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To Knot or Double Knot? That is the question

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  • To Knot or Double Knot? That is the question

    Some sites boast their necklaces are double knotted others say that they are single knotted. Is one better than the other? Thank You

  • #2
    Knotting

    Excellent question. Many sites advertise that all of their pearl necklaces are double-knotted. But should they?

    First, why knot at all? The purpose of a knot is to keep the pearls from rubbing and damaging each other. Another purpose is to keep the pearls from falling everywhere if the necklace ever breaks.

    Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of double knotting (vs. single knotting):

    DOUBLE KNOTS

    Advantages:

    - If the drill holes in larger pearls are very small, a double knot will make the knots more proportional when using a smaller diameter thread.

    - If the drill holes in larger pearls are very small, a double knot will make the knots more proportional when using a smaller diameter thread.

    - Double knots increase the length of the necklace. This can be an advantage when stringing larger pearls, to make them a specific length. It can affect the length by ¼” or more when stringing 10mm pearls for example.


    Disadvantages:

    - Double knots can cause the necklace to stretch more because there is more thread in the knot.

    - Double knots are often disproportionate for smaller pearls. Too large of a knot will make the necklace look terrible.

    - Double knots increase the length of the necklace. While listed under advantages, this can also be a disadvantage, especially for smaller pearls. Fewer pearls with bigger knots are not something that is desirable.

    Comment


    • #3
      I am a pearl re-threader - with more years then would be polite to mention

      My personal experience is that many of the people who mention "Double knotting" are infering that by applying a double knot a superior product is created.

      This is not (now theres a pun) in my opinion the reality of the situation.

      As Terry mentions, there may be aesthetic reasons for this which are valid for keeping the design correectly proportioned - but I dont see how double knotting (which after all is essentially only a knot - placed on top of another knot ) - should or can be represented as a superior technique to the consumer.

      Regards
      Bernadette

      Comment


      • #4
        Having had many a year in retail sector, when I was in the Jewelry Department the manager told us to use the double knot will insure a better and stronger strand than single knotting..... less chance of breakage.... Idea being consumers are dumb and will buy anything..... We were told to say anything to get the sale...

        Comment


        • #5
          Ashby, I am chuckling at sales pitches. Not even a triple knot would strengthen the thread. It is the thread that breaks, not the knots.

          Hi Bernadette! We welcome your input!
          Caitlin

          How to hand-knot pearls without a tool

          My avatar is a Sea of Cortez mabe pearl. One of a pair of Mexican handmade earrings.

          Comment


          • #6
            I had read somewhere (and I have been looking but can not seem to find the reference now) that Mikimoto started this practice, not to protect the pearls, but to make the necklace and the pearls seem larger. Having that slight separation between each pearl put the emphasis on each single pearl - more of an aesthetic practice in the beginning.

            Personally I think that it is a good practice to knot the thread for the reasons mentioned above...

            Comment


            • #7
              I feel if stringing larger pearls, you use larger (double knots). They look disproportionately large with 6mm pearls.
              I use the movable-knot method - with my larger-than-average hands it is the only one that I feel comfortable with. I learned the technique in China, and have yet to meet anyone who uses it here. It sure is better than the archaic GIA tweezers technique. Our stringers use the 'dead-knot' method here.
              Jeremy Shepherd
              President and Founder
              PearlParadise.com, Inc.
              The PearlParadise.com YouTube Channel
              PearlParadise.com on Flickr
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              Some of My Favorite Pearly Finds on Instagram

              Comment


              • #8
                Double knotting on smaller pearls is a sales gimmick. Caitlin is absolutely right! The thead doesn't break at the knot. The retailer charges more for double knotting, and uses less pearls to make the strand.

                I heard of a gal in Pennsylvania, I believe, who was using the "Mikimoto Tension" method. Man, I searched and search for that method. I never could find out how to do it and I truly don't believe it exists. I was like a little kid on a snipe hunt.
                Pretty Panda pic by nlerner on her U.S. excursion last year, San Diego Zoo.[/SIZE][/SIZE]

                Comment


                • #9
                  "Walt Disney's Cinderella - her pearls wouldn't have come apart and fallen to the ground if they were knotted in between like they were supposed to be. We PG-ers know better." Raisondetre

                  LOL, how funny! I don't remember that! I saw a Law & Order episode once where a big clue was the huge SSPs found lying in a horse stall, presumably ripped from someone's neck during an attack. No necklace, just scattered pearls. I had the same thought at that time as well. Although, now that I think about it, a knotted necklace if ripped from the wearer sure would create one heck of a mark! I guess we need to take a clue from WeeGem; "clutch" those puppies!
                  Pretty Panda pic by nlerner on her U.S. excursion last year, San Diego Zoo.[/SIZE][/SIZE]

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    To knot or not - vintage pearls

                    Hi -

                    This is my first post, but I have been reading the forum for several months now, and as others have said, have learned so much! My reason for joining was to get some idea about the strand of pearls my husband brought back from Japan in 1956. He bought them for $10 at a "pearl party" where the seller brought pearls to the apartment several Navy men were living in. I inherited them when his mother passed away, but have been hesitant to wear them without having them restrung.

                    They are a graduated strand, almost 17" including the clasp, and probably typical of the pearls other servicemen brought back in the 50's. They are not Mikimoto, at least the box does not have that name. (It says Y. Mitani Pearl, Tokyo, Japan.) One day I will take some pictures and post them. It it cloudy and snowing this morning, not a good day for natural light.

                    My question today is this: should I have them double knotted between the pearls, or restrung the way they are now, which is with knots between the first few pearls on each end (by the clasp) and no knots the rest of the way?

                    Thanks for any advice.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hi Granny Z

                      Traditionally those graduated strands going down to 2-3mm pearls were not knotted.
                      I just did one where I knotted between each pearl. I like the look. Double knots would not be needed for pearls that size, except maybe the largest ones.

                      In my opinion the only time you really need to double knot is when the hole is too big for a single knot.

                      The following necklace is post WWII from Japan. Sorry the picture isn't the best. It is rainy and overcast here in Tucson too. I had to doubleknot between the 10-11 largest pearls to get them locked in without sliding around.
                      Attached Files
                      Caitlin

                      How to hand-knot pearls without a tool

                      My avatar is a Sea of Cortez mabe pearl. One of a pair of Mexican handmade earrings.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I use the movable-knot method - with my larger-than-average hands it is the only one that I feel comfortable with. I learned the technique in China, and have yet to meet anyone who uses it here. It sure is better than the archaic GIA tweezers technique. Our stringers use the 'dead-knot' method here.
                        Jeremy can you please explain these methods more? Especially your movable knot method. It is the dead knot method in the video you folks made?
                        Caitlin

                        How to hand-knot pearls without a tool

                        My avatar is a Sea of Cortez mabe pearl. One of a pair of Mexican handmade earrings.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I'm curious about those two methods, too. I've been beading for several years using 49 ply wire (mostly semiprecious stones), but only just started knotting pearl strands with silk or nylon this past summer and I need my knots to be tighter (I use tweezers.) I was content with my knots until I received my PP strand and saw how much superior the knotting is on them.

                          Also, I used silk size 4 with an attached needle (yeah, a beginner); if I use two silk threads, should I switch to size 2?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hello Pearl_dreams,

                            i suggest You learn yourself the method of stringing without tweezers. It?s so much easier just having to use your hands, if you are interested in learning the method, I can recommend "Pearl and Bead Stringing with Henrietta" by Henrietta Virchick, ISBN 0-9627137-0-8. You can also read the threads/posts in the section of "Pearl books" and look also through The lowly Beaders Club and "Stringing".

                            As for the size of silk, I don?t know what a size 2 or 4 is. Personally I use Gudebrods Champion Silk on spools (it?s much cheaper than cards), size D for pearls with extremely small drillholes, size E for most of the pearls and size F for very large pearls.
                            If they are heavy and large I also use Detolon (Polyester thread), which does not stretch as much as silk.

                            Hope You have got all the answers You need.
                            Last edited by jerin; 12-11-2007, 01:10 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I think Jerin's answer is excellent and I hope iit helps you.

                              Frankly, when kotting by hand with 2 strands- any overhand knot will work. there are two tricks to it, One is to flip the beads through keeping the thread right up against the bead you are knotting. That places the knot exactly right. Then you separate the two threads and pull them apart until the knot is really snuggled tight against the hole. However, with two threads, if you get the knot a bit away from the hole, separating the strands and pulling will move the knot into place.

                              Believe me, finger knotting is fast and accurate compared to the tweezer method, which was invented to fool new beaders- kind of like giving the "dude" the worst horse on the ranch- if you know what I mean--and even the tri-cord knotter is way slower because you have to pick it up and put it down every knot.-And after you spent the money on the tri-cord knotter and the video to explain it- the knots are no better than fingerknots.
                              Caitlin

                              How to hand-knot pearls without a tool

                              My avatar is a Sea of Cortez mabe pearl. One of a pair of Mexican handmade earrings.

                              Comment

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