Why wax your thread?
It is something many of us beginners kinda overlook, particularly when using a braided polyethylene thread like Fireline. But we shouldn’t forget to wax! Waxing your thread helps you achieve a much better end result and makes the process of bead weaving so much easier.
How it helps:
- it conditions your thread, keeping the fibers more pliable and less liable to split and fray
- it helps prevent your thread getting knotted up
- it helps doubled threads to stay together (also preventing uneven stitching and knotting)
- it gives the surface of your thread a ‘tackiness’ to adhere better to the linings of the beads and other threads, thus helping you to keep tension
- stretching and waxing the thread before use helps prevent the dreaded ‘spread’ after your piece has been worn for a while
How to wax:
Given all the benefits there are to waxing your thread, it is a quick and easy process. Just cut the desired length of thread. At this point some people like to give a gentle tug and stretch to the thread. If you are using a packaged synthetic wax, like Bead Heaven, simply hold the product block in your thumb and forefinger, with the thread end gently pressed to the surface of the wax with your thumb. With the other hand, slowly pull the thread along until you reach the other end. I like to then draw the thread gently between my bare thumb and forefinger again just to make sure it is spread evenly. If you are using a ‘pot’ of wax, take a small amount of it between your thumb and forefinger and gently pull the length of thread along between them, coating evenly.
A few small downsides…
Because the wax is a tacky product, dust and small particles can adhere themselves to the thread and discolor it. Avoid this by beading on a clean surface and storing your pieces accordingly.
Make sure not to overdo it either! A little bit of wax goes a long way.
As you are pulling your thread through the eye of the needle, you may notice some accumulation. Just wipe this gently with a clean cloth (nothing fuzzy or fibrous) to prevent it clogging up.
Our product recommendation is Thread Heaven. It is a synthetic wax sold in beader-friendly packaging that makes it an easy and clean task to wax your thread. It comes in a convenient and portable size so it can go anywhere your beading does. Pick yours up here today.
(Originally published July 6, 2015)