I now mostly use power pro to string pearls for craft markets. Anyone have comments on the advantages of french wire vs direct stringing, and or vs my previous favorite - wire guardians? Any experience or thoughts on this greatly appreciated.
Caitlin, I think this thread should be moved to the beaders thread with the other discussions around this topic?
My experience with the wire guardians, both gold filled and sterling, is that they had some sharp edges that I couldn't overcome. Like the idea of them, though.
If stringing with silk, I do use french wire for protection in the traditional style.
If stringing with a synthetic thread that is much stronger and more stretch resistant than silk, I'd consider french wire optional. Depends on the type of clasp, sometimes, too. some clasps have a jump ring attached, which can be threaded through and pulled down against the pearl, which makes a tidy finish.
Thanks for the comments. I was considering french wire as optional. I use with 30# or 50#, doubled when extra thickness is required, and the Japanese method (2strings). We restring our pearl necklaces from the temporary strungs we get at wholesale.
I agree with you that gimp can look ragged and tarnished quickly. It's difficult to find high quality gimp. I occasionally make it myself with 32 gauge wire (sterling or gold filled) wound around a fine straight pin, but it is not as fine as purchased gimp, and doesn't always fit through the hole in the clasp nicely.
I have decided to go with no gimp and direct stringing based on the helpful comments here. The strength of power pro is just unbelieveable. I use 50# test doubled with larger hole 7 to 10mm pearls. Ii don't think beakage will be a problem at all.
I don't like to ream pearls. What a pain that can be. I double 50# only when hole size means I need to. Sometimes doubled 30 # is just right. I just did an undoubled 30# on some 3mm freshwaters. My opinion is that with the great strength of power pro, diameter decides.