I am making double needle/single thread RAW bracelets with fireline
(atm). I just don't feel as if the fireline is strong enough. I know a
little about flexrite and very little about soft flex. They almost sound like they
are in the same family? I like these because they are knottable. I don't
like the idea of crimp beads showing up at the end of an elegant piece.Any information is helpful!!
I use fireline for my raw with crystal bracelets and have no problem but I do go back and reinforce the entire piece to add strength as crystal is hard on any line. Also I like adding a little 15 on each side of the crystals to help them be a little easier on the line at the edges of the crystals. The little beads will help protect the line and it keeps you from having as tight a tension on that crystal edge.
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I do the same as Michelle with crystals and fireline...and with weaving back into the piece instead of just tying a knot at the end. Regardless of the thread or beads used, it is very important to reinforce beadwoven work by weaving back into the piece...several times.
I would not trust that one knot to hold everything together, even with glue...if that knot breaks or a thread slips out somehow, the entire piece is compromised. Whereas if you weave back into the work numerous times and follow different thread paths, and maybe even tie a bunch of half hitch knots along the way, you will have many more threads holding it together. Then if one thread happens to break or one knot comes undone you will have a chance to save the work before it all comes apart!
As far as flexrite vs softflex...I rarely use stringing wire for anything so I don't know a whole lot about it but It sounds like flexrite is probably similar to softflex though.
All of these flexible beading wires are ultimately the same thing with different brand names, diameters and weights etc. Some are better than others, also it could depend on the project. I know that Soft Flex has a pretty good reputation and is also a little more expensive than some other brands...but I don't know anything about flexrite.
I have read that you are supposed to be able to beadweave with the smaller diameter sizes of Soft Touch which is another beading wire made by the Soft Flex company. It sounds like something I would like to experiment with. It could be useful in some beadweaving situations.
In terms of tying knots with these wires, I am sure they are knotable to a degree but I dont know that it would look any better than a crimp would for finishing. I also don't know if it would hold as strong as a crimp either.
Sorry if this doesn't actually answer your questions...maybe some of our experienced stringers can weigh in on this too!
If you have any questions, we offer live chat on our site and have plenty of email contacts to field questions.
Soft Flex is a marine quality stainless steel. It is flexible enough that you can knot every diameter we carry - we do suggest crimping for a more professional finish, though.
Soft Flex can be used for weaving, stitching, and embellishing as well as stringing.
It can be used with knitting spools and Kumihimo boards and is flexible enough that you can macrame with our medium diameter. We have lots of free project ideas to get a sense of what our wire is capable of, check them out!
Thank you everyone for your input. I decided to get Soft Flex from my LBS. I decided on medium (.019/30ft). I am going to try knotting the wire onto a magnetic clasp, which was the reason I really wanted to get a knottable beading wire. I don't see how else I can attach the wire...I just don't see it...
Thank you Soft Flex Guy for answering some of these questions here!
Rosy, one other piece of advice when attaching a clasp. You never want to crimp or tie your jewelry piece directly to a clasp. If you crimp your wire or tie your thread to a closed jumpring first (with or without a wire/thread guard or french wire) you can then attach one or several open jump rings to this and then attach the clasp to the open jump rings.
This is an important step in jewelry making. It helps you be able to adjust the length without taking apart the finished piece. It gives you a breakaway point which is very important for the safety of the wearer and the jewelry. This will extend the life of your jewelry (especially if it gets caught on something) and give it a much more polished finishing touch.
Even if you are beadweaving you will want to finish your piece by weaving in your working thread and then start a new thread to attach any clasps.
You should order some samples from SoftFlex...they will send you free samoles of several different sizes so you can see what the difference in the wires!
you may want to also buy, 2 Tornado crimps or 2x2 SS crimp and 2 wire guards (looks like little horse shoes). Tornado crimps do not need crimpers, just a pair of pliers.
you run your wire through the crimp, through the wire guard (hooking that over the end of clasp), back through the wire guard and back through the crimps. run the end of the line through two beads if possible and clamp. squish the crimp with the pliers and then cut the end of the loose wire off as tight as you can.
that should give you a fairly finished look. if your clasp is to big for the wire guard, you can add a jump ring to make the connection.
the best crimps are Sterling Silver, Vermeil (gold over silver) or Copper.
check YouTube for videos on this type of project.
hope this helps