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Beading Q And A: Beading Thread (4/1/2011)

2011 April 1

Lizzie asks…

What size thread should I use for making a necklace?

I’m making a necklace out of beads, and I’ve never done it before. I have bought beads for the necklace, and the beads are all 4MM size. (Pretty small) And I am unsure what size thread to get for the cord.
Also, if anyone knows a good place to get some, or a specific brand, that would be appreciated. Thank you!

BeadGal answers:

If you want to use thread, I would use something like C-Lon thread. They come in different thickness and lots of colors. It’s a polyester thread that doesn’t rot and doesn’t rip. You will need a needle as this is flexible thread.

A lot more popular are strings like tiger tail. They are several thin stainless steel wires twisted and then coated with clear nylon. They come in different thickness as well, for normal 4mm beads, a 0.48 mm will be fine. You cannot put a knot into this ‘wire’, you will need crimp beads. You will also need a crimping tool. You can find all this on (search under ‘tiger tail’, crimps and crimping tool). If you don’t want to get all that to just make one necklace, you might want to contact a jewelry artisan to get this done for you.

Nancy asks…

Which thread should I use for 4mm beads?

I just bought a load of crystal 4mm beads, which size and type of thread/wire should I use?

And does anyone know of any websites for basic jewelry making 101, like what products to use for what.

BeadGal answers:

Tiger wire is the best thing to use for your Crystal beads – a lot depends on what you want to do with them. If you use the tiger wire you won’t need to use a beading needle to thread them.
The best way to learn jewelry making is to purchase some of excellent beading magazines, but here is a great tutorial with pictures:

Linda asks…

Is string (cotton twine) strong enough for my seed beads size 8? will it break?

OK. First time bead crafter. I have size 8 seed beads. I like the look when they perfectly align very straight on the string.

With thin thread (or wire like tigertail) or nylo the beads are messed up on the thread since the thread is much smaller than the bead’s hole.

Is there any other beading thread that has thickness thick enough to plug almost the entire bead hole? What is it called? (I want to use the size 8 beads, don’t like smaller).

I DO NOT WANT TO USE WIRE! (Sorry for caps!) :O)

Can I use the cotton twine or will my necklace break from seed bead friction?

I need my twine to be white or very close: I’m using very pale glass opalescent beads and so the dark of the hemp color would “kill” my bead color.

BeadGal answers:

Cotton twine will not hold up. What you want is Polished Hemp Cord.
Check out this website:

Carol asks…

What can you do with extremely thin copper jewelry wire?

I bought some a long time ago and I want to make something with it, but every project I look at online has thicker wire. It is extremely thin. When you make something with it it doesn’t keep the mold bc it is so thin..So what is this thread-like copper wire usually used for?

(I also have beads of different sizes, including the tiny ones)

BeadGal answers:

Pearls take fine wire.

Or you can twist the wire to double it’s strength and add diameter.
Put a seed bead on a wire, then fold in half and twist for a bit, then add a bead.

For the most part use it doubled…and wrap around the beads to secure.

Or double two pieces and twist them…see link.

Fine wire can get into places thin cannot..and you can double it and twist it…and even wrap it…

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