Topics: Cording, Elastic, Seed Beads

Q.
Well, I just started practicing with tubular peyote, I didn't have thread, only elastic cord. I ended up making a bracelet I really like, and I was wondering how long my piece might last? I strengthened the stitching greatly, but I've never seen any videos or tutorials or anything on this site saying to use elastic.

I have thread coming now, (thanks =D) but I kind of like the tightness the elastic offers, is it a bad idea to use this instead of thread?
- Tammy
A.
Elastic cording, like other cords, is strong and meant to last, but the amount of time it lasts will be dependent on how often the design is worn and how it is worn. It seems like you've taken great care to strengthen the piece so you may get a little extra life out of the design. Although, if not, it seems like the piece will not completely fall apart if one section breaks, which will give you a chance to repair rather than have to remake.

Personally, I don't like to dictate rules and applaud your creativity and bravery in trying something different than what you feel you were supposed to use. I don't think elastic is a bad choice, at all, especially since you like the way it turned out. Thread will give you a different look as well as a different drape and I have a hunch you'll like that look as well. Using thread for peyote would be more economical as well, due to the longer lengths needed for these projects.

For the future, here are a few tips to consider when working with elastic cording:
  • "Pre-stretch" the cording before you begin--if you pre-stretch the cording it will help lessen the amount it will stretch once you start wearing the design
  • Dust a light coating of baby powder on the cording before you begin your design--the powder will help the beads slide onto the cording more easily
  • Finish the ends with a surgeon's knot then apply a dab of E-6000® jewelry and craft adhesive--the surgeon's knot works well and prevents the cords from "slipping past each other" as they might if you use other types of knots; the E-6000 cures clear and remains flexible which works well with the elastic. Also, E-6000 will not degrade the elastic like other glues can.
- Tammy Honaman, Author, Jewelry-Making Expert and Educator

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