Making head and tails of beads and jewelry supplies is challenging when starting with DIY jewelry and beading. Luckily, we at Xinar have worked tirelessly over the past twenty years to bring the best jewelry-making supplies to the world. Xinar offers a wide selection of beads and findings, including sterling silver beads, sterling silver findings, copper beads, copper findings, gold-filled beads, and so much more.
While practice is the most critical aspect of beading, knowing some technical aspects is essential to get you off to a better start.
Working with Beads and Jewelry Supplies: Needles and Wires
What do the numbers on needle packets and wire packages mean?
The rule that wire, seed beads, and beading needles follow is that the greater the number, the smaller the bead, needle, or wire. This may assist you in remembering. A size 12 would be smaller than a size ten needle, and an 11° seed bead is smaller than an 8°. Likewise, 26-gauge wire is also smaller than 22-gauge.
Why is it so difficult to thread beading needles?
Unlike a conventional sewing needle, a beading needle’s eye is made to be exceedingly thin to fit through a bead as many times as possible. You need better needles in your beads and jewelry supplies. The eye of the shorter needles, known as sharps, is almost as narrow as the shaft. A needle can move the fibers to the side to create extra space for the eye while sewing on a typical woven or knit cloth.
Glass beads, however, have a limited amount of interior space, so for some stitches, you’ll go through the same bead more than once. In addition, you’ll go through beads more often when you add a new thread. It would help if you had a needle with a thin eye to make these stitches.
There are many sizes of beading needles, ranging from 10 (the biggest) to 15. (the smallest). Since it is more robust and more straightforward to thread, you should generally choose the giant needle that fits your project. However, always have a few smaller needles available if you come upon a tight space.
Rest confident that the width of the needle, not the thread you’re using, is the leading cause of your inability to get through beads. However, it’s always preferable to pause and change needles than to run the danger of shattering a bead by forcing the needle through it. You may gently use chain nose pliers to slide the needle through a tight bead. When you attempt to thread the needle through one of your lovely seed beads one more time, it breaks with a sickening little “pop.” You don’t want it to happen, I’m sure of it.
What’s the most challenging part of beading?
The most challenging aspect of beading, according to teachers, is learning how to thread the needle.
1. After flattening and removing stretch from the thread between your hands, trim the end of the thread with a clean, angled cut using a pair of sharp scissors.
2. Saturate the thread’s tip (usually by licking it). Another option is to attempt to moisten the needle’s eye.
3. Make the thread tip flat. I like to use my thumb and index finger instead of others who do it between their teeth.
4. With only 1/8″ of the thread showing and the flat side upright, hold the thread in your dominant hand between the thumb and index fingertip.
5. Hold the needle in the other hand so that you can see into the eye and the eye is towards you.
6. Insert the thread’s tip into the needle’s eye. or put the thread through the needle. Try both approaches and decide which is more effective for you. Again, a white backdrop is beneficial.
Because the larger needle also has a somewhat longer eye, you might find beading needles to be simpler to thread than sharps. However, an ultrafine needle-threading tool works with needles up to size 13 and tiny threads if you find it challenging to perfect the skill. Most conventional needle threaders are too big to fit within the beading needle’s narrow eye. However, it will get more straightforward if you keep practicing.
Why is it sometimes simpler to thread my needle from one side than the other?
Needles have two distinct sides, which is a trade secret—stamping a hole in the needle shaft results in the needle’s eye.
This leads to a smoother hole on one side than the other, even in the most excellent English-made steel needles. So, turn the needle over and try the other side if you have difficulties threading it.
Check the eye to determine if it could be blocked with wax if you’ve been dealing with waxed thread. If so, carefully remove the wax with the point of a second needle before attempting to rethread.
When should I substitute a sharp needle of the same size with a beading needle?
A sharpness resembles a beading needle but is shorter. Therefore, you may require a long needle when taking up several beads at once to weave fringe or when weaving the needle completely over a broad bracelet. However, any needle works fine when picking up one or two beads at once, as is the case for most off-loom woven beading; it just depends on preference.
When I can, I use a sharp. However, I can’t help but imagine that passing that extra 1″ of metal through every thread must add up to miles of additional effort when crafting a piece that takes thousands of stitches.
What are needles with large or big eyes used for?
A large-eyed needle from your beads and jewelry supplies has an eye that runs the length of the needle and terminates in sharp points. These needles have an extended eye that makes them very simple to thread. They are available in two lengths, ranging from 214″ to 412″. To separate the wires and insert the thread, gently press a fingernail vertically into the eye.
Some beaders enjoy the large-eyed needles, which are sold under various brand names, and use them whenever feasible, especially those who detest threading beading needles.
For example, when stringing beads for bead-crochet ropes, I adore using these needles. Although the thread is too thick to pass through a beading needle, the wider eyes can hold a lot of thread in their lengthy, flexible aperture.
Large-eyed needles aren’t the most excellent option for many beading tasks. They bend too quickly and are too thick for various styles of bead weaving. Also, remember that you must handle your large-eyed needles with greater care than a standard steel needle. These needles’ eyes are kept together by a soldered joint, which can shatter if you pull too hard.
What can you use if your thread is too big for the needle?
Consider using a dental floss threader or a twisted wire needle with a sizable collapsible eye. When you drag a twisted wire needle through the first bead, the eye flattens and can handle thicker thread.
After the eye has collapsed, if you’re having trouble rethreading it, gently press the eye open again with the blunt end of a tapestry needle. A twisted wire needle may be reused several times if handled correctly.
Alternately, you might attempt the following tip, which is helpful if you need to string beads on a thicker thread with a narrower needle:
1. Start by threading a brief piece of fine beading thread through the eye of a standard beading needle (size 10 or 12), then knotting the ends.
2. Thread beads onto the needle by sliding them over the thread loop and onto the crochet thread, then thread the more extensive crochet thread (or other thread) through the loop.
3. Continue to use the needle with the tied-on loop still attached.
The Multitude – Of Threads
Why are there such a large variety of beading thread types? How do I pick the right thread?
Indeed, there are now more thread kinds available than ever before for those who adore beads. There was just one kind of thread available in the early 1980s, when the current beading renaissance was just getting started: Nymo. Two colors—black and white—were offered for sale.
These days, a wide variety of sizes and strengths of thread are sold in retailers. Each one tends to be used for certain beading and has somewhat distinct characteristics. For example, projects combining bead embroidery, loom weaving, and off-loom weaving typically employ beading threads. However, flexible beading wire performs better in most stringing tasks (such as bracelets and necklaces).
These days, nylon and gel-spun polyethylene make up the majority of beading threads.
Because it will show up a little between beads, we might choose a thread that complements the color of the beads for various designs. Sometimes we need the strongest, smoothest, and thinnest thread readily accessible. And occasionally, we utilize whatever is available. This is how we establish our preferred thread types—by experimenting with them to see which tangles the least with our preferred needle grip and which is most effective for a particular job.