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