I first came up with this technique making belts for my Radha Govindaji. One day I was dressing them I tried one of the belts as a choker and it looked great, so I recently made some more specifically designed as chokers. This design is for chokers for my Jagannatha and Baladeva, but the technique is so versatile it would make excellent belts or could be modified slightly to make chokers for smaller deities. Supplies:
1. Sewing Thread (I find polyester thread works best)
2. Extra Fine Beading Needles
3. Cord (I used heavy cotton string from my garland making kit, but you can also use embroidery floss in a matching colour)
4-6. Beads: For this design I used pearls, seed beads and glass bi-cones
Step 1: Cut two lengths of the cord and tie 2-3 knots in the center of each length, thread each of the beading needles (make sure you have a generous amount of thread on each needle) and poke each needle through the knot in one piece of the cord and tie the ends of the thread securely together leaving a 2-3 inch tail (you will need this later).
Step 2: String 4-5 of the pearls through both of the needles. Then on each needle string a seed bead a pearl and another seed bead then another pearl through both needles. Repeat this pattern to the desired length, keep in mind that you want an even number of segments as you want an odd number of the hanging segments. In this case for five hanging segments there are six of these “base” segments.
Step 3: After you have completed the required number of base segments, string 4-5 of the pearls through both of the needles and poke each needle through the knot in the second piece of cord and tie the thread securely together.
Step 4: For this design there is only have one set of the hanging segments so one of the needles can be cut off at this point (if you wanted more hanging segments you would keep the second needle and just repeat the procedure for the hanging segments). Next, pass the remaining needle through the 4-5 pearls and the seed bead and pearl of the first base segment.
Step 5: To make the first hanging segment string on three seed beads and a glass bi-cone and another seed bead, then pass the needle back through the glass bi-cone and string on another three seed beads.
Step 6: Now pass the needle through the pearl of the next base segment, and continue with the base segments for the length of the necklace/belt. When you have completed your last hanging segment pas your needle through the 4-5 pearls at the end and securely tie off your thread using the tail you left earlier and trim off any excess thread.
Photo 2: Baladeva wearing the choker described in this post.
Photo 3: Govindaji’s belt is one of my favourite pieces made with this technique, here the hanging segments were done slightly different by weaving the needle through the base segments.