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  1. #1
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    Question Help please, thread strength for rosebud necklace

    Good morning everyone! This is my first post to the forum, and I wanted to thank everyone first and foremost. I found a necklace belonging to my grandmother this past summer, a cute little faux pearl strand. It was in rough condition, so I started looking into jewelers to restring it. After searching for information about pearls, and making that classic first purchase with Pearl Paradise for a white freshwater strand.....I'm hooked. This forum sealed the deal as well. So much information! I've been reading up and absorbing for the past few months, I had no idea pearls were so...... amazing. The industry, history, making jewelry, all the beautiful varieties/colors of pearls! So yes, thank you to everyone who has contributed to this forum. I know it was a labor of love, and you all have the same passion for pearls and jewelry design.

    So recently I've been stringing my own necklaces, thanks to the wonderful information in the Lowly Beaders' Club. I've finished a few freshwater strands, redone my PP strand with a new clasp, and just finished a tahitian strand (for the 3rd time, it's hard to get it JUST the way you want it, isn't it??). This month, I'm going to make a necklace for my lovely mother-in-law's birthday. I purchased 2 strands of cream rosebud pearls (~8-9 mm ) and a small strand of moonstone beads (~5 mm). I plan to string it on Beaders' Secret and knot in between, with three pearls for each moonstone. The total length should be between 38 and 40 in, as I want her to be able to wear it long or doubled without being too close to her neck.

    So far its been really obvious what strength of thread I should use. All of my freshwater strands have been short or very light, so 30# has worked perfectly. My tahitian strand was only 8-10.5mm as well, so 20# was a bit much. I'm stringing a 11-14ish mm strand of ripple pearls for my mom, so I'm going to use 20# and enlarge the end pearl holes if needed. But for this strand, I'm kind of stumped. It doesn't feel excessively heavy, but the length and stones make it more than other strands I've done. I know for aesthetics, the smaller knots from 30# would probably look the best. But.....how to say it nicely? My mother-in-law is a lovely woman, but kind of a spaz. She seems to take good care of her clothes and jewelry, but I'd feel terrible if she broke the necklace at a social event. What do you all think? I hope I took good enough pictures, mad props to Jersey Pearl, BabyNurse, and everyone else who can make a pearl look like more than a shinny blur on camera. Thanks in advance for any input!


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  2. #2
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    Great first post, CBPearllover! Welcome to PG!

    Have you considered stringing on beading wire? Stone beads can have rough edges that would erode the thread over time and could cause breakage.

    Instead of knots, you could use silicone bead bumpers. I've been using the 2mm size but you could use smaller ones if you prefer. (https://www.beadalon.com/pc_combined...yword=bumpers)

    To finish you could use Scrimps in lieu ofthe usual crimp beads, for a nice finished look.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bV4gBRi5Ox4

    I have bought them on Amazon but they are available from other sources. Scrimps come in different styles and gold and silver colors. I see Fire Mountain Gems has its own version:
    https://www.firemountaingems.com/sho...ghtened_crimps
    Last edited by Pearl Dreams; 10-08-2018 at 02:04 PM.

  3. #3
    purveyor of pearls Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pearlescence's Avatar
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    Wait for Pattye, who is Beaders Secret, to respond. She's the expert

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the information, I'll look those up. I want to start learning how to string on beading wire, but have yet to tackle it. Did you find it was easy to pick up? I like the idea of silicone bumpers too, I've read in other posts they look very similar to knots. If you string pearls on beading wire, would it have a similar drape to the polyester thread? And also, what size wire do you like to use? I'd have to start from scratch, and learn sizing for different projects (I'm sure you use a larger gauge wire for heavier/larger beads correct?)

  5. #5
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    Thanks, I'll see what she says. I bought the pearls from you, by the way. They're beautiful! Great color and very few flat spots, I've had a tough time finding rosebud pearls which are halfway decent. I'm considering clearing out the rest of your inventory later today, it's so hard to stop at one strand....

  6. #6
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CBPearllover View Post
    Thanks for the information, I'll look those up. I want to start learning how to string on beading wire, but have yet to tackle it. Did you find it was easy to pick up? I like the idea of silicone bumpers too, I've read in other posts they look very similar to knots. If you string pearls on beading wire, would it have a similar drape to the polyester thread? And also, what size wire do you like to use? I'd have to start from scratch, and learn sizing for different projects (I'm sure you use a larger gauge wire for heavier/larger beads correct?)
    I started stringing on beading wire long before I tried using thread! It's very easy. No needle needed-- string directly on the wire. I don't use the little wire guardians at the clasp end however (I find them scratchy)-- I usually just attach the wire directly to the clasp. If you want a more finished look you can always put a bit of gimp on the wire at the clasp, same as you would for thread. Definitely do that if the clasp has a jump ring (open ring) instead of a soldered ring. You don't want to risk the wire slipping through the gap in a jump ring.

    As to drape, it is true that the necklace will not be as flexible as on knotted thread, but this is not necessarily bad. My golden SSP necklace is strung on beading wire and it feels very comfortable in how it drapes. I have a longer necklace I made with with silver blue akoyas and rhodolite garnets, and it drapes well enough.

    The wire gauge you use may be limited by the size of the drill holes of your stone beads. If the hole is a generous size, the I'd go for 49 strand wire, which is the strongest and most flexible, in .015" or .018". Do you have a Michaels' craft store near you? They sell spools of beading wire. You can take one or two of your beads along with you and test the wire size on your bead. Be aware that wire gauge has to be considered when selecting your crimps. Choose your wire first, then the crimps that go with that gauge range. (Crimps that are too large for the wire may let the wire slip through.)

  7. #7
    Natural Pearl Lover Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert MSC's Avatar
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    I've used both beading wire and thread in the past. I prefer thread with knots on longer strands, I think the drape is nicer looking on longer strands and knots between each pearl keep them secure should a break occur. It's more likely, were your MIL to say trip and snag the strand on something, that it would break at the clasp point. I say this as a self professed clutz. I have done just that. My opinion is that #30 Beaders Secret would be fine strength for your project. If the bead hole size is bigger than average, you could use 4 threads of #30 (2 threads through the needle = 4 threads) or go to #20. I have had crimps and bead wire corrode over time, especially well used pieces - they don't last forever and they aren't necessarily more secure than thread. Welcome to the forum!
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  8. #8
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
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    CBPL,
    Enjoyed your story of falling in love with pearls! There are truly LOTS of stringing choices; for this necklace I'd go with the #30. The break strength of #30 when doubled is 24+lbs. If the strand should happen to catch on something and break, the knots will prevent loss of pearls and beads.

    MSC, really good points! Longer rope necklaces are absolutely more vulnerable to catching on something and breaking! Recently I restrung my Sis's pearl and porcelain bead necklace I'd restyled and strung on #30 some years ago. It broke when she caught it on a handle in a store; only one pearl came loose. Had it been on wire, I can only imagine the pearls and beads flying everywhere! (I've caught my knotted ropes, but never broken them~yet!)

    Question for you, are the holes in the moonstone beads a good fit for #30, and are they smooth? If the holes are rough and snaggy, wire will be the better choice. Like Pearl Dreams, I started stringing on wire, and sometimes still do, prefer 49 strand for softer drape. Beading wire is really easy to use! I've never used the bead bumpers, just tiny 1mm-1.5mm beads as spacers.

    Another of Sis's broken necklaces which I originally string on wire (wish I had taken pics), the wire had deteriorated, gotten kind of rusty, and hardened! So I guess my point is, no stringing material is going to last forever!
    Pattye


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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pearl Dreams View Post
    I started stringing on beading wire long before I tried using thread! It's very easy. No needle needed-- string directly on the wire. I don't use the little wire guardians at the clasp end however (I find them scratchy)-- I usually just attach the wire directly to the clasp. If you want a more finished look you can always put a bit of gimp on the wire at the clasp, same as you would for thread. Definitely do that if the clasp has a jump ring (open ring) instead of a soldered ring. You don't want to risk the wire slipping through the gap in a jump ring.

    As to drape, it is true that the necklace will not be as flexible as on knotted thread, but this is not necessarily bad. My golden SSP necklace is strung on beading wire and it feels very comfortable in how it drapes. I have a longer necklace I made with with silver blue akoyas and rhodolite garnets, and it drapes well enough.

    The wire gauge you use may be limited by the size of the drill holes of your stone beads. If the hole is a generous size, the I'd go for 49 strand wire, which is the strongest and most flexible, in .015" or .018". Do you have a Michaels' craft store near you? They sell spools of beading wire. You can take one or two of your beads along with you and test the wire size on your bead. Be aware that wire gauge has to be considered when selecting your crimps. Choose your wire first, then the crimps that go with that gauge range. (Crimps that are too large for the wire may let the wire slip through.)
    Thank you so much, such great information! Yes I do have a Michael's, I'll take a few beads there and try it out. With your akoya/garnet necklace (the combo sounds interesting, btw!), are the garnet beads faceted or smooth? I'm wondering if stringing something like this on BS is best left for smooth rondelles?

  10. #10
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
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    p.s. I just love that we all come here and share our challenges, triumphs, tips and resources! I learned to knot pearls because of Lowly Beaders Club in 2007. That stringing would become such an important part of my life was completely unexpected.

    Just think, the combined years of experience of all "lowly beaders" probably would add up to several hundred years!
    Pattye


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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by pattye View Post
    CBPL,
    Question for you, are the holes in the moonstone beads a good fit for #30, and are they smooth? If the holes are rough and snaggy, wire will be the better choice.
    Thanks for your reply, Pattye! I've loved using Beaders' Secret so far, it's great how the knot can be pulled into place. The moonstone beads are faceted rondelles, and slightly flattened. Some holes are smaller than others, and I am noticing some uneven edges on a few of them. I'm wondering now if I should just string the pearls by themselves, and experiment with the beading wire separate. Are there any types of beads/gemstones you don't like knotting on BS? Or is it a case by case basis, depending on the size/smoothness of the holes?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSC View Post
    It's more likely, were your MIL to say trip and snag the strand on something, that it would break at the clasp point.
    Thanks, MSC! I never thought about the clasp area being weak, are there any steps you know of to make it more secure? Or is this just always the weak point since its carrying all the weight of the necklace?

  13. #13
    Natural Pearl Lover Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert MSC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CBPearllover View Post
    Thanks, MSC! I never thought about the clasp area being weak, are there any steps you know of to make it more secure? Or is this just always the weak point since its carrying all the weight of the necklace?
    Sometimes clasps come with thinner gauge wire attachment loops, sometimes those loops aren't even soldered together. The times I've had breaks, it was because of that, so I'm just aware of that when I buy clasps these days. Learned the hard way
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSC View Post
    Sometimes clasps come with thinner gauge wire attachment loops, sometimes those loops aren't even soldered together. The times I've had breaks, it was because of that, so I'm just aware of that when I buy clasps these days. Learned the hard way
    That's a good point, MSC. So if a loop is attached but not soldered, do you just remove the loop and attach your necklace directly to the clasp? So far I've preferred clasps which come with loops, but I haven't looked closely to see if they're just jump rings squeezed shut.

  15. #15
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    Stringing onto a ring that is attached to a clasp takes some of the strain off both the clasp and the thread. I would not remove rings attached to clasps, personally, not even unsoldered rings.

    The garnets are faceted, in answer to your question, but even smooth, unfaceted beads may have rough edges of drill holes.
    I've never had beading wire break.

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