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

Toner Plastics 0.7mm Clear Bead N Stretch

Bead 'N Stretch is great for beading and making jewelry. It is the strongest and stretchest cord on the market. Just because this cord is so stretchy dont think it will lose it'...

Only $2.97
Beadaholique Opelon Floss Stretch Bead Cord, 82-Feet

Opelon Stretch Floss The Stretchy Cord That Can Be Threaded Through A Needle Finally, the secret's out: you can churn out large quantities of stretchy bracelets and anklets - fa...

$14.99  $4.98

Hemp Bead Cord

One Package of 400 feet 100% Natural Hemp Cord #20

Darice Natural Hemp Cord is perfect for creating a wide variety of crafts and projects. It has a natural, undyed color with strong fibers that won’t fray or come apart when you’...

$5.53  $5.00
Hemp Twine Bead Cord .5mm 3 Spool App 59 Feet 42543 by Beadsmith

Brand: Beadsmith Style: Silk Cord Thread Size: .5mm 10lb test Length: Approximately 59 Feet of eac color Color: (dyed) Black, Natural, Brown Quantity: 3 Rolls (Spool) 1 each col...

Only $9.16

Leather Bead Cord

LolliBeads (TM) 3mm Flat Genuine Leather Strip Cord Braiding String Dark Brown Espresso (5 Yards)

Great for Jewelry DIY. The picture shows the shape of the product, for actual size please read the measurement. Please refer to the picture for actual color.

Only $8.95
Mandala Crafts 1mm 109 Yards Jewelry Making Beading Crafting Macramé Waxed Cotton Cord Thread (Bl...

This roll of lightweight, non sticky, and strong braided round cotton waxed cord has good tensile strength. It does not easily disintegrate. The following features make this spo...

Only $8.99

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

Supla 16 Colors 400 Yard Fabric Ribbon Silk Satin Roll Satin Ribbon Rolls in 2/5" Wide, 25 Yard/r...

1. Decorate wreath with each individual ribbon rolled and stuck onto the wreath. The garlands can also be hung with ribbons. 2. Use a satin tape to hold the gift wrap, wrap it a...

Only $9.99

Bead Stringing Wire

Beadalon 7-Strand 0.015" (0.38 mm) 300 ft (91.4 m) Bright Bead Stringing Wire

Beadalon 7 Strand encases 7 strands of fine-diameter stainless steel wire within a kink-resistant nylon coating. It is abrasion-resistant for longer lasting stringing results. B...

$13.99  $9.00

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...

Only $5.34
Beadalon Wildfire 0.006" Frost 20 yd Thermally Bonded Beading Thread, 0.006-Inch

Wildfire beading thread features the strength and durability of Dandy Line with a smooth, thermally bonded coating, to create a superior stringing product that cannot be pierced...

$10.09  $4.44

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

Griffin Bead Cord Nylon White #10

Thickness: .90mm/.035" Length: 6.5' (2 meters) Each card features top-quality German-made Griffin bead cord GRIFFIN PowerNylon: a modern alternative to traditional 100% Natural ...

Only $3.85
Griffin Bead Cord Nylon Turquoise #8

Thickness: .80mm/.032"Length: 6.5' (2 meters)Each card features top-quality German-made Griffin bead cord. GRIFFIN PowerNylon: a modern alternative to traditional 100% Natural S...

$3.95  $2.58

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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