Choosing the Right Stringing Material

When choosing which type of stringing material to use, start by considering what type of design you're going to make. For example, if you're planning to make a single-strand necklace, you can use almost any stringing material. But, for a woven necklace, you must use very thin beading wire or thread.

Flexible beading wire is best for stringing projects featuring glass, crystal, metal and semi-precious beads. It combines the softness of thread with the strength of stainless steel. You choose the style of beading wire based on the flexibility you need. It's available in a variety of colors and widths. You can also use it when you want to add metallic shine to woven projects using larger beads or crystals.

Beading thread is primarily used for creating intricately woven designs. You can also use very thin beading wire for some woven designs, but thread is the typical choice for peyote stitch and other traditional seed beadwork. Beading thread should also be used when adding beaded embellishments to fabric or clothing.

WildFire or Dandyline beading thread is ideal for a variety of bead stringing and bead weaving projects. Both are extremely durable, waterproof and have near zero stretch. WildFire is thermally bonded, so it can't be pierced with a needle. Use this type of woven beading thread with hard beading needles for small diameters and collapsible eye needles for large diameters.

Many beadwork patterns call for Nymo, which is a single-strand thread. It comes in a variety of colors and you typically use it with a hard beading needle such as a #10 or #12. It is easy to thread onto a needle and it is very easy to cut with beading scissors. Since it isn't very durable in single-strand applications, it's best to use it for intricately woven designs.

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-Katie Hacker for Beadalon