Tips for Designing Collar Necklaces?

Apr 19, 2013

One of the themed sections in our Fall '13 issue of Jewelry Stringing magazine is going to be Collar and Bib Necklaces:

This structure-driven design trend has been one of the smash hits of jewelry fashion as of late, and I am itching to try my hand at making one. I'm a little intimidated, however, but the heightened level of planning and engineering that is required to make a piece with panels. While different designers have interpreted this style in a variety of ways (some hang long dangles from a chain necklace to create a curtain effect, while others wire beads together to create a more fixed shape), the measurements and calculations that come into play must be very specific and very accurate in order to achieve a successful design. 

We curated a Pinterest collection of inspiring designs to help guide our contributors as they created pieces to submit, and I have been perusing it for design ideas, but still feel a little bit like I am jumping into the deep end with this project..

Have any of you experimented with collar/bib necklaces? Any helpful tips or tricks to pass on?

Happy weekend!

Chloe


Related Posts
+ Add a comment

Comments

on Apr 22, 2013 8:13 PM

I have made a few of these type of necklaces and when I make one that is more complicated than just strands, I use my metal necklace mandrel. I check my multi-strand necklaces on this and I have used it to actually make a bib necklace, since it was a new design for me (most are) and I wanted to make sure it would lay correctly when worn. This mandrel may have been expensive, but I have found it is worth it to make sure my designs work.

Sgolbert wrote
on Apr 27, 2013 9:24 AM

Since most of my collar necklaces are based on beaded band I have made, I find it very useful to mark the center and other points with tiny safety pins. This way, I have a guide as to where my fringe is the longest or where it will start to change length. If the 'fringe' part is very complex, then I will mark the points with a thread, so the safety pin will not interfere with my hanging pieces.

Sgolbert wrote
on Apr 27, 2013 9:24 AM

Since most of my collar necklaces are based on beaded band I have made, I find it very useful to mark the center and other points with tiny safety pins. This way, I have a guide as to where my fringe is the longest or where it will start to change length. If the 'fringe' part is very complex, then I will mark the points with a thread, so the safety pin will not interfere with my hanging pieces.

BeadPassions wrote
on Apr 27, 2013 1:03 PM

Years ago I made what I called my "Peacock Necklace" because of the blue, purple, green and AB beads I used.  The top was made with bugle beads in ladder stitch, and the bib was fringe that was long in the front and gradually got shorter on the sides.  I shaded the colors from greens to blues to purples in a very "peacocky" look with crystals at the end of each fringe.  It was quite lovely -- I was delightfully surprised!  Simple to do, really.  My advice is to use the smallest needle possible and reinforce as much as possible.  By the way, that necklace sold at a small specialty shop on Union Street in San Francisco for a startlingly large amount of money!

ctutt wrote
on Apr 28, 2013 12:12 PM

When I was working for a goldsmith I learned about 'reticulated' jewelry: if a collar piece is made up of heavy rigid segments, some of them must be curved to fit properly against the wearer's body. Segments in back are ALMOST flat; segments fitted on each side must be curved to allow for the shape of the neck. Only the focal segment  and one on each side in the front are flat.  

SandraJ@20 wrote
on Apr 28, 2013 2:29 PM

Thanks for this info.  Another thing I've wondered  about....is there some formula for  increasing/decreasing beads to make a necklace curve correctly and lay nicely around the neck...especially a bib-style???

Dana Lynn wrote
on Apr 28, 2013 4:55 PM

I found a book on Amazon I am going to be purchasing. Titled, "Beaded Collars: 10 Decorative Neckpieces...", by Julia Pretl. I believe this is exactly what you're looking for. She talks about templates, and using a compass and a calculator.