Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Project Tuesday - jewellery - things to thread beads onto

I get a lot of people asking - what have you got to thread something on? - - So today I thought we would try to break that down a bit for you.

Waxed Cotton (and hemp) - this is the cheapest option - and the most often used for all the 'hippie' - 'Indian' - 'ethnic' - 'native' type jewellery.  Nothing wrong with it - it's a natural product with a rustic look and feel - comfortable to wear - and for the maker - cheap to buy and easy to use.  It comes in loads of colours - is very soft to use and thread with - and is usually about 1mm in thickness (you can plait 3 strands together for a thicker strand).  It is fairly consistent in it's quality -  bear in mind - it is a natural product so there will be the odd variation or a bit of fluffing along the thread occasionally.  The down side - it does wear through quite quickly, it will not stand up to continual, everyday, heavy wear, and it is not suitable for threading rough stones, metal or agates onto. But you can turn that into an add on selling opportunity by offering a re-threading service.  Repair / re-thread xx price - and re-service items bought from you at a discount.

Super strong - so what options do you have for beads with smaller holes, rough stones, and strands that take a lot of wear?  Then you go with a synthetic thread.  They are a little more of a fiddle as they fray - so you will need a threader of some sort - but they do come in several thicknesses - right down to sewing thread type thickness.  The thread may look fragile when it's this thin - but trust me - if it's a proper synthetic beading thread - it will be super strong.  I sell it to hobby upholsterers because they can pull on it so hard and it won't break!  These types of thread are mostly white as the thread is not designed to shop - but there is black and a few other colour options available

Leather / suede thonging- basically posh ethnic threading - usually black, brown or tan - several thicknesses good for large statement pieces of glass, metal, ceramics.  Down falls - pricy and can wear through surprisingly quickly.

silk - very expensive, very hard to find these days - mostly used for string cultured pearls because it is soft enough not to damage them.  Only available in white these days - and a couple of thicknesses.  

tiger tail - simple put tiger tail is a thin strand of wire (comes in different thicknesses) with a plastic coating over it ( comes in loads of colours) - used mostly with crimp beads for invisible / floating necklaces and window hangers where you want the threading to show.

elastic - it always makes me giggle - coloured, clear elastic - if it's coloured - it's not clear!  Used for stretchy bracelets - the round clear is the best - comes in a couple of thicknesses.  There is coloured available - not such a good quality - and fairly thin - use several strands together.

rat tail / mouse tail - a bit like the woven cords on blinds - but very soft and silky.  Rat tail is thicker than mouse - used for macrame - friendship bracelets - shamballa etc

and other odd stuff - ribbons - fine chain - bakers twine - stranded embroidery thread

finally one tiny tip. - seal any end knotting with a bit of clear nail varnish - or a tiny spot of uhu type glue - NEVER use superglues

Any questions - just email me



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