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Textured Bead Blog

Take your beading to the next level with bead artist Linda Landy posts regularly about the techniques you need to create bead-embroidered works that are sculptural, three-dimensional, and very textured. Keep up with trends and new products in bead embroidery and bead weaving. 


The Pearl Drill

Linda Landy

Here is the next in a series of tips that were left out of Textured Bead Embroidery in the interest of space. I hope you enjoy them

Where the hole is drilled through a pearl makes a big difference in bead embroidery. The hole can be drilled in any direction. Typically, pearls are drilled from top to bottom, from side to side, or through the narrowest end at the top of the pearl. Here are some common pearl drilling terms:

  • Center-Drilled is right through the middle at the widest or longest part. Beads that are squared off, flattened, or oval, but are still drilled through the middle, are considered center-drilled. Even an odd-shaped bead, if it is drilled right through the middle, just where you'd expect, is considered center-drilled.

  • Side-Drilled or Cross Drilled are side-to-side across a shaped, non-spherical bead. This also applies to a bead with a definite front and back that is drilled from one side to the other across the width. In addition, irregularly shaped beads that are wider (side to side) than they are deep (front to back) and are drilled across their width are considered to be side-drilled.

  • Top Drilled pearls are designed to hang down like a pendant, drop or dangle when strung horizontally. In other words, the hole is drilled near the top of the bead.

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