The Split-Loop French Beading technique is a modification of the Basic Frame that allows you to make a v-shaped notch in the top of a petal or leaf.
For this exercise, use 24 gauge (.5 mm) copper core wire and approximately 5 grams of size 11/0 seed beads. I recommend using a colored wire that matches your beads. I will be using a contrasting color so you can see the wire paths. Pre-string only a small portion of the beads.
Make 1: 22 row Basic Frame, 8 bead Basic Row, PT PB.
- Before wrapping row 7, split the bottom loop and add 3 spacer beads to each bottom wire.
- Wrap rows 7-10 without any spacer beads in front of the wraps.
- Wrap rows 11-22 placing one spacer bead between wraps along the bottom wires.
- Construct a Basic Frame with an 8 bead Basic Row. Wrap rows 2-6 with a Pointed Bottom and Pointed Top. (Photo 1)
- Instead of wrapping rows 7 at the Bottom Wire, use your wire cutters to cut the bottom loop on the frame in half, creating two separate bottom wires. If the Bottom Wires are twisted together below the last row of beads, untwist them and straighten them out. Add 3 beads to each bottom wire and make a little loop in the ends to prevent beads from falling off. (Photo 2)
- Spread the bottom wires so they make an even v-shape. Wrap row 7 at the first bottom wire, making a full circuit around the wire. Make sure there are no spacer beads in front of this row. (Photo 3)
NOTE: When working with Split-Loop, some artists choose not to make a full circuit around the bottom wires in order to have less wire show between beads. Instead, you can simply fold the wire over the bottom wire, similar to a Crossover Loop. I personally find it harder to use Split-Loop this way and prefer to make a full circuit. More wire will show at the bottom wires, but it holds the rows in place better while wrapping. Use whichever method you prefer.
4. Feed more beads down the working wire from the spool and fold row 8 up the side to the top wire, then wrap at the top wire to secure it. (Photo 4)
Notice that we have two rows of beads attached to the same side of the Top Wire. If you were to continue wrapping rows around, it would create an awkward gap between rows on the opposite side of the top wire. (See my Scallops tutorial.) To solve this problem we need to re-position the working wire so it exits between the two rows instead of above them.
5. Cut approximately 4 ft (1.2 m) of working wire, removing any beads on the wire. Then insert the tip of the working wire into the back of the petal between the two rows at the top wire. (Photo 5)
6. Pull the wire all the way through and the wire should be exiting between the two top rows. (Photo 6)
7. Repeat steps 3 and 4 on the opposite side, wrapping around the second bottom wire, to make rows 9 and 10. (Photo 7)
The working wire should be at the top wire at this point, positioned to begin rows 11 and 12. Notice that since there are not two rows of beads on the same side of the top wire, we do not need to re-position the working wire.
8. Slide one of the spacer beads on the first bottom wire up beside the outer row of beads. Then wrap row 11 at the first bottom wire. Fold row 12 up the side and wrap at the top wire. (Photo 8)
9. Re-position the working wire, then repeat step 8 to make rows 13 and 14 on the opposite side of the petal. (Photo 9)
NOTE: It is very important to keep the bottom wires straight and bent outward at the original angle while wrapping rows. If they move out of place, straighten them before measuring or wrapping any rows.
10. Continue wrapping rows around the petal, adding two rows to each side at a time, until you have 22 total rows across. Remember to add a spacer bead before the wrap on the bottom wire.
11. The working wire should be positioned at the top wire. Twist the working wire and top wire together, forming the unit stem wire. Clip each bottom wire to 1/4 inch (6.4 mm) and fold the ends to the back of the petal.
The finished petal is shown in Photo 10. Normally I would also lace a petal of this size.
© 2018 Lauren Harpster / Bead & Blossom. All rights reserved. The images and written instructions are copyright protected. This tutorial may not be printed and distributed for personal gain or teaching classes, but feel free to print a copy for personal use. The images may not be uploaded onto other websites. If you would like to share the tutorial, please do so with a link!