Friday, February 27, 2009

Beading & Jewelry Stringing Choices

By Ethan O. Tanner

There are many issues about the choice of stringing material for beading. Here is an interesting article on the different stringing materials and their usage. One very important lesson I learned is that there is no one, all-purpose (Universal) stringing material. Here are the major stringing materials along with how and when to use each of them.

Silk bears a fantastic "hand" (a fragile, flexible feel). This string comes in numerous sizes and colours. It comes prepacked on reels, and "carded" with a needle. This is a normal stringing material and forms beautiful knots between ivories and beads. Alone, silk tends to be relatively frail. It may stretch out, be cut by unsmooth beads, disintegrate when damp, and ivories threaded on silk should to be re strung up every few yrs. It is better to utilize silk when threading ivories and lighter, smooth-holed pearls. A needle is a requirement.

Nylon thread also comes in many sizes and colors. It comes packaged on spools, on bobbins, and "carded" with a needle attached. Nylon can be used where-ever silk can and is not as fragile. This material knots beautifully and can be used for pearl stringing, in some strung jewelry, seed beadwork, loom weaving, for Peyote and other specialty stitches, and heishi.

Nylon stretches much less than silk, and it won't rot when wet. Like silk, you shouldn't use beads with sharp edged holes or that are heavy. When you use nylon thread, I would recommend you coat your thread with bee's wax or "Thread Heaven TM "before use to prevent it from fraying. A needle is necessary.

Bonded nylon is a a great deal stronger form of nylon string. The strings are physically attached together for added strength and abrasion protection. Altho it knots easily, it does not possess the "feel" of silk.

Attached nylon comes in an variety of colors and smaller size reels. Attributable to its abrasion opposition, you can utilise it with "demanding", harsher stone beads; this comes close to being an "comprehensive Thread". Brand names** include: "Stringth" or "Silkon". A needle is necessary, tho' you can put "Super Glue" on the end to arrive at a "Self-needle". This is a preferable beading material of mine.

Fishing Line is a strong, semi-rigid, single twine of plastic. It does not knot easy, and sooner or later sunshine or ultraviolet light might cause it to break and fall apart. Fishing line is purchased on smaller spools and is sold in sporting goods shops.

Personally, I use fishing line for two purposes. I use it to do my preliminary stringing while I am designing a necklace (I transfer the beads to a better material for the final product), and to string together "raw" strands of beads. There is no needle necessary. I would never use this material for a final beaded piece. - 16651

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