The Seven Year Stringing Cycle
In the 36 years that we have been manufacturing jewelry wire, we have witnessed a clear trend that we refer to as "The Seven Year Stringing Cycle." For approximately seven years, the fashion jewelry industry embraces bead stringing techniques and materials. During this time, most designs are made with thread, elastic cord, nylon cord, beading wire, and memory wire and feature traditional findings like head pins, lobster clasps, and crimp beads. In the opposing seven years, the industry moves away from stringing and knotting and in to stitching, weaving, and heavy use of chains and metals. From our vantage point, this cycle is fairly predictable.
We see the cycle begin when a popular jewelry design emerges that captures the industry’s attention. Examples of designs that triggered past cycles include knotted pearl designs, illusion jewelry made on clear monofilament, power bracelets and crystal snap bracelets made on elastic cord, the Y-Necklace made on thread and wire, and the popular Tin-Cup Necklace (featured in the movie by the same name) a/k/a Floating Necklace that exposed stringing material as part of the design.
Breakthrough designs set the pendulum in motion and determine the course of the industry for about seven years. As large jewelry manufacturers follow popular design trends, they increase demand for stringing products and drive the cycle. After about seven years, the industry reaches mass saturation when jewelry designs in the market resemble one another. At this point, the industry begins to shift into non-stringing techniques such as stitching and weaving with seed beads, loom work, chain maille, chain, metalware, and wire wrapping. Past designs and trends that ushered-in the non-stringing cycle include the body piercing fad, hoop earrings, chandelier earrings, bling rings, bangle and cuff bracelets, multi-media jewelry incorporating a mixture of materials and metals, and the dog tag necklace/Steam Punk style.
Current trends indicate that we are in year six of the seven year non-stringing cycle. Most of today’s popular designs feature chain and metal work and are nearing mass saturation. Segue designs are appearing like Kumihimo and Shamballa-style jewelry which are pulling the market towards stringing. The quickly-emerging Sanctity Bracelet, made on elastic bead cord, could very well be the spark that ignites the next seven year stringing cycle. Much like predicting the weather, we cannot guarantee our forecast will be accurate. However, if past trends are an indication, we predict that the industry is prime for a reemergence of designs featuring stringing techniques and materials.
VP Sales and Marketing
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