An increasingly common fashion item nowadays is waist beads. Typically, they are made from organic elements like beads, stones, and rocks that are strung together. Make sure to use the proper supplies and techniques while making it for a loved one or for yourself to track weight loss or to look fashionable. Waist beads can be created in a variety of ways.
About Waist Beads
Women first used waist beads as a symbol of their own particular ideologies. This can be made through various stones, colors, and gems as well as through personal well-being. Depending on why someone wishes to wear them, they have a variety of features.
For ages, waist beads have played a significant role in African rituals. Today, People also worn this for fashion objectives in addition to being worn frequently for religious or dance-related reasons. This beautiful trend has taken over the fashion industry off its feet and is here to stay.
Small glass beads tied on a rope or wire should wear it around the waist or hips make up the traditional African ornament known as waist beads. They come in a variety of forms, and they could also have charms, gemstones, or beautiful stones.
Women in various West African communities have worn them for ages. They have become more well-liked among Western women in more recent years. The terms “belly beads,” “waistline beads,” and “beaded waist chains” are also used to describe them.
They are viewed as a representation of femininity, fertility, sensuality, and spiritual well-being in Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, and other West African nations. Today, women wear waist beads for decorative and functional reasons in both Africa and the United States.
Origin of Waist Beads
Egypt is where waist beads first started to appear; there, they were calls it as girdles. Egyptians wore these at the lower or mid-waist. Girdles had different types of colors and you can make it from chains, wire, thread, and shells. People from many different African cultures, including Ghanaians, Senegalese, Yoruba, Ewes, Ashanti’s, Krobos, Indians, and Ga-Adanbes, use waist beads today. Every culture has a different justification for wearing them.
- Ghanaian culture
Women started to wear waist beads because of the instructions of their mothers. This is a symbol of the starting of womanhood and maturity in women. The starting ceremony is held for the young lady and is call it as “Dipo”. You can wear these on the ankles, waist, and neck. These waist beads come across lucky when women wore these on their waist. These beads are made of glass pieces, teeth, stones, and seashells. Most of the beads are painted by hand. If the beads are big that means the woman is more mature sexually.
The waist beads of Yoruba are call it as lleke, lagidigba and Jigida. This is also a symbol of spirituality and as of tradition, it has been worn as a piece of jewelry. They use different types of woods, metals, and glass to create waist breeds. As mentioned above, it symbolizes fertility, confidence, and feminity. They can also worn this at the time of weight tracking, pregnancy, beauty, sexual desire, royalty and many more.
Materials you Need for the Making
Since People manufacture this in a variety of ways, you can make waist beads from a wide range of materials. Some of the materials that people use most frequently to create these items are as follows:
- Mixed trade in colored glass or beads
- Optional: Chevrons (at least 6 Chevrons)
- Beaded brass crimps (two pieces)
- The bead stoppers
- The lobster clasps
- Locked jump ring (two pieces)
- Bead stringing wire measuring tape (choose one made of cloth or plastic).
- Beading thread that is sturdy but flexible, such as cotton or nylon sewing thread – select a few strands that are long enough to fit around your waist.
- Pliers with a bent nose and smaller crimp pliers
- Cutters for strings
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Five Steps for Making Waist Beads
- Step 1: Measure your waist
You should first measure your waist by measuring it with a body measuring tape. Make sure the tape you use—whether it has to be made of fabric or plastic—is flexible. The wire which you use for bead stringing can also use to measure your waist.
The measurement of your waist is a crucial step that usually people try to skip. Your waist beads won’t sit too high or feel too loose if you select the appropriate length of beading thread.
Tip: There should be space between the measuring device and your waist for two fingers. Otherwise, when you try to sit, your waistband will be excessively tight.
- Step 2: Cut the String accordingly
Depending on what you use for your waist beads—string or beading wire—once you have your size, you’ll know where to cut the material. Before proceeding to the following step, tape the string’s end to the table.
TIP: When you are cutting the string or wire, it is advisable to leave it for at least 15 centimeters (about 6 inches) extra. By doing this, it will be certain that there will be enough thread to string the brass crimp beads.
Thus, later on, when you hold the string, you won’t have to strain your fingers. When you finish this, trim the extra string.
- Step 3: Continue Adding Beads Using Your Pattern
You must first attach a bead stopper to the thread before beginning to bead seed for belly beads. Around three inches (7.6 cm) from the end is where it ought to go. You can now begin to add beads.
Be original! Choose a pattern structure rather than sticking to one color and the same type of bead. Strung the beads in a manner that your clothing doesn’t end up being just one color.
Create a pattern, then bead it until it reaches the required length. You might, for instance, repeat the pattern six times to make your waist beads measure 36 inches (6 x 6 in).
The steps are as follows:
1. First, add your crimp.
2. Next, you must include a lobster clasp.
3. To secure your lobster clasp in place, string the thread through the crimp to form a loop.
4. Use pliers to carefully crush the crimp bead so that it fits into the groove exactly close to the handle.
5. To fold the crimp bead and connect the jump rings to one another to form a solid link, place it in the first slot.
6. The following step, attaching the closure, is now ready for you.
- Step 4: Connect the Seal
In this stage, you must string the lobster claw and crimp bead to secure the closure. Put the wire in your crimp bead with the inner groove of the pliers facing up. To make a dent in the crimp bead, squeeze the crimping pliers.
Make the crimp bead extend to the pliers’ outer, football-shaped groove after that. Turn it 90 degrees clockwise. It should eventually rest vertically. Once the clasp is firmly fastened, fold the crimp bead by tightly pressing the pliers.
- Step 5: Add a second seal to the other side
On the opposite end of the string, repeat the previous step’s instructions. This time, there is no hook to fasten. Instead, fasten the jump ring, compressing the waist beads on either side.
You can also use beading wire that has a coat of silver. Cut about 1.5 inches of 24-gauge (0.5 mm) silver wire (roughly 40 mm). Then, fold it around the top of your nose pliers to create a key shape.
Once the wire has formed, hold one end with your fingers and fold it over the other end three times. Set the end pattern after cutting the beading wire’s tip.
Why do people wear waist beads?
- Fashion Trend
Today, a lot of people choose to wear waist beads as a trend or as a sort of body jewelry.
Some people measure their waist size using beads, however over time, the band will fall or roll up as a result of weight increase or decrease.
Different cultures assign different contexts to waist beads, such as adulthood and sexual attraction. The Egyptian, Ghanaian, Yoruba, Ewe, Ashanti, Krobo, Ga-Adangbe, and other cultures all use waist beads.
People who are working on their spiritual awareness use these for personal performances.
As waist beads appear to be simple add-on jewelry, they may change the look of the person. It might be seductive and grounding to wear a couple of beads around your waist. The beads act as a constant reminder to treat one’s body with more respect and awareness.
Other women can feel as empowering jewelry in different ways, such as a part of the heritage, as a fertility symbol, or as a means to see their weight and posture.
There are as many ways to explain the importance of waist beads as there are different bead designs and they are acting as deeply personal item. This West African ritual will continue to change for years to come as waist beads are gaining popularity day by day.