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Keep Your Knots Knotted: Leslie Rogalski

I am a totally devoted fan of WildFire™ beading thread, and use it exclusively. One of the things I like about it is its ability to hold a knot. When I heard someone claim their knot came undone, I figured it was probably the knotting method and not the thread. In all my work and years of beadweaving and stringing and more, I have never had a WildFire knot misbehave, or Dandyline™ either for that matter. Here are my tips for securing a knot in WildFire or Dandyline:

1. Leave yourself several inches to finish off the thread. Do this anytime you need to end or add thread. Trying to knot with an eensy tail is frustrating. Six inches is minimum.

2. Secure the thread in several places before you knot. I call these "anchor hitches." These help distribute the pull on your thread so the tension is not all on the one final knot.  First, exit the beadwork after your stitching is finished (Figure 1, showing odd-count peyote). Weave back into the beadwork along the thread path and make a half hitch around an existing thread between beads. Choose a place that is inconspicuous. Weave through a few more beads and make another half hitch. Two anchor hitches are usually enough, but in stitches that may be loose such as right angle weave, make a few more anchor hitches.

3. Three hitches.  Choose another inconspicuous place for your final knot. If possible, place it next to a bead whose hole may be large enough for you to use to hide the knot. Make three half hitches around the same thread, with the last hitch consuming the first two made.

Don’t trim next to the knot! This may be a leading reason knots come undone — do not trim right next to the knot. After your final knot don’t cut the thread. Weave the tail back into the beadwork through several beads and try to pull the knot into that big-holed bead, if possible. As you weave the remaining thread through the beadwork feel the tension as this new pass of thread fills the beads. This tension helps secure your thread even more (just be careful not to break your beads by forcing the needle through if it is too snug). Once you've secured the thread, it's safe to exit the beadwork and trim.

Glue? I rarely use it for beadwork, but if you feel better, just a dab. Why knot?

Leslie Rogalski
Beadalon Design Team Member


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