The first step in knotting a cord is choosing the right kind of cord for the job. The size of the hole in the beads is the most critical factor in making a choice; however, other factors, such as the size and weight of the beads and individual preference, should not be overlooked. Some metal beads for jewelry-making have smaller holes, like precious gemstones and pearls, and need to be secured well in jewelry pieces, so they don’t fly away.
In the past, pearls were only seen knotted on silk, but nowadays, large-hole pearls look great when knotted on leather. Likewise, satin, waxed linen, leather, and other large-diameter cords look fantastic when knotted with beads that have medium- to large-sized holes. To make one-of-a-kind knotted jewelry, try out different patterns and colors of cords and beads.
Silk and Nylon Cords
The most popular beadwork cords are nylon and silk, respectively. However, whenever a new batch of threads or cords is produced, there will inevitably be slight differences between them.
Even when the same dye is used repeatedly, slight color shifts will inevitably shift from one batch to the next. Thread or cord can have a different texture after receiving a finishing treatment. Thickness and weight are reduced in threads and cords dyed, bonded, or otherwise treated compared to their untreated counterparts.
There are notable differences between nylon and silk. It is essential to pick the suitable cord diameter for the beads you’re using.
The knots shouldn’t be able to pull through the bead hole, so the cord should be sufficiently thick. If the knots on a single strand of thick nylon or silk cord are too tiny to keep the beads from sliding through the holes, there are other options.
Before that, you should attempt to use multiple strands of that cord. Another option is to use a thicker cord, such as leather, waxed cotton, or satin, or to tie several knots close together. You should pay close attention to the cord diameter when shopping for nylon and silk because each manufacturer uses a different sizing system.
Nylon Cords for Jewelry-Making
The nylon cord is widely used to knot gemstones, large African trade beads, and everything. Since nylon does not stretch, it makes for an excellent substitute for silk. In addition, a non-stretch nylon cord is essential for its stability when knotting larger beads.
There is both carded nylon cord and spooled nylon cord available for knotting. Both can be found in an extensive palette, from pastels to primary colors. Bead tips are the best choice for fastening nylon cords.
The nylon cord is available on cards of varying yardages and diameters. Carded nylon is a non-stretchy cord that comes in many different tones.
Spooled nylon cord, which is not stretchy, is a 3-ply twisted cord. It’s available on spools and cards, in several different yardages, and several different diameters. The wide variety of colors offered varies by manufacturer.
Spooled nylon cord can be used for micro macramé, bead stringing, and knotting between beads. The names S-Lon and C-Lon are both synonymous with high-quality nylon cords. Both labels are 100% American-made.
In most cases, nylon thread is not a good choice for knotting between beads because of its insufficient diameter. However, Beadwork, including weaving and embroidery, is best accomplished with this thread.
Working with Silk Cords
You can use a silk cord for knotting between pearls and gemstones and Czech glass beads, both of which are small and lightweight. However, since it is so easily stretched, you should do that before you use it.
Many different widths of silk cord are available on spools and cards. The size of the hole in the pearl or bead is the primary consideration when deciding on the appropriate silk cord for knotting. Bead tips are ideal for use as the closure on a length of silk cord.
Silk bead cord comes spooled on half-ounce spools in a wide range of diameters and colors. If you’re using beads with different-sized holes, you can use spooled silk in single, double, or multiple strands to tie knots between them. Because of its elasticity, silk cord—especially spooled silk—should be stretched before use.
The silk bead cord on a card is twisted to increase its strength and luster. A bendable beading needle is typically attached. Yardage, diameter, and color options are all on the table. Like spooled silk cord, a carded silk cord stretches and needs to be stretched before each use.
Other Cord Types You Can Use
Hemp, leather, linen, and cotton are just a few examples of natural and synthetic materials used to create jewelry cords. When knotting between beads, these cords are an excellent alternative to silk or nylon.
A biodegradable and highly durable fiber, hemp is also kind to the environment. However, it must be stressed that not all hemp cord is created equal. For example, Hemp twine, a rough material made from several single strands of hemp yarn twisted together, is primarily used for domestic and gardening purposes.
In contrast, hemp cord is constructed by double-twisting several strands of multistrand yarn. Because of the double-twisting process, the cording is silky and durable, making it perfect for jewelry.
When knotting larger beads together, such as African trade beads, recycled glass, whole shells, and large wood beads, hemp cord is the material of choice due to its ability to accommodate the larger holes of these materials. In addition, thetted hemp looks excel
Hemp cord comes in various diameters and is available in any color imaginable. The most common hemp cord diameters are and. Five millimeters, one millimeter, one and a half millimeters, and two millimeters. Hemp thread can also be found in thinner gauges. When attaching a clasp to a hemp cord, the ends can be finished with either a coil crimp or a fold-over crimp.
Beads with larger drill holes are commonly strung on leather cords. It is crafted from cowhide, tanned, dyed, and wound into a cord with a diameter of between 0.5 and 5.0 millimeters.
Typically, a 1.5- or 2-mm leather cord is knotted between beads with a 2- or 3-mm hole. Greek cowhide is used to create the highest quality leather cording. Indian and Chinese leather cords of a lower quality are stiffer and often have an uneven dye job. However, the excellent leather cord will not dry out, crack, split, or peel. Clasps for leather cords should be attached with coil crimps.
Round, smooth, and made from various gorgeous colors, a satin cord is a synthetic silk cording that is both strong and flexible. Its diameters of 1 and 2 millimeters are used for tying knots between beads with holes of those sizes.
Mouse tail refers to a satin cord one millimeter in diameter, while rat tail refers to two millimeters in diameter. A clasp can be attached to a satin cord using a coil crimp or fold-over crimp.
A stretch cord, also known as elastic or elastic cord, is excellent for creating elastic bracelets and other types of stretch jewelry. Translucent round stretch cord, multistrand flat stretch floss, and cotton-covered elastic are the three most common varieties.
Since each end of the stretch cord is knotted, it is included here even though it is not typically used to tie knots between beads. Any stretch cord can be finished with a square knot, overhand knot and a dab of super glue, or clear nail polish.
Cotton-covered elastic was created for clothing but can also be used for stringing heavier beads. If you want to make jewelry, this elastic cord is not recommended because it stretches out quickly. The cord’s elastic core is wrapped in a layer of opaque cotton. There are only so many sizes and hues to choose from.
Bracelets and anklets are commonly strung with round stretch cords. The diameter of a round stretch cord ranges from.5 to 1.8 millimeters, depending on the manufacturer. A beading needle is unnecessary when working with a round stretch cord because the cord is so sturdy.
The round stretch cord is available in the more common translucent variety. One of the most popular options is Stretch Magic, which is available in various sizes, hues, and yardages per spool.
Because it’s made of Spandex fibers, Gossamer floss or stretch floss retains its elasticity over time. One major perk of using stretch floss is that it will fray before it breaks, making it obvious when it’s time to restring a necklace or bracelet. In addition, using a big-eye or twisted-wire needle makes working with stretch floss much simpler when stringing beads.