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|Bead Mecca's Stringing Material
| New beaders start here! We'll tell you what string or cord to use and with what type of finding.
Flexible Beading Wire - Use with Crimp Beads.|
For most applications this is the preferred method of
stringing as it is strong, flexible and easy to use. Stranded steel
cable coated with nylon. Brand names are Soft Flex, Beadalon,
Acculon, and Accuflex. There are other brands, but
these are the most recognized. Comes in several weights .010 & .014
for pearls, gemstones and seed beads, .019 for glass and stone beads,
.024 for heavy glass and big stone beads. Advantages are its strength
and ease to use. Disadvantages are only with the inexpensive (tigertail)
3 and 7 strand, which has a tendency to kink.
GSP Cords - Can be tied or crimped
Brand names are Spiderline, Fireline and
Power Pro. These were originally developed in the fishing industry
to replace the nylon fish line. New technology has allowed these
cords to have superior strength with the fine gauge of fishing line.
They work well with crystals and fine beads that are abrasive and
cut through other materials. Advantages are it is strong and hard
to cut, so works well with abrasive beads. Disadvantages are it
is hard to cut. The best scissors are Fiskars brand children's scissors.
Nylon Cord - Should be tied and set, not crimped.
#18 or mastex Strong and easy to use with pressed
glass beads. It's usually too big for use with semi-precious or
pearls. Needle end nylon
cord works well with stones that have smaller holes and need more
strength than silk.
C-lon is equivelant to the #18 nylon that replaced mastex
when the factory shut down. It is a bit softer and knots easier.
Nymo and superlon are brands that are used for bead weaving
and are generally not suited for basic stringing as they are too
Advantages are it is strong and flexible. Disadvantages are knots
can slip out. Be sure to set your knots with clear nail polish or
if you prefer you can singe the end with a flame and it will ball
Elastic - Tie with an overhand knot and set the knot with white
glue or nail polish.
Comes in a variety of weights and materials. Good for it's ease to
wear, but not particularly long lasting. The Gossamer Floss works
well with seed beads and pearls, but can fray. The Stretch Magic and
Elastomer are a polymer cord, so they will break fairly easily. Do
not use precious or collectible beads.
Silk Cord - Use with end tips or clamshells (calottes), not
Griffin brand is the store favorite, as it comes with
the needle pre-attached at the factory so there is no double thickness
to deal with when stringing the beads. Gudebrod makes a wide range
of colors, but you need to use it with a twisted wire needle. It's
great for knotting between pearls and gemstones.
Cords - Use with fold-over cord ends or coil cord ends.
Advantages are it is soft, non abrasive, knots beautifully and has
a gentle drape. The disadvantages are it breaks down easily and
is not very strong. Should be used for knotting only, not for stringing.
Leather - Quality varies from country of origin and the diameter of the cord. Greek leather is made from cow and is superior to the Indian goat leather. Kangaroo Lacing is the strongest, but is flat. Leather will dry out and get brittle as it ages.
Cotton - This is strong and easy to work with. It usually comes waxed or polished so it may be stiff at first, but will soften quickly. It is reasonably priced and is a good alternative to leather. Best for the adjustable knot.
Satin - Comes in a beautiful array of colors, but frays easily and is difficult to attach a clasp to. Best used with occasional use pendants or as a presentation cord when giving a gift.
Ultra Suede - Comes in a nice color selection and is easy to attach a clasp. Looks like real suede at a fraction of the cost.
Hemp - Popular with teenagers for macram?, it can be scratchy in the beginning but will soften with wear. All natural.
come in tube shape, French corrugated and tornado twisted. They have different diameters for different cable sizes. Micro crimps are used with .010 or to float beads onto the wire. Standard corrugated crimps can be used with or without crimp pliers and fit .014, .019 and .024 cables. Tube crimps work well with crimp pliers on .014 and .019 cable, but if the tube wall is too thin they can break. Tornado crimps work best if you do not have a crimp tool, as the twist will grip the cable.
Calottes and End Tips
are used to finish necklaces with beading cord, either nylon or silk.
They will conceal the knot and allow a finished look with a loop for attaching
your clasp to. They should be used with a jumpring, so if the clasp fails
you can replace it without restringing the necklace.
are used at the end of the of heavier weight cords. Foldover
cord ends have a channel to set the cord into and you simply fold one
side down and then the other side folds on top of the first. The Coil
Ends are attractive and will hold up when used properly. Place the
cord into the coil and with the end of the coil facing toward you crimp
the end of the wire until it secures the cord. Put a drop of glue into
the gap for extra protection.
Warning - Use glue sparingly! It can discolor and dry out your cord
causing it to weaken or break.
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