Friday, May 31, 2013

Compare different sizes of Soutache Braid

Today I'd like to compare the different sizes in Soutache Braids.

I've been working with an imported to US braid from Ameerunswithscissors made from polyester (the blue ones) and a Domestic US braid from Simply Soutache polyestor or rayon, depending on the colour (pink ones).

The pink braid US domestic, is 2mm wide and about 1mm thick and tightly woven
The blue braid US imported, is  woven looser which makes it (or appears to) 3mm wide and about 1.5mm thick. (all measurements I've taken with my little metal ruler so not exact)

Both these braids are lovely to work with, but depending on the beads you use, what item you are making, or the look you want to achieve, if you have both types in your stash you may want to evaluate the size when making a choice in a project.

Finished dimensions of these earrings are
pink 2cm x 2.5cm
blue 2.5cm x 3cm

Although the difference between the braid sizes isn't much, it does build up, and combined with using different seed bead sizes, can make a difference between an item whose shape is defined, narrow and wearable to one which is plush, larger and may appear bulky to some eyes.

Other differences - the looser polyester imported braid snags easily on the needle or fingernails, the domestic tighter one is more tolerant and thereby easier to work with.

I started with the polyester, plush imported one. The extra size was easy to hold and manipulate. I've since used the narrow braid from Simply Soutache and Beadsmith brand and now much prefer these narrow ones, although it took a little to adjust whilst holding a work in progress.

My students have learnt on the narrow braid and have easily managed the braid, (nymo is what gives them problems).

Other braids and brands - I don't know how many domestic brands the U.S. has but the one I like and talk about here is from Simply Soutache

Here in Australia one of our suppliers has a brand which is narrow and hard, and I've used some from the fabric shop and like neither, I've talked about these in a prior post here. I haven't, as yet, used any from Europe but may try some in the future.

So what style of braid do you favour? Have you tried some of the different sizes and textures?

Let me know what you think!


  1. What a thorough and professional evaluation. Your observations and experiments with the different types of Soutache braid are very helpful to those who are learning. I really appreciate your taking the time to test our products and are very pleased you like them. Thank you!! <3

    1. It is so easy to share my experience with Soutache. When I started there was so little information available. Some questions on a facebook group lead me to my first post describing different braids. I'm no expert, just sharing what I've tried. It's so easy to talk about good product and how it feels to work with.

    2. I have just started soutache. I must of used a rayon made braid. It is frayed on the ends and almost impossible to get a stitch out if you make a mistake. I appreciate any tips anyone can give me. I;m looking to buy some more braid amd I don't want to get the same stuff.