The Secrets of

Which SIZE?
Choosing an appropriate thread for your beadwork is a combination of personal preference and technical consideration. We have tried to indicate appropriate uses for the different weights. However, you will see an overlap in bead sizes from thread to thread. This is for several reasons:

  1. Where you have to make many passes through each bead, you'll need a lighter weight thread than if you were only making one or two passes.
  2. Where a tight tension is crucial, use the heaviest thread you can.
  3. If your beads have smaller or larger than normal holes, adjust your thread up or down accordingly.

All these threads will split with normal use. Waxing can delay this, but as you draw the thread through your beads the wax tends to ball up in dirty little globs between the beads. Iron the thread between two sheets of brown paper to help prevent this. (We're not kidding - this is a couturier tip.) We recommend using Beeswax, and sell it in convenient plastic cases.

Refer to the second chapter of Those Bad Bad Beads for detailed information on suggested thread types for all the different bead types and techniques. Ultimately, however, your own experience is your best guide.

Which COLOR?
Ash is the most versatile thread color. Use black for metallic and dark, opaque colors. Use white only when you have a bright white background or pale transparent colors you wish to keep bright.

There's no law against using a dark warp which will hide between your beads and a light or white weft which will keep your transparent colors bright.

To make it easier to check thread/bead color compatibility, thread color #s are assigned using the same color nomenclature system we use for beads. If the color #s of anything in our catalog are the same, the colors are the same. Or, the colors are different shades of blue, for example, by comparing the color numbers you can tell pretty much how far apart the two blues are.

Which TYPE?
Nylon Flat threads are multi-stranded and flat, meaning the filaments are not twisted. This makes them very easy to put through tiny beading needle eyes. These are some of the easiest threads to work with because the thread tends to lie "calmly" instead of twisting and tangling on itself and around your friendly lap cat.

Nylon Plied threads have filaments that are twisted together, like rope. This makes them more difficult to thread through beading needles, but easier to use for twisted fringe.

Aramid thread looks just like Nymo, but is unbreakable except by sharp bugle beads. However, it's NOT nylon, it's Aramid, the same fiber used for bullet-proof vests and protective gloves. Do not tie simple overhand knots to secure it, Aramid cuts itself! Use a surgeon's knot to tie off, and a fisherman's knot to join threads. The sizing is not consistent with this thread. It varies between "A" and "0" and the colors are not fade-proof. It frays a lot when you work with it, so beeswax is useful. Use it for bugle bead ladders and anywhere you really need strength. Can be used with seed beads size 11°-20°, as well as most lampworked and pressed glass beads.

Specialty threads. Wazed Linen is good for stringing pressed glass, trade beads and pony beads. Silk is good for bead knitting and crochet with size 11° beads. Cotton is good for crochet with size 11° beads.


BEESWAX In protective plastic case

0·PW beeswax in case $2.89

Thread Heaven® is an anti-static, lubricating treatment for thread. It helps keep thread from tangling, but never leaves a residue to stain fabric or come off on beads. It comes in a little box, and lasts for years.

0·TH Thread Heaven® $2.95

Thread Zap® is a battery powered instrument for melting thread ends. Comes with battery.

0·TZ Thread Zapper® $24.95

Beading needles
10°-16°, x-long, asst'd
Special Purpose needles
big-eye, twisted wire, sharp,
glovers, between, milliners
Trouble threading your needle?

Nylon Flat threads
KO, nymo, nylux, monocord
Nylon Plied threads
rod-winding, silamide, conso, upholstery
Hi-Tech Threads
Aramid, Spectra®, Polypropylene and Fire-Line
Specialty Threads
linen, silk, cotton

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