Friday, April 18, 2008
I use a variety of cord in my work. Here is a run down on each type and where I get it. Photo above shows C-lon nylon beading cord in the front row and Omega Brand Crochet Thread #2 in the back row. See below for more information.
C-lon nylon beading cord:
I discovered this cord this past January. I love it. Its gauge is narrow enough to fit through most size 11 seed beads (without too much difficulty). It comes in 64 colors and being nylon, it is durable. Although it is nylon, it has an organic look when knotted into jewelry. It runs a bit stiff, giving body to whatever piece I use in in. I get my C-lon beading cord at Jewels in Fiber.
They have now come out with C-lon Micro cord, so far in only 8 colors. I have not yet tried it...but I want to. It is apparently even narrower gauge than regular C-lon bead cord.
Bonded Twine a.k.a. Macrame Beading Cord:
This cord is a heavier gauge than all the other I am listing. It is too heavy a gauge to use with size 11 seed beads, but will often work with size 10 seed beads. I use this cord in designs that don't need the tiny seed beads and for items that need a bit of heft. I think this is a great cord for beginners. So far, the only place I know to get Bonded Twine is at Fire Mountain Gems. It comes in 14 colors.
Mastex Nylon #18:
So far I have only tried Mastex Nylon #18 once. (Also at Jewels in Fiber.) It has a narrower gauge than regular C-lon and is not as stiff. The suppleness will be good for designs that need less body but more draping qualities. I plan to try it some more, I just have not gotten around to it yet. It comes in 24 colors.
Omega Brand Nylon Crochet Thread #2:
I used this for years before I discovered C-lon bead cord. It has a slightly heavier gauge, which sometimes makes it difficult to thread through the holes in some brands of size 11 seed beads. Dynamite brand seed beads are the most reliable (in hole size), that I have found, for this cord. (I will discuss seed beads in future article.) It is supple and works great for items that need to drape (i.e. my "Spirals Lariat Necklace"). I also use it in my beaded crochet pieces. It comes in 80 colors, many quite vibrant. I first found it at my local Hobby Lobby store, but they did not always have it in stock or they did not always have the colors I wanted. I have since found this online source for Omega Brand Nylon Crochet Thread #2, but I have not yet ordered from this site.
Cotton crochet thread:
I used cotton crochet thread when I first began micro macrame. As an avid crocheter, it was what I had on hand. Its narrow gauge makes it easy to put through the holes in pretty much any size 11 seed bead (and some smaller sizes). It comes in a wide variety of colors. It holds its shape well when knotted into various designs. The main drawback is that if using beads with sharp edges around the holes (i.e. certain gemstone beads and many crystal beads), the cotton crochet thread will fray, eventually causing your work to fall apart. Cotton is organic and will eventually degrade. But if you use beads with smooth holes and take good care of jewelry pieces made with it, they should last for some time. I still consider cotton crochet thread to be a viable alternative in some pieces. I get mine at hobby stores, Walmart, etc.