Beading Thread

Written by Sarah Provost
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Beading thread comes in a variety of materials, so you can choose the one that best suits your project. Various kinds of synthetics have taken over from cotton or silk thread, since synthetics are strong and resist fraying, raveling, tangling, and kinking. However, cotton or silk threads are still used for pearls, which need to have a knot between each bead to keep them from rubbing together.

Elastic Thread

One of the easiest stringing materials to use is elastic thread, which comes in synthetics such as Stretch Magic or conventional rubber covered with cotton. While it is usually thicker than other threads, it makes up for that with the convenience of claspless jewelry making. No need for clasps, crimp beads, cap beads or any kind of findings. All you need to do is tie the ends off, and the string will stretch to fit. No more struggling with clasps at the back of your neck or trying to fasten a bracelet with one hand! Elastic thread creates jewelry as easy to wear as it is to make.

C-Lon, Nymo, PowerPro and Silamde are popular kinds of synthetic, non-elastic beading threads. Silamide is a pre-waxed nylon thread of twisted filaments. It has a lot of texture or "tooth" and holds as you bead. PowerPro is a relatively new product made of pre-waxed braided thread. It has the strength of a coated cable wire and resists being cut by crystal and gemstone beads. Nymo thread is an especially strong parallel fiber thread with an excellent drape. The sizing is idiosyncratic, ranging from "OO'' (the thinnest) and "O" to "A" up to "G".

C-Lon seems to be the current favorite among beaders. It is stronger than Nymo, but has none of the stiffness of PowerPro or Silimide, which means a more natural drape. It comes in a wide array of colors and can be used for all kinds of beading projects, including loom and off-loom weaving.


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