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Beading Resources > EncycloBEADia > Thread, Cord and Wire Information

 Thread, Cord and Wire Information 

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Thread

C-Lon® Thread is a UV resistant monochord that is soft and flexible. Available in nine colors and two sizes, this cord is best used with seed beads. The size D that we offer is ideal for use with size 11/0 seed beads and the size AA is great for use with size 15/0 seed beads. Lightly coat the thread with beeswax before stringing to help protect against fray and water damage.

FireLine® interknitted thread for jewelry-making is designed for stringing and weaving projects and is recognized as the strongest fiber per diameter ever created. The advanced technology used to create FireLine provides an ultra-thin diameter that is three times stronger than regular monofilament. FireLine is also UV protected, so it won't deteriorate because of exposure to sunlight. This thread does not stretch or tangle, threads effortlessly and resists abrasion from beads that have sharp or rough edges. This material is great for use when weaving SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS, seed beads and gemstone beads. We offer FireLine in nine diameters and six colors.

Griffin Natural Silk is perfect for stringing pearls and other beads. This material is available in thicker diameters than most silk thread, allowing you the option of working with larger bead holes. The drape and softness of this thread allows for stringing, knotting and braiding techniques to be used. This silk thread is available in 20 colors and 13 diameters that range from 0.3 to 1.05 millimeters.

Griffin Nylon Power is a glossy extra-strong thread that can be used in almost any type of technique. Special stretch-tension material allows the thread to expand when pulled and then return to the original size--allowing for precision knotting. The 20 designer colors are offered in 13 diameters that range from 0.3 to 1.05mm.

Kevlar is incredibly strong thread that is used to make bulletproof vests. This material is easy to cut, yet almost impossible to break. Kevlar thread can be used in stringing and weaving designs. Use fisherman-type knots when tying Kevlar, as overhand knots will weaken the thread. Kevlar is available on 50-yard spools in two colors, natural yellow and dyed black.

Nymo® is a nylon thread the size of dental floss that is specifically made for working with seed beads. We recommend coating your thread with beeswax or Thread Heaven® before beginning any seed or bugle bead project; keeping the thread from fraying and adding durability. We offer bobbins and bulk spools of Nymo thread. All sizes of Nymo are available in black and white and there are a variety of colors available in most sizes.

Purely Silk™ Thread is used when beading soft gem materials, such as pearls and amber. This is often chosen for decorative use alone and with beads. Purely Silk Thread is soft and sleek and comes in a rainbow of colors. Use the colors to enhance your beads. For example, use rose-colored thread with rose quartz to enhance the pink shade or use bright blue cord knotted between pink coral to present a high contrast. Purely Silk Thread is available in bulk spools, cards and on cards with a needle already attached.

Silamide Beading Thread is a twisted 2-ply waxed nylon thread with flexibility, strength, resilience and colorfastness. This thread is ideal for peyote stitch, brick stitch, loom weaving, and stringing beads with small holes. We offer size A (0.203mm) in 24 shades on 40 yard cards.

Silkon® Nylon-Bonded Thread is used for harder beads that tend to have abrasive-edged holes that can damage silk; such as garnet, crystal, amethyst and metal beads. This thread comes in a wide variety of colors and knots very well. Just like with silk thread, use the available shades to enhance the colors of your beads. Silkon is sold in 20-yard and 100-yard spools without a needle.

SoNo Thread is a colorfast nylon that is best suited for use with size 12 English beading needles. This thread can be used with or without wax in loom or off-loom weaving. We offer a 0.2mm size in five colors.

Cord

Accu-Flex Paper Cord is a biodegradable natural paper cord with a tensile strength of 7.5 pounds. This cord can be glued, crimped and worked like any other cord material. This is available in a 0.8mm diameter. The white color can be changed by using the same process used for dying fabric.

C-Lon Cords are made from 3-ply twisted and bonded nylon. In four different diameters, use this cord for micro-macramé, kumihimo, bead crochet, tatting, finger weaving, loom work, wrapping and stitching.

Genuine Leather Cord is offered in both natural and dyed/coated shades. The round and flat versions that we offer are perfect for creating chunky designs, such as pendants and wrap bracelets.

Hemp Cord is a material that knots easily and maintains shape well; features that make this ideal for macramé and other knotting techniques. We offer hemp cord in a variety of colorfast shades and weights.

Imitation Silk Cord is woven from a cotton/polyester blend. This material has a nice drape, is available in a rainbow of colors and holds knots well. At a 1-millimeter diameter it can be used in a variety of techniques; including stringing and kumihimo. We recommend testing this material for colorfastness.

Imitation Sinew is spun from a continuous filament of polypropylene fiber. This material has a 60 lb tensile strength. This cord has been waxed and can be split to create a thinner cord. Use this type of material with leather bracelet bases to create a natural look.

Invizi™-Cord is clear and nearly undetectable to the naked eye. This cord knots well and is perfect for making illusion, or floating, style necklaces.

Parachute Cord is made from super high-tech Spectra® fibers, which gives it less stretch when compared to most monofilaments. This material is great for weaving pieces that include hard materials; such as metal and crystal beads. It is naturally waterproof and resists 100% of the sun's damaging UV rays. It has a tensile strength 10 times stronger than steel, with superior abrasion resistance.

Powercord® Elastic is great for slip-on jewelry, like bracelets and watch bands. This stretch cord is durable against the rough edges on some bead holes and maintains shape well. Powercord is available in a variety of colors and in diameters from 0.4 to 2 millimeters. You can finish your pieces with a surgeon's knot or with cord caps and a clasp.

Satinique™ Cord is woven from manmade fibers in four sizes: 4mm (large), 2mm (regular), 1.5mm (small) and 1mm (mini). This can be used to create any number of styles; from a simple pendant piece with a lark's head knot to an intricate kumihimo braid. This colorfast satin cord is available in a wide range of colors.

Stretch Floss Bead Cord is an alternative to other elastic cords that is latex-free. This material can be used in lightweight applications and keeps shape quite well. We recommend using a surgeon's knot to finish this type of product. This 0.5mm stretchy cord is available in a variety of shades.

Suede Lace Cord is available in both genuine leather and manmade imitation. Both versions are available in many colors. Multiple sizes are available and can be used to create rustic, natural-style designs. Testing for colorfastness is recommended with this type of material.

Waxed Cotton Cord is tightly woven and then waxed to allow for ease of beading. This type of material holds knots very well, making it perfect for kumihimo braiding and other techniques. You will often see this biodegradable cord used as an imitation leather cord. We recommend testing this type of cord for colorfastness. This cord is available in diameters from 0.5 to 3 millimeters and in a range of colors.

Wire

Aluminum Wire is soft enough to manipulate without the use of tools. This wire is available in a rainbow of colors, which are applied five times during the manufacturing process. This tarnish-resistant wire can be used for wire-wrapping, but is too soft to support weight. We offer this wire in seven different gauges to accommodate all types of jewelry and craft projects.

Beading Wire such as Accu-Flex® and Acculon™, is a twisted stainless steel wire with a plastic coating that is used to string beads. This type of construction provides flexibility for nice drape along with durability against the rough edges of bead holes. The diameters and thread count (more threads mean more flexibility) of beading wire range greatly to accommodate all types of preferences. There are also quite a few colors and even glow-in-the dark effects to choose from. No beading needle is required with this type of stringing material.

Memory Wire is rigid and pre-coiled wire that makes simple and stylish rings, bracelets and necklaces. You can create a single- or multi-strand look, simply by deciding where to cut the wire with your memory wire shears. We offer memory wire in stainless steel and basic carbon steel; both gold and silver tones are available in a range of diameters.

Niobium is a metal first engineered to protect hypersonic aerospace vehicles from extreme conditions. The natural grey color is considered hypoallergenic. Although the nine anodized jewel-tone colors are not certified as hypoallergenic, most metal sensitive people can wear them comfortably.

Precious Metal Wire is used for wire-wrapping, chain making and other jewelry construction. Precious metal wire is available in four metals (gold-filled, sterling silver, Argentium® sterling silver and sterling silver-filled) and in three tempers (dead-soft, half-hard and full-hard). Most of these wires are available in round, half-round, square, twisted round and twisted square shapes.
Dead-Soft Wire is extremely malleable and can be bent easily into a myriad of shapes. It does not hold its shape in stress situations, such as clasps.

Half-Hard Wire is a malleable; however, it will maintain an intricate shape under moderate stress. This temper is useful for weight-bearing parts of wire-wrapped jewelry.

Full-Hard Wire is harder to shape, but holds intricate designs well. This type of wire is excellent to use when creating clasps.

Super-Thin Beading Wire is 34-gauge wire that is used in wrapping, stitching and wire crochet projects. This wire comes in gold and silver color. Each spool contains 24 yards. Because the wire is so fine, it will accommodate almost any drill hole. This should be used with lightweight beads only, as it doesn't have much tensile strength.

Wrapit® Wire is for all types of wirework and is easy to shape. This wire is considered dead-soft, the most pliable type of jeweler's wire. The wire has an anti-tarnish coating for a long-lasting shine and is packaged on handy reusable plastic spools. Wrapit is available in three colors; Jeweler's Bronze, (aka Merlin's gold or red brass), Nickel Silver (aka German silver) and Bright Copper. All of these colors are available in gauges from 20 to 28.

Zebra Wire™ is a copper wire specially designed for wire-wrapping projects. The colored versions are made from copper material that is electroplated, then sprayed with an enamel coating and finished with a shiny protective lacquer. This creates a brightly colored wire that is both flexible and durable. This brand is also available in a natural copper, a raw brass and a silver-colored copper. All of these metallic shades have an anti-tarnish coating applied. The 12 colors of dead-soft Zebra Wire can be incorporated into almost any type of wire design. All Zebra Wire is on easy-to-use spools and is available in 10 gauges: 12, 14, 16,18, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28 and 30.


Customer Comments

We would like to share some of the customer comments we received in response to the article, "Thread, Cord and Wire Information," featured in a newsletter. Please keep in mind that the comments expressed below are those of our customers and do not reflect the views of Fire Mountain Gems and Beads.

"For the first time I found an article that states just what each type of beading material should be used for and what they are made out of! It was the most informative article that I have ever read. Thank you so much! Sincerely,"
- Karen

"Just wanted to send you a quick note to let you know how much I appreciate all your information and charts that are made available for all of us "artists" out there!!! Thanks a million!! All of this information just makes our jobs (or hobbies, etc.) so much easier. Love your site and your products."
- Marcy

"I have just printed out the thread, cord and wire information which is going to be immensely helpful, please keep your tip and helpful info coming, good work and my congratulations to the team who put the information together. Thank you so much. Regards,"
- Dawn

"I appreciated the stringing info from the "encyclobeadia" and to know the differences in wires. I'm trying to learn wire wrapping and this helps decide what to use that is best for my project. Thank you!"
- Suzie

"The article is very informative and helpful. It is good for beginners like me. Thanks."
- Smith

"Thanks SO much for this reference summary on wire, thread, and cord. All of these reference resources I have received from you have been most helpful. I print them out and keep them in a special binder.

This one, in particular, was useful because I tend to stick to what I always use. Now I have more info about what I might try to go in new directions. Cordially,"
- Evie

"Thank you so very much for your instructional/informational pages. I copy and save them as my guides for guiding my creative impulses toward better beading et cetera. Please continue to teach us."
- Anastasia
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