Peyote stitch is a common way to weave beads together to make intricate patterns. It is named after the peyote cactus, which has a spiral shape that resembles the stitch’s structure. Peyote stitch is also sometimes called gourd stitch or brick stitch.
Even-count peyote stitch and odd-count peyote stitch are the two kinds of peyote stitch. In even-count peyote stitch, the beadwork starts with an even number of beads, and each row is made by weaving beads in a pattern that changes every other row. In odd-count peyote stitch, the number of beads in the first row is odd, and each row has a different pattern of beads.
Most new beaders learn this stitch as one of their first skills. Flat peyote patterns are liked by both new and experienced beaders because of the beautiful designs and colors they use.
Peyote stitches can be used to make sculptural beadwork as well as beaded jewelry like necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. Sculptural peyote techniques are used to make three-dimensional works of art. Peyote bead patterns make it easy to see why beaders all over the world love to use them to make jewelry.
3 Peyote Stitch Variations You May Try Out!
Flat Peyote Stitch (Odd or Even Count)
Odd-count starts with an odd number of beads in the first row.
In flat, odd-count peyote stitch, you have to make a special turn at the end of every other row to get ready to keep weaving beads.
Even-count peyote starts with an even number of beads in the first row. In this stitch, you don’t have to do anything special at the end of every other row to keep weaving beads.
You can make this turn in a few different, variant ways, depending on how you want your stitch pattern to look when it’s done. See video above.
Circular Peyote Stitch
Circular peyote is done on a flat surface, and each round spreads out from a central point. In order to keep the rows even and flat, you have to make a series of increases in each round. This keeps the beadwork from folding in on itself.
See the video above for a tutorial on how to work your way in making this technique.
Tubular Peyote Stitch
Tubular peyote is a variant used for flat even counts. It is exactly what it sounds like: peyote that is stitched in a ring to create a beading tube with a hollow interior. There are two fundamental variations of the stitch, which differ from one another in a minute way depending on whether the initial row was begun with an even or an odd number of beads.
Tubular peyote is done in the round, usually around a dowel or other shape to help the beadwork keep its shape for the first few rows.
You can also do tubular peyote with either an odd number or an even number of beads in the first round. When working with an even number of beads in the first round of tubular peyote, you have to “level up” at the end of each round to get ready for the next round. This makes it easier to keep track of each row as you sew.