Topics: Cording, Stringing

What is the best way to thread soft materials like bugtail, cotton, etc. through snug holes? When I thread a woven cotton through a hole that is the exact size of my material I can't use a needle. I end up cutting off a lot of material to get to a new point that's stiff enough to pass through the bead. Is there a hollow needle or wire wrapping technique that will guide the cord end through beads with a similar hole size?
- Kim
When passing soft woven materials through bead holes, trim the end to as slender a point as possible, then seal the tip to stiffen. Try a fabric adhesive like Henrietta's or G-S Hypo fabric cement to stiffen the needle.

You can apply the same technique found in the how-to video "Making a Silk Thread Needle" noted below, to work with silk, cotton or other natural fiber to eliminate the need for needles or wire wrapped lengths of wire to pass the cord through the bead hole.

Since there are varying diameters of woven cord, such as mousetail (1.0mm), bugtail (1.5mm) and rattail (2.0 mm) among others, you may be able to match beads with holes that pass over these types of cords easily.

- Sandra Lupo, Metalsmith, Jewelry Artist and Instructor

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