Restring Pearls

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Pam wrote
on Sep 7, 2008 6:08 PM

 I have a lovely 2 strand pearl bracelet that I wish to restring as the clasp has pulled off. The stringing material that the pearls are on looks like a soft string!!!(it is quite old) So what do you think I should use. I have thought of softflex for its strength but I'm not sure that the bracelet would 'sit' right.

I will appreciate any suggestions

Regards Pam

 Just let me  happy.

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crookshanks wrote
on Sep 7, 2008 6:22 PM

 You should be able to use any beadingwire...Just check how heavy it is and how thick the holes are to choose which size...

Probably not very helpful, but that's what I think :-)


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SCB1 wrote
on Sep 7, 2008 7:36 PM

Are you going to just string them on beading wire, or are you wanting to knot them? If you want to knot them try this tutorial.

I just googled "pearl knotting" and came up with this one and several more.

Happy Beading!!


Small-town USA. 




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jpb66 wrote
on Sep 7, 2008 8:00 PM


Just some extra info to add to the other replys...If the pearls are real and you are knotting I have always used silk. This what I have learned to use, as I have to knot pearls for my husband. He is a bench jeweler. That will usually add on about 1/2" to 1" to your bracelet.. When you knot, the knots will make the bracelet look a bit tight but it always stretches as time goes by. That's why you have to knot tightly, no spaces between the pearls and knotsunless it is part of your design.

If you are just stringing the pearls, then I prefer nylon thread. It is strong and strings nice. Have Fun!


on Sep 8, 2008 12:37 AM

  Another suggestion:  if you choose not to knot between your pearls, you might consider adding a seed bead between them to keep them from rubbing together (that's the purpose of the knot, anyway).  The seed beads can also add just a hint of color/sparkle to your design depending on what you use.  I've done this on a few pieces and it looks good.  If I'm doing it for someone else, I usually ask their preference.  For knotting, I usually use silk thread as well.  Hope that helps!


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Billy Z wrote
on Sep 8, 2008 1:27 AM

 In my opinion, real pearls go on real silk cording and are knotted. That's just the way they are supposed to be. Nowutimeen?

 Billy ;o)

 I yam wut I yam and dats all wut I yam. ~Popeye~

Dragonfly Jewelry Designs - ArtFire Artisan Studio


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DebWAZ wrote
on Sep 8, 2008 4:02 PM

Alastar Dragonfly:

 In my opinion, real pearls go on real silk cording and are knotted. That's just the way they are supposed to be. Nowutimeen?

 Billy ;o)

Real pearls knotted on real silk cord is the traditional way to do them. Knots prevent the pearls from rubbing against each other and IF the strand breaks, at most you only lose a pearl or 2. However - silk is organic, it stretches and subjecting it to sunlight, body oils, normal body dirt and sweat causes it to decay. It is not moisture proof, which also causes rot/decay and breakage. IF they are "good" sea/cultured pearls, if they are antique or vintage and you have the original clasp and want to maintain their value then, by all means, knot them on silk. If it was my choice for a vintage piece, I'd pay someone to knot them.Re-stringing and/or knotting pearls yourself could reduce the value of antique or vintage pearls.

From a bead store owner's perspective, silk is a pain to stock. Because it's an organic thread, it does have a shelf life. We have no demand for silk thread here, so a minimum order from our supplier would sit on the shelves and literally rot before we sell a card or two!

My DH (aka "the jeweler") bought me a strand of pearls before we got married and I wanted to string them to wear at the wedding. (This was years before we started the bead store.)  I wanted to add some gold or crystal as highlights and was told by DH in no uncertain terms that it was to be pearls on silk - PERIOD! "Those aren't any old 'gaudy beads', those are GOOD pearls!" he said.

I couldn't find any silk in any of the local stores (see two paragraphs above for why) and really didn't want to pay by the inch to have them strung professionally. I finally used Beadalon Dandyline (which is a braided cord that is UV, abrasion and moisture resistant and has almost no stretch. (I sneaked in a couple of gold spacers for a little "kick", too! <LOL>) I didn't knot them, though I should have. Regardless of the "should haves", I've been very happy with the result, but I AM considering re-stringing them with some of the gorgeous AAA grade amethyst faceted rondelles that we just got in for spacers.

However, when stringing or restringing freshwater pearls, my opinion is that just about anything goes. Crystals, seed beads, strung on flex wire, thread/silk or whatever strikes your fancy - even the dreaded stretch. ::shudder:: One of the best flex wires when it comes to pearls is the SoftTouch wire.  In .010" it is SO soft and flexible, it's like thread. The SoftFlex company touts that you can even knot pearls with it. .010" diameter is fine enough to go through the smallest hole, too - without a needle!

::disclaimer:: no relation to or association with SoftFlex, just a store that sells their products once in a while.

Anyway - that's my 2 cents on pearls and stringing.

Deb - AZ Bead Depot





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Pam wrote
on Sep 8, 2008 7:41 PM

 Thankyou all so much for your replies. I have noted several suggestions. There is a craft show on this week where there will be many suppliers of beading components so I will go armed with your valuable suggestions and see what I can find.

Not quite sure as to the monetary value of the pearls on the bracelet but the sentimental value of the piece is high so I want to do the thing well.Star

 Just let me  happy.

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SoftFlexGuy wrote
on Sep 9, 2008 1:41 PM


  If you decide to use Soft Flex, our general rule of thumb is to use the largest diameter possible that will fit through the bead channels once.

  If you were just designing a necklace with pearls, our .014 diameter is a great choice. If you are creating a bracelet, you will need something more durable as the action of the jewelry on the wrist can be harsh on the wire. .019 would be your best bet as our largest diameter would probably not fit through the pearls.

  If you are concerned about the drape of the piece, our Soft Touch Wire will be more similar to silk than our original Soft Flex Wire. Soft Touch is about 50% softer in it's drape, but has the same strength of Soft Flex.

  If you are going to design a traditional pearl piece - knotting between the pearls - you might want to consider silk. Our wire is knottable, but it may not lay the way you want it to with knots between each pearl.

Happy Beading!

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Pam wrote
on Sep 9, 2008 11:26 PM

 Thankyou 'Mr. Softflex" another addition to the list to check out. As I am in Australia I cant take up on the offer of free samplesSmile but appreciate the information on the soft touch wire. I was wondering how the drape would be effected by a different stringing material.

Thanks again to you all

 Just let me  happy.

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