Thread, Cord and Wire for Jewelry-Making

There are a lot of stringing materials out there. How do you know which beading thread, cord or wire to use for your jewelry-making projects? Learn what the best stringing supplies are made with and their intended uses to help ensure you're getting the best beading thread, cord or wire. Even if you're familiar with a lot of jewelry stringing materials, you may find a new brand to try and find it works better than your current choices for design projects.


Beading thread tends to be pliable and soft, great for knotting, looming and working with seed beads. Some jewelry-making threads require a needle. To figure out the jewelry needle you'll need, view our ''What to Know: Needles and Threads'' article.

Berkley® FireLine Thread
FireLine thread by Berkley designed for stringing and weaving projects 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 beading thread 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. This material is great for use when weaving seed beads. We offer FireLine in nine diameters and five colors.

C-Lon thread is a UV resistant monochord that is a favorite choice for its softness, flexibility and color range. Size D thread is ideal for use with size 11/0 seed beads and size AA thread is best for size 15/0 seed beads. C-Lon is a favorite for micro macramé, kumihimo, bead crochet, tatting, finger weaving, loomwork, wrapping and stitching. It is recommended to coat this thread with beeswax to help prevent fraying. For more information, read our ''C-Lon® Beading Thread'' article.

Nymo is a nylon beading thread by Belding Corticelli Company. This nylon thread is about the size of dental floss and is specifically made for working with seed beads, including loomwork. Just like with C-Lon, it's a good idea to coat Nymo jewelry thread with beeswax or Thread Magic® to reduce chances of fraying.

You've probably heard of Kevlar in a different industry: bulletproof vests. This filament thread is very thin, yet obviously incredibly strong and great for heavy designs. The thread is smooth and allows for multiple passes through seed beads. Kevlar has a naturally yellowish hue and can't be bleached white, but it can be dyed other colors using regular fabric dye. It's recommended to use fisherman-type knots with Kevlar since overhand knots can weaken the overall strength of the thread.

Griffin Silk
Silk thread 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 beading thread allows for stringing, knotting and Kumihimo 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
Glossy and robust, nylon thread has extra-strong fibers with special stretch tension. When the thread is pulled it will expand, but then return to its original size when released, which is great for precision knotting projects. Nylon is an ideal beading thread for hard, tough materials that could cause softer cords, such as silk, to abrade. Nylon is also available in a myriad of color and size choices to accommodate design schemes.

Purely Silk™
Made with 100% natural silk, Purely Silk thread is colorfast and displays a soft sheen to complement beading projects. This durable 3-ply cord resists fraying and is ideal for adding professional-looking knots between beads or as a colorful design element itself such as in bead crochet, kumihimo and micro macramé.

Silamide thread is a twisted, two-ply waxed nylon beading thread with supple strength, resilience and colorfastness in all its vast range of hues. It's a stringing favorite among designer-artists who work with small-hole beads including seed and bugle beads for peyote stitch, brick stitch, loom weaving and more.

Silkon is a special heat-set bonded nylon available in a myriad of hues. Due to its exceptional durability and resistance to fraying, this stringing material can be used with abrasive gemstone or metal beads. Lightweight thread options are best for designs with smaller gems and freshwater pearls. Medium-weight thread works great for plastic, glass and wood beads. Heavyweight thread handles gemstone beads, metal and larger glass beads.


Jewelry-making cord tends to be thicker than thread, often used as a design element itself in braiding, lacing, knotting and other applications.

The major advantage of no-fray, latex-free Powercord is that it returns to its original shape after stretching, making it perfect for chokers, stretch bracelets or anklets. Clear and colorful options as well as a variety of sizes meet all your designing needs. There are about 27.34 yards on the 25-meter spools. This stretchy cord knots easily to terminate strands.

Create floating necklaces with the reliable strength and flexible drape of clear Invizi-Cord. The versatile cord knots easily and is a favorite for not only beading projects, but also wind chimes and suncatchers.

Stretch Elastic Floss
Latex-free elastic cord is a 25% polyester, 75% rubber blend that keeps its memory longer than most. Elastic floss cord knots superbly and can be used for lightweight jewelry and craft applications. Finishing with a surgeon's knot is recommended. Hues are vivid so the thin diameters of cord stand out in designs.

Leather cord is available in natural and dyed or coated hues and various shapes including round and flat versions. Often used in men's and unisex designs, leather is a rugged material, but is still flexible and smooth.

Tightly braided leatherette cords are ideal for use as bolo necklaces, though often used in bracelets as well for a Western look. Finish ends with cord tips, wire wrapping, end caps or glue-in cord ends.

Suede Lace
Available in genuine and faux varieties, this flat cord comes in a variety of sizes and colors. Ultra-soft suede lace cord provides incredible comfort and drape to jewelry designs. Finish ends with a variety of terminating findings, including ribbon crimp ends and clasps as well as a variety of lacing and stringing applications.

Waxed Cotton
This tightly woven round cord made of biodegradable cotton contains a light wax treatment for a soft, flexible drape and to make bead stringing easier. Waxed cotton cord is often used as an alternative to leather cord and is available in multiple sizes and colors. The biodegradable cord is perfect for men's and androgynous designs as well as kumihimo, braiding and other jewelry-making techniques.

This satin fiber cord offers boundless possibilities for beading, knot template projects, kumihimo and more. Due to the manufacturing process, cord may be in 2 or 3 sections joined by knots. Satinique is available in a variety of widths and colorfast hues, including multicolored, striped and metallic thread options.

Natural hemp cord is a 100% biodegradable and eco-friendly stringing choice with plenty of colors and a few size choices. Use for kumihimo, bead stringing, macramé, scrapbooking, card- or book-making and more. Hemp cord is durable and can withstand even large amounts of embellishments. Due to the manufacturing process, cord may be in two or three strand sections. Polished selections have reduced chances of fraying.

Imitation Silk
Made from rayon, imitation silk cord is perfect for multicolored macramé knotting and beading. Imitation silk, though thicker, works in much the same way as true silk so it is easily knotted, flexible and drapes well. Due to the manufacturing process, cord may be in 2 or 3 sections joined by knots.

Imitation Sinew
This waxed cord is made from 100% continuous filament polypropylene fiber. Imitation sinew is uniform and consistent throughout and waxed to help it move through leather and beads more easily. Cut imitation sinew cord to any length and even split lengthwise. This cord is ideal for a variety of Native American art forms such as ''The Dream Catcher'', beading, leatherwork and more.


Wire is a stringing material made from metal that is often used for wire-wrapping, creating coils, weaving, making findings and more. After learning the types, find out about key terms, techniques and designing with wire in our ''All About Jewelry-Making Wire'' article.

Top-rated Accu-Flex professional-quality beading wire is strong, flexible, kink-resistant and easy to knot and crimp. This Fire Mountain favorite wire utilizes an advanced wire-bundling technology, resulting in increased strength and durability while still maintaining flexibility for a nice drape. Choose your metal material, diameter, color and flexibility to fit your needs. Read what others are saying about Fire Mountain's Accu-Flex professional-quality beading wire in this beading wire review.

One of the first beading wires manufactured, nylon-coated stainless steel Acculon beading wire is strong, flexible and ideal for beads with rough drill holes. Stainless steel is a customer-favorite material for its natural resistance to rust, tarnish, oxidation and corrosion even in high humidity environments. Available in traditional metal tones, diameters and strand counts.

Zebra Wire™
This copper wire was specifically designed for wire-wrapping projects. Colorful varieties are electroplated, then coated multiple times with an enamel coating and finished with a shiny protective lacquer. This ensures the colored wire remains flexible and durable. Traditional metal tones include natural copper, raw brass and silver-finish. Choose from a wide variety of wire sizes from 12 to 30 gauge.

This brand of wire is available in Nickel Silver (also known as German silver), Jeweler's Bronze (also known as Tombac) and Bright Copper. Nickel Silver is a 65% copper, 18% nickel and 17% zinc combination that emulates sterling silver. Jeweler's Bronze is a brass alloy of 85% copper and 15% zinc and has a bright gold color. Bright Copper is a true color, solid copper wire of 99% copper and 1% alloy. All are pliable and easy to shape--ideal for wrapping.

This is an incredibly soft wire that can be manipulated without the use of tools. Available in a rainbow of colors as well as traditional metal tones, the wire is also available in a variety of shapes, gauges and textures. A large benefit of aluminum is its ability to resist tarnish. Great for wire-wrapping and embellishment, aluminum is too light to support heavy designs.

Memory Wire
This strong wire is rigid, pre-coiled and easy to use for creating single- or multi-loop jewelry designs with beads, charms or other embellishment. Made from stainless steel, carbon steel and high carbon steel, memory wire jewelry is a favorite jewelry-making wire for its adjustability and ability to retain its shape. Sold in ring, bracelet or necklace sizes. Available in round and flat varieties; finish ends with a loop or matching shape memory wire ends.

This metal was first engineered to protect hypersonic aerospace vehicles from extreme conditions. After manufacturing niobium, the naturally grey base can be anodized with even, vibrant hues. Most people with metal sensitivities are able to wear niobium without a problem.

Precious Metal
Precious metal jewelry-making wire includes gold-filled, sterling silver, Argentium® silver and sterling silver-filled. These traditionally sought-after metals have a bright gleam and are often used for wire-wrapping, chain making and more. Choose from all three tempers of dead-soft, half-hard and full-hard as well as round, half-round, square, twisted round and twisted square shapes.

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Customer Comments

We would like to share some of the customer comments we received in response to the article, "Thread, Cord and Wire for Jewelry-Making," 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 for Jewelry-Making' 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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