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Bargello Purse on a Bead Loom
A Beadwrangler Workshop

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Most of you have already seen the pattern for the Bargello Pendant and many of you have made one for yourself. The purse pattern will be very easy if you already made the pendant because part of the pendant portion is incorporated into the purse. I am including five color combinations and the listing of importer reference numbers so your bead store can match up the colors for you. All beads are size 11 seed beads and rocailles.


Bargello Purse in LavenderThe color combination choices are: Shades of Purple, Burgundy and Topaz, Shades of Blue, Green and Blue Aquas and the original Gold and Silver. Click here for a color reference chart you can print and take to your bead store. You will also need the color reference chart to match up the color codes C1 thru C5 in the loom instructions.



Bargello Purse in Red



NotesBargello Purse in Gold

For Beginners - The Bead Loom
If you have never woven on a bead loom, use the basic directions that came with your bead loom; use the step-by-step directions in Bead & Button June 1994 issue starting on page 11; or get the book, Those Bad Bad Beads by Virginia L.Blakelock at your local bead store or mail $15 plus $2.00 postage to Virginia L. Blakelock, 16510 S.W. Edminston Rd, Wilsonville, OR, 98070, or call her at (503) 625-7168. I am currently writing a step-by-step book on basic and advanced bead and fiber weaving on a loom plus other techniques. Watch for more information here at Beadwrangler’s Bead and Fiber Junction.

For Beginners - Warp and Weft
Once you have put all your warp threads on your loom you will put beads onto your weft thread and go left to right if you are right-handed; or right to left if you are left-handed. Your weft threads are single threaded on your needle. See instructions below for placement of your weft thread onto the warp.

For Beginners - Weaving Technique
When you begin weaving, do not pull your weft threads super tight each time you have finished a row or you will have a buckling of beads when you take them off your loom. You need only make sure your weft thread has been pulled through straight and ready for the next row.

Advanced Weavers
I am sure you will use whatever techniques you regularly use. You can skip all the finishing techniques if you prefer and use the illustration that is included.

Classic vs Traditional Weaving
I will be using instructions for classic weaving rather than traditional where the threads show on one edge of the loomed piece. Graphics are included to show you decreasing and increasing for the classic look which I prefer. You weave your purse whichever way you like.

Weaving Instructions for the Purse
You will need to put 32 warp threads onto your loom before you start. I prefer Silamide Thread for all my warp and weft threads, however, you can use any beading thread you choose. Your first row of beads will begin at the opening of the purse and will progress down through the flap. The purse is all one piece. When finished weaving, you will secure the top opening and bottom flap first before taking your purse off the loom. Then you will pull the warp threads on each side of the purse to pull it together and then weave in all the warp and weft threads. Try to keep from catching your needle on your warp threads as you put each row on. It will be much easier to pull your threads on each side and form the purse if you do not catch the threads.

Length of Weft Threads
How long do I need to make the thread? I begin with a really long length of thread, about two and a half yards, because I want to add as few weft threads to the purse as possible. It takes approximately two times this length to make the whole piece, so I only put weft thread on two times. That leaves fewer weft threads to weave back into the purse. However, some people do not like to work with such a long thread and may prefer to add more pieces of weft thread.

Adding weft thread
Make sure you have enough thread left on your needle to weave through a couple of rows of loomed beads before you cut off the thread. Then put new thread on your needle again and tie your weft thread onto the "current" (selvage edge) warp thread on which you will be adding beads. You can again begin to weave. You can weave in all your weft threads after you pull your purse side warp threads through. All decreasing and increasing is by one or two beads on each side of each row. Note: A minus sign in parenthesis indicates decreasing and the number of beads to decrease from the row on each side. A plus sign in parenthesis indicates increasing and the number of beads to increase on each side. Check the illustrations for increasing and decreasing.

Color Combinations
Colors will be listed as Color 1 which begins from the outside, Color 2 is the second color added, Color 3 is the third Color added and so on. It will be shown as C1, C2, C3, C4 and C5 as Color 1 through 5 and then the number of beads listed. Example: The first row would be C1-2, C2-2, C3-2, (C4-2, C5-3, C4-3, C5-3, C4-2) C3-2, C2-2, C1-2. This translates to Color 1 two beads, Color 2 two beads, Color 3 two beads, Color 4 two beads, Color 5 three beads, Color 4 three beads, Color 5 three beads, Color 4 two beads, Color 3 two beads, Color 2 two beads, Color 1 bead. The letter R indicates rows. Brackets are around the beads that change in each row. The beginning and ending beads that do not change in number are outside of the brackets.

You can print the row list and mark each color number with a color pencil to match your beads. Then keep your beads lined up in row of 1 through 5 to match up with your colors on the list. It will be easier to follow. I would also take a ruler and put it on the pattern or on the list where you are working. Both sides are the same combinations and meet in the middle so lefties and righties can follow the directions from left to right.

Increasing InstructionsIncreasing Illustration
To increase you will need to add the number of beads you are increasing to the current line of woven beads. Example: You have 20 beads in a line and have already gone through them. Your next line of beads is going to be 4 beads longer for a total of 24 beads; that is two beads longer on each side. You would add two more beads past the 20 and go back through those two beads only and out again. You will take your needle down below the warp threads before beginning to add the 22 beads to finish the line. However many beads you are increasing per line on each side will be the same number of beads you will have to add and go through before starting the rest of the next line of beads.

Decreasing InstructionsDecreasing Illustration
To decrease you will need to go back into the last bead you put on and out again before adding the next decreased line of beads. Example: You have 20 beads on a line and have gone back through them all. Now you need to decrease by one bead on each side. Take your needle and go around the thread at the end of your last bead of the 20 and then go back into the bead hole of the last bead and out again. Now take your thread below the warp threads. Begin adding your next 18 beads and you will be one bead over to begin the row. However many beads you are decreasing will be the same amount of beads you will have to go back through before starting the next line of decreased beads.

Virginia Blakelock's book, Those Bad Bad Beads and The Beadworker's Journal, Loom Issue, produced by Alice Scherer at the Center for the Study of Beadwork were my sources for information on classical increase and decrease on the loom.

Looming the Purse, Part 1

START HERE: To begin, put your first weft thread onto your fourth warp thread from the outside edge (selvage edge). After your first row of beads are on your loom you should have three spaces open to the left and right of them. OK, go for it!


Bargello Loom PatternR1:C1-2, C2-2, C3-2 (C4-2, C5-3, C4-3, C5-3, C4-2) C3-2, C2-2, C1-2 TWO ROWS

Begin Increasing

R2:C1-2, C2-2, C3-2, (C5-2, C4-4, C5-2, C4-1, C5-2, C4-4, C5-2)C3-2, C2-2, C1-2(+2 both sides)TWO ROWS

R3:C1-2, C2-2, C3-2 (C4-1, C5-4, C4-3, C5-3, C4-3, C5-4, C4-1)C3-2, C2-2, C1-2(+1 both sides)TWO ROWS

R4:C1-2, C2-2, C3-2 (C4-3, C5-4, C4-2, C5-1, C4-2, C5-4, C4-3)C3-2, C2-2, C1-2 (No Increase or Decrease) TWO ROWS

Begin Decreasing

R5:C1-2, C2-2, C3-2 (C4-4, C5-3, C4-3, C5-3, C4-4)C3-2, C2-2, C1-1 (-1 both sides)TWO ROWS

R6:C1-2, C2-2, C3-2 (C4-4, C5-2, C4-1, C5-2, C4-4)C3-2, C2-2, C1-2 (-2 both sides)TWO ROWS

R7:C1-2, C2-2, C3-2 (C4-3, C5-3, C4-3)C3-2, C2-2, C1-2 (-2 both sides)TWO ROWS

R8:C1-2, C2-2, C3-2 (C4-2, C5-1, C4-2)C3-2, C2-2, C1-2(-2 both sides)TWO ROWS

R9:C1-2, C2-2, C3-2, (C4-3)C3-2, C2-2, C1-2 (-1 both sides)TWO ROWS

R10:C1-2, C2-2, (C4-1)C2-2, C1-2 (-1 both sides)TWO ROWS

R11:C1-2, C2-2, (C3-1)C2-2, C1-2 (-1 both sides)(NOTE: REPEAT THIS ROW 7 TIMES)

Begin Increasing

R12:C1-2, C2-2, (C3-3)C2-2, C1-2 (+1 both sides)TWO ROWS

R13:C1-2, C2-2, C3-2, (C4-1)C3-2, C2-2, C1-2 (+1 both sides)TWO ROWS

R14:C1-2, C2-2, C3-2, (C4-3)C3-2, C2-2, C1-2 (+1 both sides)TWO ROWS

R15:C1-2, C2-2, C3-2, (C4-2, C5-1, C4-2)C3-2, C2-2, C1-2 (+1 both sides)TWO ROWS

R16:C1-2, C2-2, C3-2, (C4-3, C5-3, C4-3)C3-2, C2-2, C1-2 (+2 both sides)TWO ROWS

R17:C1-2, C2-2, C3-2, (C4-4, C5-2, C4-1, C5-2, C4-4(C3-2, C2-2, C1-2 (+2 both sides)TWO ROWS

R18:C1-2, C2-2, C3-2, (C4-4, C5-3, C4-3, C5-3, C4-4)C3-2, C2-2, C1-2 (+2 both sides)TWO ROWS

R19:C1-2, C2-2, C3-2, (C4-3, C5-4, C4-2, C5-1, C4-2, C5-4, C4-3)C3-2, C2-2, C1-2 (+1 both sides)TWO ROWS

R20:C1-2, C2-2, C3-2, (C4-1, C5-4, C4-3, C5-3, C4-3, C5-4, C4-1)C3-2, C2-2, C1-2 (No Increase or Decrease)TWO ROWS

Begin Decreasing

R21:C1-2, C2-2, C3-2, (C5-2, C4-4, C5-2, C4-1, C5-2, C4-4, C5-2)C3-2, C2-2, C1-2 (-1 both sides)TWO ROWS

R22:C1-2, C2-2, C3-2, (C4-2, C5-3, C4-3, C5-3, C4-2)C3-2, C2-2, C1-2 (-2 both sides)TWO ROWS

This is the beginning of the flap portion; continue decreasing

R23:C1-2, C2-2, C3-2, (C5-2, C4-5, C5-2)C3-2, C2-2, C1-2 (-2 both sides)TWO ROWS

R24:C1-2, C2-2, C3-2, (C4-5)C3-2, C2-2, C1-2 (-2 both sides)TWO ROWS

R25:C1-2, C2-2, C3-2, (C4-3)C3-2, C2-2, C1-2 (-1 both sides)TWO ROWS

R26:C1-2, C2-2, C3-2, (C4-1)C3-2, C2-2, C1-2 (-1 Both sides)TWO ROWS

R27:C1-2, C2-2, (C3-3)C2-2, C1-2 (-1 both sides)TWO ROWS

R28:C1-2, C2-2, (C3-1)C2-2, C1-2 (-1 both sides)TWO ROWS

R29:C1-2, (C2-3)C1-2 (-1 both sides)TWO ROWS

All finished? It takes about 4 hours to weave the complete piece. Phew! You may want to take a break before continuing.

Looming the Purse, Part 2

All ready? OK. Get another beading needle and go to the purse opening, middle area. Carefully take off one of the loops from your loom in the very middle of the purse opening. You may have to loosen the tension a little. Cut the loop in the middle and put your needle on one of the loose threads and weave it into the first row of the purse opening and go to one end and through the next bead line. Then take the other loop thread piece on your needle and go the opposite direction in the first row of your purse opening and then into the second line of beads. Do this with three of the loops so your top line of beads will not come apart while you are pulling side threads. Now go to the bottom of the purse flap and do the same with the very end of the flap on the middle loop. Now you can take the piece off your loom.

Pulling the threads: Turn your purse so it is doubled and the widest sides match up. Now go to the first warp thread loop sticking out on one side at the bottom; gently pull it upwards from the top and hold the two sides of the purse as you do it. You should be able to pull it up so no warp thread shows at the purse bottom and the purse side stays together. MAKE SURE YOU DO NOT PULL A WARP THREAD COMPLETELY OUT OF THE PIECE! If you hold onto the whole purse piece while you pull the warp and watch how the warp thread is moving you can make sure you are not pulling it out of the piece. If possible, do not cut each loop until you are ready to weave it in. This will insure that you do not pull out a warp thread.

Yes I have done it; I fiberjest you not and it wasn't pretty.

Keep doing this until you have pulled all the warp threads on one side all the way up to where the purse opening meets the beginning of the flap. Then go the the other side of the purse and do the same thing. When you have all the threads pulled, begin from the outside warp thread, cut the loop in half and weave the warps threads into the piece. You should be able to weave the warp threads straight around the purse from one side to the other and then cut off the excess. After you have woven in both sides then do the same with all the other warp and weft threads. In order make the fringe around the purse, you will need to keep the bead holes on the very outside around the whole purse open enough for additional thread to come through. When you are finished you should have a purse pulled together and the flap should drop over the opening.

Whaaaaa! My thread broke or is too short to weave back into the purse. Yes, that can happen. If the thread is on one of the sides you can tie it into a knot. If your thread is nylon like Silamide you can use a BIC lighter to make a bead on the end of the knot and it will be protected. If you have a broken thread in the middle of the piece it will be much more difficult. If one of your warp threads breaks, try and line up another whole warp thread in the same place.

Now you should have all the warp and weft threads woven in and are ready to embellish the outside of the purse. Check the optional embellishment if you do not want to do the two part embellishment.

Embellishing the Purse, Part I

Edging Illustration #1Note: Make sure you look at the purse illustrations while continuing the embellishing.

Edging Illustration #2You will begin by putting new thread onto your beading or sharps needle. I use a sharps needle for the small stuff; a bead or two at a time. Put about 40" of thread on and double the thread. Put a knot in it. Use the BIC trick if you like on the end. Then go to the bottom of the purse, opposite the flap, on one side. Take your needle and go through one row of loomed beads all the way to the other side and come out through the bead on the other end. You will now be attaching three beads at a time from one side to the other on the purse beginning at the bottom. Add one Color 1, one Color 3 and one Color 1 beads and go directly into the bead across from it. Come out the bottom of the bead and go up into the next bead beside it and back out. Add three beads and go back into the bead on the opposite side. Then back up the bead beside it and back out. Continue adding three beads as you go all the way around the purse. You will find that as you go up the purse body adding three beads, you have some areas that increase by two beads, so you will have to go up through those two beads in the purse edge to get to the next row before adding the three beads on the outside.


Edging Illustration #3edge3.gif (2618 bytes)Edging Illustration #5When you come to the purse flap portion you will be putting on the three beads in one thickness. Put on three beads like before but go sideways, from one row to the next adding beads. When you come to the other side of the purse section, begin again adding three beads across until you get to the bottom. This gives the purse one additional bead on each row of loomed beads and one sticking out in the middle. Continue around the whole purse until you are to the other end. When finished, you may need to put on new thread.

Note: The end of the purse flap edge does not have any beads added across for embellishment.

Embellishing the Purse, Part II

Now go to the bottom end of the purse on one side again and come up through the first Color 3 bead, put on another Color 3 bead and go through the next Color 3 bead already on the purse, continue all the way around the purse until you come to the purse flap portion. You will have to add two Color 3 beads between all the rows from the purse opening upward on the flap. Then you will go back to one bead added when you get around to the purse section again. You need two beads between all the flap rows to keep the flap flat when held open. The added beads give the whole purse edge a ruffled effect.

Optional Embellishment
Instead of going around the purse two times, you can just begin at the bottom of the purse on one side and put on 3 to 5 beads and go to the other side. You can continue all the way around this way if you like. I like the first way better even though it takes more time because it is more secure, especially if you decide to use this purse inside a larger purse and want to make sure the beads are not likely to come off from movement in the larger purse.

If you want the little purse to be carried in a larger purse I would make an attachment for the purse flap to open and close such as a snap or a beadwoven piece across the flap attached to either side of the purse where the flap could slip into it. If you are going to wear the purse as an amulet then you can just let the flap hang and do not need a closure.

Purse strap
There are several possibilities. You could make a simple strand or two of beads going from one side of the purse to the other; beadweave a flat strip to attach to each side of the purse and wear around your throat with a snap or velcro closure at the back; peyote or brick stitch a strap. See my examples for ideas.

Note: I was going to include instructions to do this purse using the picking method and pulling all the warp threads from one side to the other; however, I found that when using the classical technique you can not pull the threads in the end without catching them all. It would require more instructions and graphics to explain this technique and I believe it will only work with traditional bead weaving. It is demonstrated in some of the Japanese bead weaving books, but on a rectangular piece with no increasing or decreasing steps. I have used it on rectangular pieces but am still experimenting with shaped forms. When I finish experimenting and write complete instructions, I will put it up on the workshop or in a booklet.

When you make copies of these instructions to share with your friends, please tell them you got them at Beadwrangler's.

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