Thursday, January 10, 2013

Beading Tutorial: Ogalala Netting

Ogalala Butterfly Netting

Although some stitches can be occasionally frustrating, we can probably agree that all beading techniques are fun - some are just more fun than others. Take ogalala butterfly weave for example. It’s not as versatile as peyote or herringbone, but it stitches up quickly, and creates a pleasing, twisty ruffle that’s perfect for frilly necklaces and interesting trim.

Ogalala stitch is a variation of netting that is worked from an existing strand or strip of beadwork. The tightly packed stitches create a wonderful ruffle effect with a very organic feel. The basic technique uses beads of the same size, but once you get the hang of it - one try is all you need! - you can experiment with switching up the bead types for different effects.

To Make an Ogalala Bracelet Strip:

Attach a stop bead to a comfortable length of beading thread. Here we’ll work with two bead colors (A and B) for clarity, but once you know the steps, you can easily work with a single color, or create a pattern within the netting.

As you may have guessed, this technique finishes off smaller than it begins. To make a strip of ogalala long enough for a 7 inch bracelet, start with about 8 inches of 11/o seed beads. String Color A beads in multiples of three, until you reach the desired length. Since the stitches are worked in 3-bead sequences, you can skip the counting and use your bead spinner if you like. At the most, you’ll have 2 extra beads at the end of the strip.

Bead Strand Base for Ogalala Netting How to Start Ogalala Weave

Slide all of the beads down to the stop bead, and pick up one more Color A seed bead, then stitch back through the last bead added to the strand (skipping the bead just picked up). Pull snug, but not taught. Tip: Because ogalala is such a snug stitch with lots of twists, I don’t recommend using matte finish beads for your first try. It’ll be awfully crunchy!

Oglala Weave Row One Ogalala Stitch Tutorial Oglala Butterfly How To

Pick up 3 Color B seed beads. Count up 3 beads in the base strand, and stitch through the 3rd bead. Do not count the bead that your thread is exiting. Pull snug to form a little arch with the new beads. Pick up 3 more Color B, and stitch through the 3rd bead up in the base strand. Continue adding stitches this way until you reach the end of the strand.

Partial Ogalala Weave Strip

Stitch through the end of the strand, and back into the beadwork, skipping the bead on the end. Exit from the middle Color B bead of the set you just added.

Ogalala Butterfly Weave Tutorial Ogalala Weave Row Two Ogalala Netting Tutorial

Pick up 5 Color A seed beads, and stitch through the middle Color B of the next set in the previous row. Pull snug. Continue adding sets of 5 beads between Color B sets, stitching through the middle of each set.

To get a fluffy, freeform ruffle, allow the stitches to rest wherever they fall. If you would like a more uniform spiral, hold the beadwork securely with your off-hand, and gently feed it through your fingers as you add new stitches. Make sure that new beads are all added on the same ‘side’ of the beadwork. Ogalala is naturally curvy and twisted, but this will make it easy to adjust the placement of the turns for further embellishing later.

Ogalala Weave Ruffle Ogalala Netting How To

Pass through all of the beads at the end of the work, skip the last bead, and stitch back up through the beadwork to exit from the middle bead of the last Color A set added. Pick up 7 Color B seed beads, and pass through the middle bead of the next Color A set in the previous row.

Ogalala Weave Row Three Ogalala Butterfly Stitch Tutorial

Continue adding sets of 7 beads along the strip, until you reach the end, adding thread if necessary. To make the strip into a bracelet, add a loop of seed beads at one end, and use the tail thread to secure a button. Weave in the threads, and you’re done!

Completed Ogalala Netting

You won’t believe how easy it is to weave ogalala netting once you try it. There are lots of possibilities for color and pattern use, and the odd-numbered stitches are perfect for adding small accents like magatamas or chip beads. You can also weave ogalala from existing beadwork, such as peyote bezels, or herringbone ropes.

Copyright 2013 Inspirational Beading
Subscribe to Inspirational Beading
Get inspired on Facebook and Google+


  1. Thank you very much for the clear tutorial!
    With best greetings from Lower-Austria:

  2. I love this stitch. It's so beautiful. And seems so doable. Thank you for this wonderful tutorial. Is this a Native American stitch as a name would seem to indicate?

    I have a question: what would happen if you made the ruffle on both sides, in other words two ruffles, one on the left, one on the right? I know it would be asking for a lot of work on the beaders part…

  3. Thanks, ladies! I'm not 100% sure where the name of the stitch comes from. I did a little searching but couldn't find a definite answer. I seem to recall that it's actually named after a type of moth or butterfly.

    I think it would certainly be possible to add a second ruffle, assuming that the new stitches wouldn't pull the beadwork in the wrong direction. I'll have to give it a try!

  4. Thanks so much, Morti. I had never even heard of this stitch and it's very cool and interesting (and doable!).

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Trying this stitch now and your directions were so easy to follow, along with the clear photos. Thank you so much!

    1. Thanks, Dee. I'm glad that you found it helpful!

  8. I just couldn't wait to try my hands on it and I'm so very impressed wit d results. Thanks so much, keep up d good job

  9. Thank you very much for this tutorial.

    1. You're most welcome. I hope you have fun with the stitch!

  10. Thank you for the clear tutorial. Greetings from howick south africa. Judy

  11. Thank you for this. It's very helpful. You're a wonderful tutor.. 😘

    1. Thank you! I'm always looking for new tutorial ideas if you have a stitch that you'd like to see. Happy beading!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin
Fire Mountain Gems and Beads

Inspiration Topics

accessories amulet Ancient Worlds Modern Beads animals April's Army art ArtFire astrology astronomy autumn awards awareness bangle beach Bead Inspired Bead Shops bead soup bead spotlight bead stash Bead Trays beaded beads beading theory beads belt bezel birthstones black blog spotlight blue boho bone book spotlight bracelet Bracelet A Week branch fringe brick stitch brown bugles buttons cabochon ceramic chain maille challenge charity chevron chain christmas collar Collections color Color Ideas color triads conservation craft shows crafts crochet crystals cuff Culled Beads current events Current Faves daggers Daily Sets daisy chain Delicas Destash drops Dutch spiral earrings Egypt Egyptian Gods embellishing embroidery environment etsy exotic fair trade fantasy fashion Favorite Beads Favorite Techniques feminine fibers film findings fire polish fixtures Flashback Test flickr inspiration flowers food found object free form fringe Geek Jewels geekery gemstones geography giveaway glass gold gray Greece green herringbone hex cuts history holiday home decor insects inspiration tip inspired beader Inspired by... Inspiring Links ivory Jewelry Stash knitting ladder stitch lampwork lariat leaf fringe leather lights literature loomwork macrame magatamas Master Class Medallions metal free metalwork Mini Collar a Week mixed media mixture Mood Board MOP multi-color multi-strand music natural beads nature necklace Necklace a Day Nepal chain netting New Beads ocean ombre orange paint paper patterns pearls pendant peyote photography Picasso finish pink Pinspiration PMC polymer clay poster sketch purple quick inspiration rainbow RAW red resin ring Ring a Day rivoli Rome Russian spiral scarf science seed beads shell silver soutache spiral rope spring square stitch St. Petersburg steampunk stringing stripes summer tagua TBT The Elements thread Tilas Time Capsule tools trade beads triangle weave tribal tropical turquoise tutorial two-hole beads Ugly vintage Wear it Twice weather white winter WIP wire wishlist wood World Beaders yellow
Blog Home * About * Beading Tutorials * Advertise

Learn About Sponsoring Inspirational Beading with Project Wonderful
Affiliated With and