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New to pearls and looking for advice

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  • New to pearls and looking for advice

    As someone completely new to pearl beading, I would appreciate any advice for my first necklace.

    I decided to take on a rather large project, after seeing a necklace I loved but couldnít afford. I consider myself quite crafty and thought it canít be that hard to put pearls on string....not realizing the many nuances involved.

    Iím making a ten foot strand of white, round, 2.5mm pearls with French wire. Iíve already invested a large amount into good quality pearls (I think!) plus a gold chain for the ends. Iíve been lurking and gathering info, but I was hoping some of you could clarify some things.

    - the holes are meant to be .6 mm. Iím going to try using a double thread. What size thread, after being doubled, should I aim for? Around 5mm, 4mm? Or is it better go tiny, around 2.5, so I can back knot 4 threads through the last few beads when starting and finishing?
    The purist in me wants to try silk first, but Iím going to order some beaders secret as a backup.

    - Whatís your opinions on the best needle for such tiny beads? I was thinking of ordering some big eye needles along with my beaders secret. Or maybe the twisted steel ones? Iím not entirely clear if any of these would fit in my pearls.

    - would waxing the silk string cause discoloration? As Iím using white string with white pearls.

    - and lastly, I intend to knot every 6 in. Now Iím wondering if I should knot after every pearl since I bought the expensive, high quality ones. But it seems a bit overkill with tiny pearls maybe? Any opinions?

    Thank you in advance, your forum has been incredibly helpful and Iíve loved looking at all your creations!

  • #2
    As far as knotting, see what that looks like in your hand. Knots may stick out like a sore thumb in tiny pearls so you have to take the size of the knots/thread into play. Pattye would probably be the best person who could set you up with needles and threads that will work for you. With a strand that long, I would use Beader's Secret or maybe even the fishing line (forgot the name!!!), but I don't think the fishing line comes in white. I just don't know how you're going to keep the strings from getting tangled, even if you use them rolled up around something. And would BS be strong enough to carry a 10ft strand? I admire your courage but I bet it will be beautiful and a lot of fun!


    • #3
      Thanks for the reply - I cant really imagine knots looking right after every pearl to be honest. It will definitely be quite an experiment at 10ft. Hadn’t even thought about the thread not being strong enough either...

      Just realized my mistakes in the original post too - very tired this morning.
      Meant to say -
      - the holes are meant to be .6 mm. I’m going to try using a double thread. What size thread, after being doubled, should I aim for? Around .5mm, .4mm? Or is it better go tiny, around .25 so I can back knot 4 threads through the last few beads when starting and finishing?


      • #4
        Here's a few thoughts ~

        Size #40 doubled will be strong enough for these small pearls, and should drape nicely. No need to stretch or wax.

        Wax picks up dirt & grime, imo.

        PowerPro (fishing line) could be a good option ~ probably 20# doubled (.23 mm single thread) probably the knot would be thick enough not to pull into the hole. This would be stronger than my Serafil thread size #40. It is harder on one's fingers, though.

        The big eye needle will keep its shape longer when working with a long strand like this.

        You'll need to test to see how back knotting will work. Look for pearls with slightly larger holes to use at the ends or plan to ream out the number of ending pearls.

        You'll want to have a large work space reserved for this awesome, fun project!

        Lots of mentors here to cheer you on!!
        Last edited by pattye; 09-28-2020, 09:12 PM.



        • #5
          Thanks for chiming in Pattye. I had a brain lapse and forgot the name Power Pro. All I could remember was the Pro, so I called it fishing line. It might be time for me to pull out my pearling stuff and get creative since I'm forgetting the basics!


          • #6
            Thanks for all the help, much appreciated. Now that I know what I’m doing (in theory) I’m so excited to start! Will be over to order my beaders secret shortly