When you are looking at a piece of beading, can you tell the difference between brick stitch and peyote stitch? It can be hard to tell. Both stitching techniques have up-down patterning, and both can be used in similar ways. Often, the same pattern can be worked in either brick stitch or peyote stitch. Both involve placing beads in a pattern that is offset by half a bead. That is, the beads lying on top of each row appear to lie in between the two beads below them.
Despite these similarities, brick stitch and peyote stitch are two distinct beading patterns. When you take jewelry classes, at a bead supply store like Austin Bead Gallery, for example, you will need to learn both stitches in order to effectively follow and create patterns of beadwork. Sometimes, in order to achieve your goals for a piece of beading, you will need to use one or the other stitch. To help you tell the difference, and to help you choose your preferred stitch for the patterns you create, here is a look at the primary differences between these two stitches.
Brick stitch and peyote stitch have a slight visual difference.
One of the first things you might hear about brick stitch vs. peyote stitch in jewelry classes is that brick stitch is peyote stitch on its side. This is a simple way to describe the visual difference between the two stitches.
Peyote stitch displays an “up” bead “down” bead pattern on its top and bottom. That is, one bead appears to stick up vertically, while the bead beside it appears to lay flat on its side. Brick stitch, on the other hand, displays an “up” bead “down” bead pattern on its edges. If you take a pattern that has been worked in peyote stitch and turn it on its side, it will look exactly like a pattern worked in brick stitch, and vice versa.
Brick stitch works through the thread; peyote through the beads.
The differences between these two stitches are not just visual. When you are working in brick stitch, you loop your needle through the thread that is between two of the beads on the next row down. You then slide your needle vertically through the new bead.
When you are working in peyote stitch, you do not loop your needle through the thread. Instead, you work your needle horizontally through the beads themselves. This difference is what creates the opposite visual effect for each stitch: Up/down beads on the sides instead of on the top of the pattern.
Brick stitch creates more tension than does peyote stitch.
Thanks to the different techniques used in brick stitch vs. peyote stitch, brick stitch tends to create more tension in the pattern. This tension probably exists because each row is held firmly to the row below it thanks to the use of the thread. Because of this increase in tension, brick stitch patterns are easy to fold sideways (say, for example, to form a tube), but are difficult to fold from top to bottom.
Brick stitch is easier to follow than is peyote stitch.
If you are just starting out with jewelry classes, chances are that you will find brick stitch easier to follow than peyote stitch. While these two stitches look very similar, and can often be used interchangeably, how they appear on a pattern is different.
For example, when following a pattern that calls for peyote stitch, it can be very easy to see only the “up” beads on the pattern. Making sure you follow the “down” beads in your stitching as well can be tricky. It is easy for the eyes to only focus on the beads that stand out the most. Brick stitch, on the other hand, lays in an even row across the pattern. As a result, it is easier to follow the pattern and you need to use less concentration than when you are working in peyote stitch.
Brick stitch and peyote stitch cannot always be used interchangeably.
It is true that most patterns calling for peyote stitch can be worked in brick stitch, and vice versa. However, this is not always the case. Sometimes, the effect each stitch has on the pattern can make one stitch preferable than the other.
For example, brick stitch naturally leads to a tapered look unless you increase each row by a bead. As a result, this stitch is ideal for creating certain shapes, like triangles. Brick stitch is also a good stitch to use if you want to create a stacked effect or a tube for your jewelry.
As a result, before choosing your stitch, consider what you want to accomplish with your beading. You may find that one or the other stitch is preferable.
Brick stitch and peyote stitch can sometimes be used together.
Despite their differences, you can sometimes use brick stitch and peyote stitch together. When taking jewelry classes, for example, consider learning how to use brick stitch to circumvent the often-trick odd count peyote turn at the end of certain rows. With practice, you can begin to combine the stitches to achieve the easiest and most effective manner of working your beading patterns.
When taking jewelry classes, you will learn both brick stitch and peyote stitch. These basic beading stitches allow you to work a large number of patterns and create many types of beading projects. As you gain mastery of both these stitches, you can begin to use them together, and will have a better sense of when to use one or the other. Just make sure you are not deceived: These stitches do differ from each other in look, technique, feel, and uses.
If you want to learn more about these stitches, and other beading techniques, consider signing up for Austin Bead Gallery’s jewelry classes. We can help you achieve artistry through beading by teaching you both basic and advanced techniques that will help you create beautiful beaded works of art.