Project 111-2
Beading Lesson
All About Threads & Cords


by Katie Hacker
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There are many different styles of threads and cords that are made especially for bead stringing, knotting and weaving designs.

Silk cord has been used by beaders for centuries. It's traditionally used to string pearls and other gemstones with a knot between each bead. It's available in a variety of colors and diameters.

Poly nylon cord is a less expensive, synthetic alternative to silk. It has less stretch and is also available in a variety of colors and sizes.

Dandyline braided beading thread is a super strong and flexible thread that is specially made to provide softness and near 0 stretch. It's also water resistant. Use it for weaving and detailed beadwork.

Nymo thread is a very thin nylon thread that's traditionally used for intricate beadwork like peyote stitch or weaving on a loom.

Each of these threads requires using a beading needle. Beading needles are different from sewing needles because beading needles are not tapered and the eyes are specially formed to fit through beads.

Collapsible eye needles are flexible needles that have an eye that closes when pulled through a bead. This is particularly nice when stringing small beads, like seed beads. The large eye is easy to thread and can be used with many different sizes of cord. The long needle makes it easy to string lots of beads at once. Twisted beading needles also have a large eye to make threading the needle easier.

A big eye needle is made from high tensile wire and opens in the center to accept almost any kind of thread. This is perfect for larger cords like Elasticity stretchy cord.

Use hard beading needles when a stiffer needle is required, like when doing intricate beadwork or when adding beads to fabric. Use a needle threader to thread hard needles quickly and easily. Place the end of the threader through the eye, place the thread through the threader, and pull the threader back through the eye.

Use sharp scissors or snips to cut threads and cords, and then secure the knotted ends with a drop of jeweler's glue. You can use bead tips to cover the knotted ends of a beaded design. Thread the knot inside the tip, and then use chain nose pliers to close it.

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