April 29, 2010

Silk Knotting with Pearls

So do you just adore pearls? Are you a closet-Jackie O fan who made wearing pearls and owning a pill box hat a must in the early 1960's. Maybe you were too young to remember who she was but still think pearls are neat! Whatever the reason, I finally sated my pearl fetish and took a class on how to knot a pearl necklace. And I am telling you, it was easier and quicker than stringing beads! And the look is just so classical!

A friend of mine lent me her gray pearls to re-string. This was a belated Christmas gift to her and it cost me under $15 to make. I used a sterling silver clasp and bead caps, plus gray #6 silk thread. The trick is the preparation and a good beading tweezer. [Do not use an eyebrow tweezer...invest in the $10-12 and get beading tweezers!] To prep your silk thread is to damped the length with water and stretch it tight. Skipping this important step will cause your thread to stretch after knotting and you will have gaps between your precious pearls.

Silk thread is the strongest thread you can use. Cotton threads can fray and break from stringing after a time. If you do not have silk thread, I would condition your thread with beeswax. Some silk thread products already come with a needle attached so saves the work of threading. Also be sure you buy the correct size thread that will allow your pearls to slide through. A #4 or #6 are standard for 8mm pearls.

If you'd rather do this in a class room setting, google a bead store near you or check out an instructional video on YouTube. [Note: You can practice with round glass beads first until you get the tension you desire.]

And just so you know, if you take your pearls to a jeweler to knot, they can charge up to $5-6 an inch! Imagine that! It's less work than you think. And if you use sterling silver clasps as the one I used above, it will bring added value to your necklace. Try it and let me know how you did or if you have any questions, just email me at DorajiDesign@gmail.com

Next blog, using two mediums such as yarn and beads to make an elegant beaded fringe scarf - get out those knitting needles!

Happy beading!