Jewelry Making Supplies: Beading Cord, Thread, Wire, Hemp, Ribbons, Leather

by lakeerieartists

One of the easiest ways to freshen up your jewelry design is by changing the bead thread or bead cord that you are using to string the beads on.

If you are a hobbyist or a professional, it is always a good idea to freshen up the look or style of your jewelry designs from time to time. One of the easiest ways to make this change is by changing the bead thread or bead cord that you are using to string the beads on.

Depending on what type of beads you use, pearls, natural stone, crystal, or glass, the beads have a standard hole size. For instance, pearls usually have a very fine hole due to their fragile nature. So the hole size will limit your choices as to what type of bead cord you can use.

Change Your Bead Stringing Style

silk beading ribbon

Most jewelry is strung on either bead cord or bead wire, but I thought that I would go through some alternatives just to give you an idea of the many other choices there are.

Beads are completely in style right now, with the popularity of Pandora bracelets.  Even big hole beads like Pandora's do not have be put on a Pandora bracelet chain.  They look great on a ribbon, leather cord, or hemp.

Silk ribbons are one of the newest beading cords that are now available to purchase.  These are very versatile, can be used for both men and women, and can be made into a bracelet by simply putting a couple of beads on the ribbon, then winding it around your wrist, or made into a necklace simply by tying it around your neck.

Stretch Bead Cord

Pepperell SMJ10001 Stretch Magic 1mm Bead and Jewelry Cord, 100m, Clear

PEPPERELL-Stretch Magic Bead & Jewelry Cord. This clear cord is strong; stretchy; and flexible and can be used on all kinds of beading and jewelry making projects. This package ...

$19.99  $14.51
Stretch Magic Clear Bead Cord.7mm 25 meters (about 82ft)

Clear Stretch Magic Bead & Jewelry Cord Great for Bead Stringing & Making Bracelets & Necklaces. This is a new spool of clear Stretch Magic bead and jewelry cord. Great for maki...

Only $8.63

Hemp Bead Cord

23 Bees 100% Organic Hemp String, Twine, Cord | Jewelry Making, Beading, Macrame, Crafts (10 lb.)

23 Bees Organic Hemp String is the perfect option for your next art or craft project. Order now and experience for yourself why 23 Bees is rated the #1 Organic Hemp String, Twin...

Only $13.99
Beadsmith Hemp Twine Bead Cord .5mm 394 Feet NATURAL 42655

This natural hemp cord is fantastic for a variety of craft projects including necklaces, bracelets, scrapbooking, gardening, and more. Hemp cord is a natural, biodegradable and ...

$8.99  $5.99

Leather Bead Cord

2mm 100Yards Waxed Thread Cotton Cord Plastic Spool String Strap Necklace Rope Bead For Necklace ...

This roll of lightweight, non sticky, and strong braided round cotton waxed cord has good tensile strength and is easy to work with. It does not easily disintegrate. *It is flex...

Only $8.99
KONMAY 50 Yards Round Jewelry Leather Cord Mixed 10 Colors Each Color 5 Yards (1.0mm)

Material: 100% cowhide leather Size: 1.0mm, please note that the size of each color may have a 0.1mm less or more, which depends on the coating or raw material. Color: each pack...

Only $18.75

Leather Bead Cord

You can buy leather bead cord in a spool and cut it to length or you can buy already finished leather cords with ends and clasps.

If you buy it by the spool, you will have to buy glue, and ends to create the clasp.

Leather comes in several colors, although black and brown are the clear favorites, and can be finished different ways. It is also cut into flat or round shapes and has different widths. Leather cords also includes suede cords as well.

Leather is long lasting, durable, casual in style, and looks good with most pendants, or beads.

Silk Ribbon

10pcs Mixcolor 4+1 Voile Ribbon Necklace Cord 18" w/Extender~Jewelry Making~

This item is for 10pcs Mix color 4 plus 1 voile ribbon necklace cord 18" with extender, easily add different pendant each day.

Only $3.99

Bead Stringing Wire

Beadalon 7-Strand Bead Stringing Wire, 0.015-Inch, Bright, 300-Feet

Softer than Tiger Tail and more supple for a smoother drape, Beadalon 7 Strand encases 7 strands of fine-diameter stainless steel wire within a kink-resistant nylon coating. It ...

Only $13.33

Beading Thread

Fireline XCR-1278 Crystal Braided Beading Thread, .006"/50 yd

Braided bead thread has been recommended in many recent how-to articles on bead working. This is the fiber to use for all stringing which requires extra strength or multiple pas...

$8.69  $8.39
Beadsmith SLD-MIX1 Jewelry Making, Multi

This thread is ideal for stringing beads macrame and kumihimo to make unique and beautiful jewelry. The thread has almost no stretch and the size will fit through a size 11 bead...

$14.99  $9.77

Beading Wire

Beading wire comes in so many different styles, widths, and strengths, I cannot even begin to list them here. Bead wire is made up of fine metal wires, twisted together to form the core of the cord, then usually it is coated with a rubber or plastic coating to protect the metal wires, and not feel scratchy on the skin.

To finish a necklace made with bead wire, you need to crimp the ends with crimp beads, and add a clasp. These have to be bought separately. Bead wire comes in many different metals and colors. Bead wire is not stretchy, and does not work well for tying knots.

Bead wire is bought in spools of whatever length you need.

Stretchy Bead Cord

You can buy stretchy bead cord which is made of synthetic plastic or rubber that has limited stretching abilities but will allow you to create a bracelet that will stretch over the hand and doesn't need a clasp.

This should always be reinforced with glue, and has a limited life expectancy.  High end jewelry is never made this way because it will break eventually due to fragility, and wear and tear.

Griffin Nylon Bead Cord

White Nylon Bead Cord #4 - BDC-101.04 by Griffin

We carry an extensive line of Griffin beading materials. Each card features top-quality German-made Griffin bead cord. This is the finest quality tight-woven silk or nylon cord ...

Only $3.80
Black Griffin Nylon Bead Stringing Cord #8

Each card features top-quality German-made Griffin bead cord. This is the finest quality tight-woven nylon cord. You receive 6.5 feet (2 meters) per card with needle attached. T...

Only $4.98

Silk and Hemp Beading Threads and Ribbons

Some new materials that have become more popular in the last few years are natural fibers like silk and hemp.  Silk has always been the traditional pearl beading cord, but now it is being made into ribbons for beading.

Hemp became popular in the 1960's and 1970's, but has come back in style for eco green clothing, and is highly sustainable.  It is a comfortable fiber, and is now available for jewelry designing in many colors and thicknesses.

You can buy these materials in bulk, or as finished necklaces with clasps.  Although you can just tie a knot to finish the necklace or bracelet, you don't need a clasp for these materials.  Both are very casual looking to wear.

More Jewelry Making Information

Jump rings are a basic building block of many types of jewelry, and are the main component when you make chain maille, a very popular style of jewelry right now.
In the last year, metal stamping, embossing, and embellishing has become a new technique that is catching on with jewelry hobbyists.
This article is an introduction to the various types of clasps that you can use in jewelry design, and the pros and cons of each clasp.
The most common use for head pins is making earrings, but head pins can be used for other jewelry design elements as well.
Updated: 10/07/2014, lakeerieartists
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