Thread Weight and Length

back to Home Page


Techniques


Jewelry Projects

Design Ideas

Bead Mania Gallery


back to Home Page



click here for
Recommended Beading Books

Supplier Links

Quick Page Links

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.

Quick Page Links

Type and Weight,    Thread Length,     Beading Needles