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Topics: Pearls, Knotting

Q.
My friend brought me a pearl necklace from China that had a twist-together clasp. I knew right away that continually twisting the necklace would break it, so I was very careful to undo the twist exactly the same number of times and in the opposite direction... it broke anyway right inside the first pearl next to the clasp. There's no way I can fix it! What can I do? I love those pearls.
- Diana
A.
The best way to securely feature pearls in a jewelry design is to knot between each pearl on silk cord or beading wire. The knots act as buffers between each pearl as well as help prevent losing all of the pearls should the thread give way in one spot. Pearls usually have small holes so you'll need a cord or beading wire to fit inside the hole's dimension. You'll also want a pearl reamer to manually ream out any pearl with a rough edge or a hold that is too small. Accu-Flex® beading wire 0.012-inch or 0.014-inch diameter work well as they both fit through the holes on most pearls.

You can use French wire, bead tips or wire protectors on the ends of your thread or wire. Use crimp beads/tubes to attach the wire to a clasp use crimp covers for an elegant finish to your necklace.

For designs that incorporate crystal or metal accents, choose Silkon® thread to avoid fraying from sharp-edged accent beads. There are many other stringing materials to choose from. Check the ''Types and Sizes of Beading Thread and Stringing Material'' chart for a general overview of threads, thread sizes and recommended uses for each thread type.

- Kristal Wick, Designer, Author, Jewelry-Making Expert and Swarovski crystal Ambassador

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