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  1. #1

    Default Question about finishing a string...

    Right now I am knotting the thread onto the clasp and then adding a little epoxy to the knot, which is not very attractive. I have noticed that on nicer strands there appears to be a little wire wrap around the ends of the strands. It appears that the thread passes through the wire wrap and back through the last bead where it is knotted. (And pretty much the same thing happens at the start of the strand as well.)

    My questions are:

    What is this little wire wrap called? Do I make it or buy them pre-coiled?

    Does this last knot (after being doubled back through) hold well? or is some glue usually applied?

    Sorry if these questions scream "NEWBIE." I just want to do it right.

  2. #2
    Pearl Maven Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Caitlin's Avatar
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    Hi Peter
    The wire wrap is call "French wire" "bullion" or "gimp" It comes in various weights light, medium, and heavy. Depending on the thread, I apply glue. With soft flex wire, I use a crimp bead. In any case I cover the knot or bead with a "crimp cover"
    When a crimp cover is squeezed together it looks like a silver (or gold) bead.

    The finishing wire and crimp beads come in SS and gold plate.
    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.

  3. #3

    Default

    Thanks so much for the info, Caitlin.

    And by the way, I just got back from seeing the movie "Holiday" with my fiance, and I think that you would love the jewelry worn by the female cast members. There were so many long beaded necklaces along with beaded earrings. Seemed very hip to me!

    Cheers

  4. #4
    Taylor
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    Hi, I just started stringing beads and pearls about 6 months ago and this part - beginning and ending a strand - is the hardest part for me. There's a long discussion on another thread in this forum under Gimp, which must be an old term. I've tried some of the hints given here like making a needle by shaving the tread and stiffening it with gum arabic. You could probably use glue or some nail polish too, but gum arabic washes off. At first, I didn't think this worked. The string got stiff but not enough to force back through the hole. Then I got it through but it was so fine it broke off. Finally, I got it to work but I think reaming out the last 2 or 3 beads is much easier. Sometimes if the beads are glass or a hard substance like sapphire or quartz, it is better just to end the strand with gold or silver beads with larger holes.
    I can't find any detailed instructions in any books... they make it sound easy if it's discussed at all. The only pearl knotting class in my city, only teaches the crimps technique. If anyone can suggest a good book, I'd be happy to buy it. Thanks.

  5. #5
    Pearl Maven Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Caitlin's Avatar
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    Hi Peter
    You might want to consider upgrading that barrel clasp. I don't use them amy more beause they come undone too easily.
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    Last edited by Caitlin; 12-09-2006 at 03:35 PM.
    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.

  6. #6
    jerin
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taylor
    Hi, I just started stringing beads and pearls about 6 months ago and this part - beginning and ending a strand - is the hardest part for me. There's a long discussion on another thread in this forum under Gimp, which must be an old term. I've tried some of the hints given here like making a needle by shaving the tread and stiffening it with gum arabic. You could probably use glue or some nail polish too, but gum arabic washes off. At first, I didn't think this worked. The string got stiff but not enough to force back through the hole. Then I got it through but it was so fine it broke off. Finally, I got it to work but I think reaming out the last 2 or 3 beads is much easier. Sometimes if the beads are glass or a hard substance like sapphire or quartz, it is better just to end the strand with gold or silver beads with larger holes.
    I can't find any detailed instructions in any books... they make it sound easy if it's discussed at all. The only pearl knotting class in my city, only teaches the crimps technique. If anyone can suggest a good book, I'd be happy to buy it. Thanks.
    Taylor
    I think the books have been mentioned earlier on but here goes:

    Findings and Finishings by Sharon Bateman, ISBN 1-931499-40-3, from Amazon.com;

    How to thread a bead necklacke (Griffin) by Schinle Perlseiden GmbH, 7 edition in 2004, I think that one I ordered online from "Findingking.com",
    it is a rather small book/brochure but it shows very detailed in which order to go step by step;

    Parl and Bead Stringing with Henrietta by Henrietta Virchick, 1989,
    ordered through Amazon.com ( MY FAVORITE) and finally

    Step-by-Step Bead Stringing by Ruth F. Poris, ISBN 0-96164422-1-1, ordered through Amazon.com.

    I hope these books will give you all the answers to your questions about beginnings and endings....

  7. #7
    jerin
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    Quote Originally Posted by CiullaJewelers

    What is this little wire wrap called? Do I make it or buy them pre-coiled?

    Does this last knot (after being doubled back through) hold well? or is some glue usually applied?

    Sorry if these questions scream "NEWBIE." I just want to do it right.

    Hi Peter!

    I am using French Wire in sizes medium and heavy, I have the fine one as well, but I experience severe difficulties in getting a needle that is fine enough to slip it over... I have tried twisted needles, usual needles, but it is not easy...

    Ordering can be done from Bella Findings.com, Firemountain.com or Artbeads.com for example. Good luck!

  8. #8
    Taylor
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    Hi Jerin, I'll order your favorite. Thanks!

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Caitlin Williams
    Hi Peter
    You might want to consider upgrading that barrel clasp. I don't use them amy more beause they come undone too easily.
    Thanks for the advice, Caitlin. Actually, this is the only necklace I make with a barrel clasp because it is a little more "manly." Otherwise, I don't use them.

  10. #10
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    Default The Wire on Strands

    I had a guy in Chicago actually show me the wire that he uses to string his pearls. It was called Flei-Wire. It is a highly flexible steel cable coated in nylon and is very thin, he has pearls from Bynoe Harbour in Australia and restrings them on this wire with gold or silver beads and has a 5 year quarantee on the restringing (which normally, on silk need to be restrung at least every year). This may be the wire they use but could be cemeted in the first pearl and then knotted for the 'traditional' look, but would then still need to be restrung with wear.
    Karl

  11. #11
    Pearl Maven Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Caitlin's Avatar
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    Hi Karl

    I googled "flei wire" and the only hit was the Bynow Harbor pearls company.

    This page is the ad for Bynoe Harbor pearls strung on Acculon flei wire:
    http://www.disgostore.com/page9.html

    Notice it says ACCULON flei wire. That is the registred compnay name. Acculon is well known among beader for their FLEX wire. Sorry to disabuse you of your mistaken beliefs.

    Also, look carefully at the ad. Bynoe Harbor "pearls" are shell pearls.

    Furthermore,I think they are wrong when they say:
    * Cultured South Sea Shell Pearls – A nucleated bead consists of pulverized shell interior lining and shaped into a round bead, then are cultured; placed inside next to the reproductive organs of the pearl, for one to two years inside of the pearl oysters Pinctada maxima.
    How did they shape the pulverized shell into round beads? What did they use to hold the pulverized shell together to form a bead, glue? If anyone were inserting ground up mussel shel formed into nuclei, belive me, it would make industry news.

    This is a slick ad to fool you into paying a high price for faux pearls. They are high quality faux pearls, but faux they are.

    Here is a page that explains what shell pearls are. scroll down to page thirty.

    BTW page 22 same document mentiones Bynoe Harbour" . It discusses a seeding operation for supplying tank grown pinctada maxima stock, instead ofr wild-gathering it. Interestingly, they refers to the juveniles as "shells"
    Last edited by Caitlin; 04-30-2007 at 06:18 PM.
    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.

  12. #12
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    Smile Cultivated - Nucleated Shell Pearls

    Caitlin;

    Thanks again for this info, I'm going to see if the owner of that store knows this information. I did a quick search on nucleated shell pearls and found the following link:

    http://www.gem.org.au/pearl.htm

    It does explain that they use mussel shells that are inesrted with another piece of 'mantle' (not sure what that is? do U know?) into the oyster on a 'dump' site (I'm guessing that is like a farming location?).

    Hey, if they use mussels from the Mississippi, why aren't they grown in our own Gulf of Mexico? just curious...
    Karl

  13. #13
    Pearl Knotting & Wire Expert Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert knotty panda's Avatar
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    Dear Karl:

    Knotting any nylon-coated wire is ill-advised unless you use the figure-8 knot. All metals work-harden with use and a work-hardened wire breaks easily. None of the manufacturers with which I am familiar recommend knotting their wire.

    Also, when using those wires, "spacers" should be used to prevent friction and subsequent breaking. When two beads which are alike are strung together, the friction is greater and causes breaks. Spacers such as delicas or sterling daisy beads should be used between alike beads to reduce the friction. Beadalon also has a rubber product called bead bumpers which serve the purpose but don't add unnecessary weight to your piece.

    I personally haven't tried gluing wire into the bead. I don't use glue as I find it hard to clean the bead when it comes time to restring and I don't like losing a bead. Wire manufacturers recommend securing their wire with a crimp.

    If you're determined to use this technique, try substituting the wire with Caitlin's fishing line. She's had great success with knotting it, it won't break at the knot, can be readily glued into the bead, and will give the piece a suppleness you don't get with wire.

    Nylon-coated wires are a wonderful thing and have definitely brought a new dimension to jewelry-making, however, I don't believe they should be relied upon as the definitive stringing material.

    P.S.: Now that I've taken a look at Caitlin's link, they are very pretty shell pearls, but I'm still concerned about the finishing. I'm a great defender of fish hook clasps. It's a design that may seem old-fashioned and uninteresting, but they work and they work well! The fish hooks on these strands look to be a bit small for the pearls although an extender has been beaded to accommodate fastening the fish hook. There is a crimp on these strands, although it looks to be a flattened micro-crimp and I have concerns about it's ability to hold for any length of time. If it's a plated micro-crimp, it will not hold.

    My advise is to learn to bead properly before trying new tricks then you can delight in your accomplishments.
    Last edited by knotty panda; 04-30-2007 at 08:06 PM.
    Pretty Panda pic by nlerner on her U.S. excursion last year, San Diego Zoo.[/SIZE][/SIZE]

  14. #14
    Pearl Maven Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Caitlin's Avatar
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    Hi Karl
    Well, you just fell into the "meat" of this forum. That is a good article, theough the authors refer to the mollusk as "shells"

    The mantle is needed with the bead to get the nacre growing. Just so you know, mollusks can be implanted with mantle tissue only, resulting in a solid nacre pearl. Cultured freshwater pearls are currently grown that way.

    Mississippi River drainage is the source of American Mussel shell. The main farmers of this product also get the natural freshwater pearls that occur in the mother of pearl shells. American mussel shell is the best for making Mother of pearl beads to insert in sea mollusks because the density is correct and there is a lower rejection and/or death rate among the pinctada maxima mollusks. Oddly, the aussies refer to the mollusks as "shells" thus affording the faux pearl manufactuors to fudge a bit, since the faux pearls are commonly known as "shell pearls" Watch out for that word "shell", eBay sellers use it all the time to fool people.

    Freshwater pearl Mussels (various kinds of unios)suffered many setbacks in America at the end of the 19th century, they were overfished, then pollution arrived in the 20th. There are a few attempts to set up domestic pearling farms with native mussels.

    The gulf of Mexico could grow pearls and once did, until overfished by the 16th century Spaniards

    The Sea of Cortez has a current operation run by folks who are also members here and post.
    Last edited by Caitlin; 04-30-2007 at 10:21 PM.
    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.

  15. #15
    Pearl Knotting & Wire Expert Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert knotty panda's Avatar
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    Dear Wendy: Thank you for the warning. Beaders are very conscious of lead as most of us have used swarovski crystals which must contain 24% lead, I believe, (please don't quote me) before they are deemed to be crystal. However, I have noticed beaders making swarovski crystal items for their little tots and as we all know, the first thing a tot does, is explore with their mouths. Your warning bears repeating.