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Best thread

Cormorant

New Member
Joined
May 20, 2015
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2
Hello all: Newbie here. I had a client ask me to knot a pearl necklace, this was my first time. I did not do terrible, to my surprise. I purchased my thread at a local craft shop. I noticed the thread will stretch a bit. I understand this is normal.
My question is what is the best thread I can use for knotting pearls?
Thank you
 

pattye

Pearl Scholar
Joined
Dec 26, 2005
Messages
11,286
Cormorant,

Welcome and Congratulations on your successful knotting! Did you use the "how to knot pearls" tutorials here? What kind of thread did you use? Silk is the most traditional material, but there are many synthetics available. Do you think you will be knotting more pearls? Do you have a pearl business?
 

Pearl Dreams

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Joined
Sep 24, 2007
Messages
8,949
The best thread may vary according to the color and size of the pearls and the weight of the strand as a whole (longer = heavier.)

The traditional material of course is silk, which comes in so many colors and thicknesses and has a lovely drape. It also stretches, absorbs skin oils and moisture, and weakens. The necklace will need restringing.

If stringing a heavier necklace I would reach for synthetics.
There are various ones but the ones I've come to like using are:

Power Pro (fishing line!)
Advantages:
• Very strong
• Doesn't stretch; can be washed and doesn't get weakened from being wet.
• Comes in different thicknesses so you can use it for larger, heavier pearls. For pearls up to about 11mm I've used 20# test. Comes in 30#, 50#, 65# and perhaps others also.
• Also come in fine thicknesses so it's good for small pearls with small holes. 10# test
• There is no twist in it so it doesn't tangle as easily as twisted threads can.
• Unwanted knots can be picked out fairly easily.

Disadvantages:
• Size 20# and up can be rougher on the hands if one knots a lot.
• Only comes in White and Moss Green. This is its greatest disadvantage.

Pattye's Serafil thread or Beaders Secret thread

Polyester thread. Sourced in Europe, it's used to sew parachute material, airbags etc.
See my stringing tutorial, post #2, for sources.

Advantages:
• Comes in an assortment of colors.
• Is about the same size as 20# Power Pro, so is a good size for most pearls.
• It is strong: 12# test.
• Doesn't stretch, can get wet, pearls can be washed to remove sweat etc.
• Is silky smooth and slippery so the knots glide into place easily. This is great for beginners.

Disadvantages:
• if your pearl have larger holes you'll have to double up the threads as it is not being sold in larger sizes. This is its biggest disadvantage.
• (minor) It tangles a bit more easily than Power Pro as it does have a twist in it, but the knots are also easier to get out than for silk.

Pattye, feel free to comment on your thread!
 
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kojimapearl

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 13, 2007
Messages
406
Great thread thread! Thanks for all the pros and cons.. I love that.
I have traditionally used what we call "ceramic thread".. it is something we buy in Japan and it is supple and doesn't stretch.. but only comes in white.
Ever since Pattye introduced me to Beader's Secret.. I am a true convert. I love the colors, I love the way it knots, and wears. Thank you Pattye!!
 

pattye

Pearl Scholar
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Dec 26, 2005
Messages
11,286
Pattye, feel free to comment on your thread!

Well, in reply to Cormorant, in my opinion, there is not just one “best thread” that works for all knotting. However, it is so rewarding to know that many have taught themselves to knot with the great tutorials by Caitlin and Pearl Dreams and tips here on P-G and over on PS forums.

That said, many, many thanks to everyone who uses and endorses Beader’s Secret thread, Sarah, Pearl Dreams, Ckrickett and so many others! The 2nd anniversary of selling thread on etsy was last month, with over 2000 cards sold (every one wound by me), and many spools, too. This has been quite an adventure and I so appreciate your support and encouragement!

A thicker size is now available on etsy, 0.45mm, in limited colors. Size #30, at 0.37mm, works well doubled with average holes (approx. 0.70mm) found in most pearl strands.

The back story: an insider’s tip that a very reputable international company was using this brand to string their pearls led me eventually to the US distributor. As PD mentioned, this is a commercial product designed to sew parachutes, leather goods, upholstery, airbags and much more which has been adopted for stringing.

Because the thread is comprised of many fine continuous threads, it is silky and strong, stretch resistant, without fuzzy knots, has a great drape with knots that slide into place plus a measurable break strength.

A new color chart is a work in progress, with 51 colors.

P1000081.jpg
 
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CathyKeshi

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 16, 2014
Messages
4,476
Love Beaders' Secret ... Love Pattye :) I had NO success knotting pearls till I found both last year!
 

Pearl Dreams

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Sep 24, 2007
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Pattye, do you ever use colors other than black for Tahitians? Like Forest, Bark, or Coal?
 

pattye

Pearl Scholar
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Dec 26, 2005
Messages
11,286
PD, Yes, BLACK for the very dark Tahitians, COAL, at times, and even STORM AND SMOKE for silvery and very light strands. BARK is a little too brown for any T's I've run across so far, but would be great with chocolate Tahitians!

Used NIGHT for a strand of blue T's, it was perfect! WINE was purchased by someone to use with cherry Tahitians, and also FOREST and OLIVE. Recall seeing one of these green shades with cherry Tahitians, they looked amazing! Usually I'm doing custom work, so don't go crazy with the colors.

Thank you, CathyKeshi, I recall the sweet story of the pearl necklace you knotted for a friend.

Anyone, what is the most unusual color combo of pearls/thread you've knotted? (Doesn't have to be with Beader's Secret.)

Ahhh, I'm feeling a "Challenge" coming on; I've been wanting to make a necklace or two with contrasting pearls/beads and thread. We haven't done a challenge for a long time, anyone else game? If so, I will start a new thread about it.
 
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amti

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May 26, 2014
Messages
1,845
I am interested in attempting to restring a 35-40 inch strand of 7mm akoyas. The silk broke right next to my clasp about 1 1/2 years ago and it has been looking at me with pitiful, neglected eyes. What size thread do you recommend? I originally thought Power Pro, but due to the length, I'm wondering if Beader's Secret might be a better choice for a newbie. The strand is 35 years old and is something my grandmother purchased at my request. She bought three strands and knotted them for me several times before she passed away. I have a matching double stranded bracelet and pearls from the set too. I'm hoping to learn how to restring pearls so I can play around with different designs and am really excited to learn and grateful for everyone's input on how to do this! Thank you!

Edited bc I didn't get the names correct, and to add one more question:

Can I just use white or should I use a color better matched to the pearls?
 

Pearl Dreams

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Sep 24, 2007
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amti, having used Pattye's Serafil thread and Beaders Secret, I can tell you that the regular size (i.e. not the "heavy") thread is just fine for the 7mm pearls you want to restring. It's a great thread for a newbie-- so easy to place the knots correctly with it.

The color chart is good, but if you look at Pattye's actual Etsy page with photos of the threads, you may be able to figure out which color is closest to that of your pearls -- white, ivory or cream.
https://www.etsy.com/shop/PatriciaS...r=date_desc&view_type=gallery&ref=shop_search
 
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pattye

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Dec 26, 2005
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11,286
Amti,

You have lots of knotting mentors here! As far as colors, unless your pearls are a "paper" white, ivory (off white) or cream will likely blend better, no matter what type thread you use. A knot made in 2 strands of Beader's Secret, size #30 is just under 1mm, very small but larger than the drill hole in most cultured pearls.

You have some very special pearls; how wonderful your Grandmother knew how to knot; now you will carry on that tradition! We would love to see photos of your pearls.
 
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amti

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May 26, 2014
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Thanks! I will dig them out and post pictures. Not sure when I can actually start on knotting them since I haven't purchased anything yet. But this gives me hope that I can wear my pearls again without my clasp that holds the pearls together in different areas (is there a name for this?).
 

Cormorant

New Member
Joined
May 20, 2015
Messages
2
Wow. Thank you all for the wonderful information. In response to pattye: I have used the silk thread from Michaels, yes I will be knotting more pearls with hopes to get some more requests from clients. No, at the time I did not read any how to's from any sites. I will however do so on this site when I have more time. I have ordered some of your beaders secret. And will try to find some good quality silk, so if a client requests silk I will know where to go. Another question: when stretching the silk thread, is it best to do this before knotting the necklace? And I will not have to do this with the beaders secret, correct?
 

Pearl Dreams

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Sep 24, 2007
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Pattye's Serafil thread and Beaders Secret don't stretch, so they don't need to be pre-stretched. Neither does Power Pro.

Silk stretches, so if you pre-stretch it before knotting, it should reduce the amount of stretching after it's knotted.
 
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