Beading with stone beads or magnetic hematite beads can be fun, but many people don’t like using beading wire to make jewelry. Beading wire can be rigid and people wanting jewelry that fits snugly, but not tightly use stretch cord for beading.
If you’re considering purchasing stretch cord for your jewelry making, we’ll help you by taking a look at the various types available and the pros and cons of both. Beading wire is a great medium for jewelry, but some people like the convenience of stretch cords.
Types of Stretch Cord for Beading
Similar to beading wire, stretch cord can be used for every type of beading jewelry from stretch bracelets to finger rings. They offer a flexibility that beading wire can’t match. There are several different types of stretch cord available.
Rubber Cord - One of the most common varieties is a single strand of rubber cord. Also like beading wire, it comes in a variety of sizes to fit small and large beads. This type of cord is good but can be a difficult knot. Have you ever tried knotting a balloon or other rubber object? It can easily slip and come undone with slight pull.
You can keep this from happening by using more advanced knotting techniques, but most people don’t know them. Instead, some people knot the bracelet or necklace and place a small dab of superglue on it to make sure it stays knotted.
Weaved Stretch Cord - The second type of stretch cord is several strands of a stretchable material woven together. These are usually reserved for small bead sizes, but they hold their shape well compared to other types of stretch cord.
This multiple stand makeup also makes it easier to knot and have the knot stay. The downside of this particular type is when it gets older the threads fray. This not only lowers the structural integrity of the jewelry but also makes it look bad. No one wants to see frayed string on their jewelry. The good news is this is the cheapest of the stretch cord types available.
Elastic Core Stretch Cord - The last type of stretch corn has an elastic core, but covered in some type of fiber like polyester. These come in not only a variety of sizes but also colors. They are often used in hair jewelry because the cord can be part of the overall look of the scrunchie or another accessory.
The biggest issue with this particular bead is the difficulty with knotting. The fibers easily slip and can make the knot slip. It’s also a bit thicker, so you’re not going to hide the knot easily as you would with the other varieties.
Benefits of Using Stretch Cord over Beading Wire
When choosing what material to use, remember that both are capable of creating beautiful jewelry. One of the biggest advantages of stretch cord is flexibility.
Even the thinnest beading wire is going to be stiff compared to stretch cord. The wire is designed to hold its shape over time, but stretch cord provides a snugger and more comfortable fit because it closes around the body without being overly constricting.
Stretch cord also costs less than beading wire. You can get more mileage out of stretch cord than beading wire. You’re also losing out on strength.
The Problems of Stretch Cord
The biggest downside of stretch cord is its strength when compared to beading wire. Beading wire may get bent of shape with the occasional tug, but stretch cord can break. The flexibility the cord affords also makes it easy to break.
With elastic cord covered in fiber, the elastic can break, but not the fiber and then it’s difficult to maintain shape.
The Choice is Up To You
Stretch cord may lack the strength of beading wire, but its flexibility makes it a great choice for many types of jewelry. If you’re creating something inexpensive, the stretch cord is appropriate. If you’re creating jewelry that has precious or semi-precious stone beads, then choose beading wire.
The ease of breakage for stretch cord makes it a poor choice for expensive or unique beads. You don’t want to lose them because it got caught on someone else’s clothes or on a door.
If you want to learn more about beading and the types of beads available, then please explore our site.