle Weave (RAW) is a versatile stitch for beading enthusiasts. This guide provides a solid foundation for beginners. With these basics, you’ll be well on your way to mastering RAW and creating beautiful beaded pieces!

Happy beading !!

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