Stringing You Along

Reel of thread photo by Amirali Mirhashemian

When first starting out in the beading life, too long ago to admit to, I bought a beading thread at a local bead shop – I was lucky enough to live near a bead shop! It was horrible thread that actually broke easily – even when strung only with seed beads.

Granted I went cheap, buying the less expensive of two threads, and after putting hours into a bead woven necklace, which broke, I bought the more expensive, Nymo thread.

In The Beading Room, we stock several kinds of stringing materials – appropriate for kumihimo, macrame, micro-macrame, loom work, bead stringing, and embroidery.

Asian Knotting Cord can be used for micro macrame, shamballa bracelets, bead crochet/knitting, bead weaving, tatting and more. If you are a crafty person, this cord is also great for use with Lego crane trucks, wind chimes, book bindings, and even purse handles.

Indian Cotton Cord is a waxed cord perfect for stringing, braiding, and other uses. The wax is rust resistant, waterproof, and doesn't have a chemical odor. Make jewelry, do leather sewing, make macrame crafts or anything else you can think of. Source ideas with a quick Pinterest search!

S-Lon Beading and Macrame Cord is a bonded, 3-ply twisted multi-filament cord, and is ideal for bead crochet, micro-marcrame and Kumihimo braiding, with some limited stringing of larger beads. We stock three sizes, a heavy .9mm, a 0.5mm (for beads with a .8mm hole – size 6, 8, or 11/0 seeds and most multi-hole shaped beads – and finally, a thin .25mm cord, which is coated for needle-free stringing.

And now we get to a large grouping of threads suitable for looming, bead weaving, and bead embroidery using beads to the smallest sizes, the 15/0s. Here, we get into discussions of what works best in which application – check out Facebook bead groups to read who likes which and why! There is no consensus amongst beaders.

Thread & beads photo by Lisa Woakes

Thread choice is important, varying in strength, width, flexibility, elasticity, and suitability for application. Some knot easily – as you work – and others blessedly are resistant to getting all knotted up leaving you with no option other than to cut your thread and rebead a section to add a new length of thread. One learns patience in a) selecting shorter lengths, unless otherwise indicated and b) proceeding very slowly at the beginning, coaxing the thread gently when a longer length is required.

Fireline Braided Bead Thread found its way into the bead world via its fishing line origins.  Fireline is one beading “thread” that comes close to universal appeal. It’s not thread, but a braided and spun polyetholine, reportedly the strongest fibre, per diameter, available. It’s recommended in many tutorials, and is especially suggested where beads with sharp edges would soon cut through regular nylon threads. The Beading Room stocks a variety of sizes, from 4lb to 8lb test, in a few lengths in either crystal or smoke colourations.

Knotting can be an issue as knots may slip out, so here is beader Patrick Duggan’s YouTube in which he shares his trick for sure-thing knotting.

Wildfire Beading Thread is also basically fishing line, but is sold only in bead stores as it’s made in the US for Beadalon. It’s also available in more colours, is colourfast, and holds knots.

KO Beading Thread was created by Japanese Master Beader Sonoko Nozue and is made in Japan of 100% nylon. It’s a delight to work with (can you tell I love this one!?) because it is pre-waxed, colourfast, tangle-resistant and can be knotted tightly and securely. Use size 10 or 12 needle with this thread, which is similar to a Nymo size B.

Available in 18 colours on our website, its one size-fits-most diameter will go through size 11/0s an amazing 12x, through 15/0s, 8x!

Nymo Beading Thread – we stock this nylon thread in 20 colours in size B, which offers 10 pass-throughs of size 15/0s and 18+ pass-throughs of size 11/0s. With an inherent stretch, Nymo is generally best where drape is needed. A bit stretchy so not good for weighty beading. And good for those who tend to sew or string with a naturally tight tension.

Silk Griffin Bead Cord is used with pearls, for example, to preserve the bead with a buffer, i.e., a knot of silk cord. Another application would be to add the buffer when going for a distinctive “look.” The Beading Room stocks several sizes in white and black.

But that’s not all the stringing materials we offer – so do check out our Stringing page for wire, chain, and threads, including jewellery tubing, French wire, and leather and suede cording!

We hope that sheds a bit of light on thread options!

Here’s to tangle-free beadwork! Cathy

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