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The Right Thread for the Job

Problem: Silk thread is very strong and is great for stringing but it lacks abrasion resistance. Nylon thread has abrasion resistance but is not as strong as silk. It also stretches with the tension required for beading.

Solution: Use silk on non-abrasive materials such as pearls, turquoise, mother-of-pearl and lapis. Use nylon on abrasive materials such as onyx, metal beads, amethyst and rose quartz. To eliminate stretching, after carefully knotting a strand with nylon, suspend the cord on a doorknob (several loops are okay) then hang pliers from the loops and leave overnight. This will pre-stretch the nylon, so it will not become loose after being strung.

Wasatch Gem Society 01/1995 via Gems of the Foothills 08/1995