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All bead patterns and images related to them on this website belong to ThreadABead Ltd and are covered by UK Copyright Law, which is internationally covered by the Berne Convention. As Copyright Law is a confusing topic for many beaders we have set out to explain in more detail how this affects the purchasing and use of our patterns.

For most beaders who bead for pleasure copyright is not usually of concern. You purchase a pattern, bead it and keep the item for yourself and maybe bead up another one or two to give as gifts - this is in our opinion fair use. However, beading is such a pleasurable hobby it is no surprise to us that some of you would like to make a bit more money or promote yourself from your hobby. Indeed, this is how ThreadABead Ltd began.

When you want to start selling beadwork, publishing images or sharing information this is when copyright becomes an important topic. If you are using someone else's design for the above actions this is when you will need to familiarise yourself with Copyright Law.

As soon as a design has been created it is automatically covered by Copyright Law. As such Copyright Law protects ThreadABead Ltd bead pattern designs from the following:

  • The copying of the design
  • Distributing copies of it, whether free of charge or for sale
  • Renting or lending copies of the design
  • Showing your work of the design in public
  • Making an adaptation of the design
  • Putting it on the internet

Sometimes a designer will, whilst retaining copyright of the design, have a policy that allows certain additional use of that design. You cannot assume what a copyright holder's policy is as this will vary between designers depending on their circumstances and business needs, the onus is on you to contact the designer for permission to use their design.

ThreadABead Ltd is the largest bead pattern site in the UK, and we have achieved this by putting many, many hours into the designing of patterns and creation of our site. For each pattern we design we may also bead it, photograph each step, write instructions, publish it on a website and promote it along with the usual responsibilities of running a business. This all takes time and money.

Because of the time and money we put into each pattern we need to protect that work and we have created a policy below that clearly sets out how we allow our designs to be used by beaders purchasing our patterns.

ThreadABead Ltd Selling Policy

  • 1. ThreadABead Ltd patterns and kits are for personal use only. They cannot be copied in part or whole, they cannot be re sold and they cannot be re distributed (e.g. given to friends, beading groups etc).
  • 2. ThreadABead Ltd patterns and kits cannot be used for teaching purposes (profit or non profit). Informal beading groups may approach us for written consent, however this will only be granted if every member of the group beading the design has purchased a pattern (discount for group patterns are available on request).
  • 3. Completed beadwork can only be sold under the following conditions:
    • a. Items are not sold via the internet (i.e. personal websites, facebook, auctions, ebay, etsy, artfire, craftsy etc)
    • b. No more than 30 items made from ThreadABead Ltd designs should be available for purchase at any one time.
    • c. Items are sold locally (i.e. within 50 miles of your home address)
    • d. When selling items please state with each item: "Pattern by ThreadABead, available at"

We do get a lot of questions about point 3 on our above statement, and so we would like to explain to you why we have set these criteria. As we are the copyright holder of the design we are fully within our rights to control what happens to that design. Our focus is to protect our designs to ensure we can continue selling and creating more designs in the future. Of course, selling via the internet is very popular, and it is with regret we cannot allow this. When items are offered for sale via the internet these items can be viewed by many people worldwide and as many of our designs are small, by photographing close-up bead work and putting the image online you are reproducing our design (and therefore pattern) and distributing it worldwide, which in turn has a harmful effect on our ability to resell the pattern. Whilst it would be easier to refuse any selling of completed items, we feel it is only fair to allow selling under the above policy as this ensures small scale selling and would not be of damage to our business.

Breaches to our copyright policy are covered under Copyright Law and we have the right to prosecute and seek compensation for any person breaching our copyright. Additionally, we are also within our rights to seek to remove any images from the internet which are in breach of our copyright. Images published on the internet abusing our copyright policy or causing damage to our brand will be removed via DMCA request to your provider. This sometimes can have a negative effect on your standing with your provider.

If you are unsure whether your use of the pattern is within our copyright policy, please contact us for further clarification at - we are more than happy to clarify our policy for you.

For further reading the following link also provides useful information on beading copyright:

And the below link is useful for general information about copyright:

A statement from the owners of ThreadABead

Over the years we have dealt with many forms of copyright infringement of our work. Some unintentional and some very intentional. Regardless of the intent, the damage it can do to our business can be quite vast.

You may think what harm can you do by ignoring our copyright policy... so we thought we would tell you about a problem we have had to deal with recently.

In 2015 a craft blogger took up beading and posted high resolution photos of her beadwork (which included about 50 of our designs). She did not attribute any designer to the designs of her beadwork. She subsequently lost interest in beading and picked another craft to talk about.

However, her photos got pinned on Pinterest. In 2016/2017 a Russian beader copied her images into bead software and posted them on a Russian social media site for others to copy. These photos were also then copied back onto Pinterest and some made their way as “free” patterns onto a pattern site. The patterns were downloaded 1000s of times on the pattern site and were pinned 1000s of times on Pinterest, with other beaders even uploading photos of beadwork they had beaded from the designs. In fact, we also found beaders selling these designs on Etsy. We don’t know how many times it was copied on the Russian site, but we can only imagine it wasn’t good.

ThreadABead received no recognition and no payment for these 1000s of downloads, and since we were no longing selling these designs because they were available for free - we lost money. This copyright abuse took many hours to sort out. Our designer was also devastated that the time and effort she had put into beading these designs had been wasted.

So, if you think copyright infringement won’t do any harm, please remember from our example just how much damage it can do and why we take copyright abuse so seriously.