Charlottes (or True-cuts or One-cuts)
Liquid Silver Beads
Pressed Glass – or Molded Beads
Perhaps the most important consideration concerning wires and threads relates to its strength. The heavier the beads you will be stringing, the stronger the wire you will need. Therefore, before choosing your stringing material, take a look at the project you have in mind. Consider the following…
There are a wide variety of different thread types available for stringing. The threads come in a variety of materials, weights and thicknesses to accommodate different project needs and purposes. Cords specifically made for stringing are generally made with a tight twist to provide it with strength and durability. The cording may also then be coated for additionally protection.
When selecting a thread for stringing your project ensure that the thread will pass through the smallest borehole of the beads to be used and that it is strong enough to support the weight of the finished strand. You need to also consider whether your work will require you to pass through your bead a number of times (as in weaving). If so, you also need to ensure that your stringing thread is fine enough to allow for this.
Synthetic fibers have replaced the use of silk for many beaders because of their lower cost and their resistance to aging and environmental effects. Synthetic fibers include nylon, polyester, Kevlar and silamide.
Braided bead threads (such as Nymo and Silamide) are used primarily for bead weaving and on and off the loom bead work. You may choose to coat your threads with beeswax, or a product such as Thread Heaven, to prevent it from knotting too easily. Silamide is pre-waxed and a little thicker than Nymo.
Dandyline braided bead thread and Power Pro bead thread are very durable. They knot and thread easily and are not prone to fraying. These are very strong synthetic threads that can be used to string a variety of beads, from very light to very heavy. Although you can generally thread these lines through a needle, it is recommended to cut the thread with wire cutters.
Spiderline Fusion is a type of fishing line that produces a stiff fabric, great for three dimensional work as a result. It is a Kevlar material and therefore it does not tend to cut itself in the work.
Nylon-coated steel beading wire is designed for stringing beads and is flexible enough to use for some very simple weaving projects as well. It should always be stretched before stringing the beads, to release the kinks. Beading wire comes in a variety of widths, depending upon the size and weight of the beads you intend to use. .024 is thicker and is good for large abrasive beads, while the smallest size is .014 which is good for smaller seed beads. Beading wires should always be cut with wire cutters.
Braided beading cord is preferred by many for stringing heavier beads. Braided cord will require you to put a drop of fray check onto the ends of the wire to prevent htem from fraying, and to slide through your beads more easily.
Memory wire is a firm, pre-coiled wire which holds its shape as you use it. It comes in pre-formed shapes for rings, bracelets and necklaces. Finish the ends with either half-drilled beads or make loops from the ends of the wire
Often, new beaders (and even experienced ones!) are confused about how many beads they will need in order to complete a desired project. Use the following charts as a guide to understanding how many beads a project is likely to require and to therefore determine how many beads you will need to purchase.
How many beads per inch?
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