Soutache DIY – craft yourself an masterpiece every time!

Soutache is a special type of twine woven from silk or mixture of silk and wool, but nowadays usually viscose (or viscose and acetate). Comes from france name “soutache” wych mean weave or braid. Aforetime soutache military uniforms or folk costumes were decorated.


Soutache is a technique close as to my heart aswallet. Long hours of arduous work, gives amazing results and high prices. Here you will find perfect place for small beads (like TOHO), little bigger (eg. superdupo) and even big glass beads, pearls, cabochons or natural stones.

Few tips for begining

  1. Soutache twine had two sides, and we allways make sure that all therads are the same side, and the needle goes through center.
  2. Lenght of twine is depending on pattern, for smaller things 15-20cm chould be enought
  3. Don’t pull the beadle with tread to strongly – couse it make twines look bad, and watch out for too much glue

What would you need:

  • Soutache twine – (2,5, 3, 5mm – best to be all in one size) more matching colors better, usually used 3-4 at one time. Lenght is depengind on design. Always cut a little longer (max 5 cm) to finish your art wihout a problem
  • Needles – little and short one’s, possibly lond and thin to sew on the beads. Prepare few more, becouse they like to break or lose.
  • Thread – ussualy strings, really durable but easy get tangled and you shoudn’t pull to shrong. Silk are very delicate, but you could also youse cotton one.
  •  Beads – (bigger ones)  precious stones, minerals, cameos, glass. The most comfortable are flat with a hole, and cameo its best to glue
  • Felt – actually its sheet, which will hide the less representative piece of work. You can also use a thicker felt sheet at the beginning to sew the first bead (1.5 mm of felt on each side) and strings). Or leather – but it has to be swewd not glued. We stick it at the end (it is important to leave the exact cut when glue is dry)
  • Beads – (smaller ones) – more sizes and color is better. You can sew them between twines or sewn from the outside.
  • Koraliki (te mniejsze) – im więcej rozmiarów i kolorów tym lepiej 😉 Można je wszyć między sznurki lub obszyć z zewnątrz.
  • Semi-finished products – basic: earwires, links, circles, ties – everything you would like to finish your miracle
  • Glue – necessarily the one that when dried becomes transparent eg magician. For your own convenience, you can look for a faster drying substitute. Watch out for excess glue! (felt will be stiff and will look bad)
  • Scissors – to cut out our embroidered wonders from a felt sheet. Nail scissors work well (they are small and sharp). Cut out after the glue dries!
  • Patience – let us not hide, this technique takes time.

The impregnation for soutache is not necessary in creating. (it’s not cheap either)

What to create?

The first and one of the most important decisions is the form you will create. At the beginning I recommend pendants, rings and brooches, because we can let go of the fantasy leader and simply create. Earrings are more difficult, making two (identical) pendants requires not only more time but also practice. I advise against bracelets with braids, because they will quickly get puckered and felt, which will look more dirty and worn with every assumption. But of course, this is only my opinion.

Once we have made a decision about the form, it’s time to reflect on the content. At the beginning, the best are not too large flat beads with a hole. Covering them with strings in the preferred color should not be a problem. Beads of type ball – they can stand out, but of course the most important is your intended end result. Pencils in hand and design.


Materials (some films in polish – english materials here)

Obszywanie kamyka

Start with soutache


Superduo bead






Into soutache world all eyes are up to Dori. Below you can see some of her projects.
Another artist that I adore is JP Soutache – Justyna Pietrzyk.Many of her ars you can see here (klik).
Soutache found its greatest role as a wedding addition. Those moments are priceless, and price is not the key. Moust popular are svarovski glass and a lot of white twine. You can see some exaples for example here and here.

What’s your opinion about best occacion or subject for Soutache. Share in coments!

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