Thread Weight and Length

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Type and Weight,    Thread Length,     Beading Needles

The length and weight of your beading cord is very important when knotting.

I usually buy beading cord from Fire Mountain Gems or from Rio Grande.

Types of Beading Cord and Weight

You need a weight that is thin enough to allow you to slip the beads over the cord when stringing them. But, it must also be heavy enough to form a knot that the bead can not slip over. You may have to experiment with your beading cord, and if necessary double it to ensure you get a big enough knot.

I started out using Gudebrod Silk Thread for all of my necklaces. I suggest using the heavier weights for glass beads, such as size E, F, or even FF. I use size D for pearls. In fact, silk is the best cord to use for pearls and gemstones. Your finished necklace will drape more gracefully when you use silk.

I have been using "Silkon" Bonded Nylon Thread for my glass bead necklaces. This cord is much less expensive, and tends to be more resilient than the silk thread. It is a little harder to work with, though, and the finished necklace is a bit stiffer than those made with silk thread. I use the medium weight, size three thread for glass beads. But, you will need to use a lighter weight for pearls and other gemstones.

Both the silk and nylon come in a nice selection of colors to choose from. If you are going to be placing knots between the beads, I find that the color of the cord can really change the look of a necklace, so it is important to consider that when designing your necklace.

Bead Cord

Thread Length

When knotting between your beads, you have to remember to select a length of cord that is at least twice as long as the finished necklace will be. This is because the knots will take up the extra cord. For my necklaces I always use a doubled thread, so the actual length is more than four times that of the finished necklace. Unwinding all of this thread can be a bit of a nuisance, and if my cat Vanilla catches me doing this, then a tangled mess is hard to avoid!

Beading Needles

Once you have your beading cord cut, thread it on a beading needle. There are a variety of beading needles available. I use twisted wire needles. I like them because they have a loop at the end that threads easily and then flattens out to fit through the beads. They are available in different sizes. For pearls you will need a finer needle, but for most projects I use a medium size, which is easier to work with.

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Type and Weight,    Thread Length,     Beading Needles