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Using Cup Chain in Soutache

Cup chain can add a sparkling layer to your soutache designs. Its flexibility makes it easy to incorporate into designs that require shaping, like soutache projects. In this Handy Tip, we will illustrate two different methods for adding cup chain to your soutache designs.
Use Gem-Tac to attach your chosen cabochon to a bead backing.Cut your cup chain to fit around the cabochon. You can use a little bit of Gem-Tac to help keep it in place on the bead backing while stitching.Knot your thread and from the back of the beading foundation, come up through the foundation between the cabochon and the cup chain. You'll want your thread to come over the plain link between the stones on the cup chain. Then, bring your needle down through the backing on the outside of the cup chain. As the image shows, this will form a loop between the crystals in the cup chain. Pull it tight to secure the link to the backing. Repeat this technique all the way around your cup chain and then knot and secure your thread.
Trim the bead backing, but be careful not to cut any of the threads holding the cup chain in place.Knot your thread to the backing and bring your needle up between the cabochon and the cup chain and over a plain link between stones in the cup chain. Run the thread through two layers of soutache. You can work with one layer of soutache first and add the second layer later if you prefer. Learn more about the basics of working with soutache in the Soutache Basics Part One and Part Two Handy Tips.Take a stitch on the outside of the soutache and run your needle over the link between the next two stones in your cup chain. Then, go down between the cup chain and cabochon to the bead backing. We've completed a few sections of cup chain in this image to show you how.
Run your needle through the backing, under the link in between the same two stones and out of the groove of the soutache. Again, take a stitch on the outside of the soutache to move to the next link in the cup chain and continue this technique to secure the cup chain to the soutache layers.Once we have secured the cup chain all the way around the cabochon, we wrapped each end of the soutache around a bead. See the Soutache Basics Part One Handy Tip to learn how to do this.Another way to incorporate cup chain into your soutache designs is to attach it between two or more layers of soutache. First, cut a piece of soutache a little longer than the cup chain you will be using.
Stitch the cup chain to the flat surface of the soutache by stitching up through the groove of the soutache, over a link in between two stones in the cup chain and then back down through the groove in the soutache. As the image shows, a loop will form between the stones of the cup chain. Pull this tight to secure the cup chain in place.Continue the technique from the previous step down the entire length of the cup chain.To add the first row of soutache to the side of the cup chain, stitch through the groove in the soutache and then under the link of the cup chain.
Bring your thread over the link and back out through the groove in the soutache. Take a stitch on the outside of the soutache to move to the next link.Continue this process down the entire length of the cup chain.Attach a soutache layer to the other side of the cup chain in the same manner, except this time you will run the thread through the first layer of soutache you added as you weave your way back and forth.
If you want a curve to the cup chain section, form the curve with your fingers as you take each stitch.The stitches will hold the shape of the curve, as seen here.Add another layer of soutache to the outside row, using the same technique from step 15.
You can add more rows of soutache to your design if you like.We used our cupchain and soutache in this Bijou bracelet.

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