something to think about..

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Emma.J wrote
on Feb 23, 2012 1:32 AM

Hey guys, I need you all to put your thinking caps on for me..

The last night my room mate, Trent was admiring one of the necklaces I have recently made and he was explaining to me that he thinks I should really specify that the beads will not lose their colour when I'm trying to sell them. He said "You need to let people know, coz I might look at that and think 'Oh, its pretty.. but the colour will disappear when I wear it in the shower' and walk away." And I said to him, "Well obviously, you wouldn't wear something like this in the shower!"

But it made me think... Is it really that obvious?

It made me question whether or not I should put on a 'Caring for your Jewellery' tag on each of my pieces.. But would I then lose customers to the thought of "If there is a tag there then it must be prone to breaking".. I don't want to say that the colour WILL fade or the thread WILL wear and snap, but there may be a possibilty of these things happening if they get excessively wet, or if they get doused in perfume..

Where can I find that balance of be careful with this piece without scaring off customers?


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Sharon Mc wrote
on Feb 23, 2012 8:51 AM

I personally think that most people will not worry about the beads losing their color in the shower and therefore do not need an explanation beforehand. On the other hand I do think people want to know how to care for their jewelry once they buy the pieces. For example: How to care for Sterling Silver or How to care for Gold Plate. If the bead is a gemstone or expensive then you might want to include care instructions after purchase.  I plan on having care instructions on the back of my business card as I've heard this gives the person a reason to keep the card and gives the care instructions--two birds with one stone so to speak. There are probably much more knowledgable opinions on the subject out there.


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on Feb 23, 2012 9:36 AM

When I was selling my finished beadwork at farmer's markets and local craft shows, I didn't attach the information to the tag, but I had small slips of paper titled "Caring For Your Beadwork" that I included in every box and bag that gave helpful tips on how to get the most out of the handmade jewelry that the customer had purchased. Things like, "Don't wear it in the shower, don't expose it to perfumes or harsh cleaners, clean with a soft cloth or small toothbrush", etc. My customers were very appreciative of the information, considering how much they were spending on their purchase!

On that note, I think that if you use beads that have been dyed or where the color might rub off or otherwise come off, you should ALWAYS note that to the customer. I once made a series of necklaces and bracelets using dyed coral, and I let everyone know before they bought that yes, the color might run if exposed to water (like getting caught outside in the rain) or that the color might fade quickly if exposed to direct sunlight for long periods of time. It didn't hurt my sales, and my customers were very appreciative of the information.

I hope this information helps!



"Yesterday is history.  Tomorrow is a mystery.  But today is a gift.  That's why it is called the present." -Kung Fu Panda

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on Feb 23, 2012 10:14 AM

Like Jen, I too include a paper with the purchases explaining basic care instructions for beadwork. One of my own pieces I made for me used beads that eventually faded and I was very dismayed about it. i still have the necklace but it really needs to be rewoven (spiral stitch) before I will wear it again. That being said, from a customer standpoint I would love to have info on the care of a fine piece of beadwork so that my investment will last longer.

I think society is so used to cheap "dime store" jewelry that they won't necessarily  think to treat a nicer purchase with more respect.

If you really think about it, there are all kinds of things that are manufactured that have special care instructions and none of the instructions are meant to imply that the workmanship is inferior. They are there to try to help insure that the finish, inner workings,etc....will have a longer lifespan.

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Calico3 wrote
on Feb 24, 2012 3:58 AM

This is something to think about. It never occurred to me that anyone would take a shower while still wearing necklaces and/or bracelets.

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Paka wrote
on Feb 25, 2012 12:58 PM

The grandson gets a necklace and never takes it off.  Showers, soccer, what have you--he wears it till it falls off.  Could be a guy thing.  Could be his brain is not fully developed (although we had hopes that that would happen this year--the kid is about to get a master's degree and still he forgets to lock the front door). Tongue Tied  A little card with care instructions wouldn't be a bad idea.

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SEllen 2 wrote
on Feb 26, 2012 12:16 PM

Could be his brain is not fully developed (although we had hopes that that would happen this year--the kid is about to get a master's degree and still he forgets to lock the front door). Tongue Tied  A little card with care instructions wouldn't be a bad idea.

Paka - Do you mean you think your grandson needs a care instruction card or the jewelry? LOLWink

I've always thought it was common sense not to wear handmade jewelry 24/7 but now you've all got me wondering.Huh? Confused

 sellen Smile

southwest Texas USA


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D.M.Z wrote
on Feb 26, 2012 12:59 PM

I made a loomed bracelet for myself, lovely pattern sort of like oriental carpet all in maroons, golds, etc. Hubby's cousin's new wife comes by and falls head over heels for it and he really pushed for me to sell it and I did. Zoom out to a year later and I find out that she's had to replace the jump rings that go to the clasp.......... they wore out. Huh? Understand I made it for me and I have a vast collection of bracelets so my wear ratio is one bracelet maybe, just maybe every couple of months. So while it was sturdy I didn't go out of my way to make it "Wells Fargo payroll on the horse pulled coach" caliber.

Seems she wore the thing EVERY day of that year she was so smitten with it. She was working in an office environment and just kept on wearing it as the colors matched everything she owned in the wardrobe area. Finally the clasp (one of those newer ball and socket ones) started to wear and it was replaced too.

I would never have even anticipated that usage. So we, as jewelry makers, are able to be unaware of how our precious products are being used. I used to send a little note when I sold vintage costume jewelry asking the new owner to make sure it didn't get wet, perfume and lotions applied before putting on jewelry, etc.  But I also never would have figured that someone would wear a loomed bracelet EVERY day for over a year. By the way, at that point, I made a duplicate because the original was made with Nymo and I am positive it will eventually break down .............or maybe it won't. LOL. Donna

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Tia Dalma wrote
on Feb 26, 2012 1:50 PM

SEllen 2:

I've always thought it was common sense not to wear handmade jewelry 24/7 but now you've all got me wondering.Huh? Confused

Haha! I know what you mean...sometimes I look around at the world today and wonder how much common sense the average person really does have! 

But really, when it comes to the care of handmade jewelry we all tend to think about these things on a daily basis because it's what we do...we make jewelry with our hands. So we know all the little details about what you can and can't do with beaded/handcrafted jewelry...but many people have no idea what goes into making it, much less what simple little things can easily destroy it!

Some of it is common sense but some of it is acquired knowledge. Just think about some of the questions people have when they are new to the beading world...questions we all had at one point in time too. But we get to a point where we just know all these things, and we can recognize quality craftsmanship...we know how to make something that will last a long time, and in knowing these things, we also know how to take care of it so that it really will last a long time.

And for the most part, the people who see the value of artisan jewelry will understand that they need to take care of their investment...but they may not always know that they shouldn't spray their perfume on while wearing their jewelry...or that they shouldn't leave their open jewelry box sitting in direct sunlight all the time...these are little things that can ruin any type jewelry over time, not just handmade beadwork!

So I completely agree that it's a nice touch to add a little card or mini pamphlet thingy that has instructions for proper care, use and storage of jewelry. Including a list of these things does not reflect poorly on the quality of craftsmanship in any way! I think it's a nice way to help people care for their jewelry so that it can last for years...

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SCB1 wrote
on Feb 26, 2012 2:23 PM

To tell you guys the truth, I will make a piece with old clasps and jump rings intending to test drive it, What I mean by that is I will wear the heck out of it, 24/7 not even taking it off to shower. I do this on purpuse to see how long I can expect it to last.

When you sell your things to strangers, as many of us do, you don't know how they will treat the piece. I try to see if the design and work I put into it will out last the love for it. I learned the hard way not to use anything but Fireline for my off loom work. I know some have sworn that this or that new thread is the best, but untill I test it by wearing it 24/7 I won't sell a piece made with anything but Fireline.

I have a friend and  I will give her jewelry to test for me. She is sort of hard on the pieces, and I know this will give the piece a good test of strenght. She doesn't have to pay for the piece just wear it a lot to test it. I have even suggested letting her teen daughter wear them. She gets free jewelry and I get my new pieces tested. I find that a win-win LOL.

When I first started out off loom, I was using Nymo and I had things fall apart after a short time, and that just wasn't the type of thing I was known for, So when i heard about Fireline, I made myself a RAW tennis bracelet with Swarvoski crystals. I wore that bracelet 24/7 for a year never taking it off, not even to shower. After the year, I decided I could sell what I make with Fireline without the worry of having to redo it and or losing a customer.

To make this long story short, you don't know how somewone else will treat your design, so make it for the worst case possible.

Happy Beading!!


Small-town USA. 




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Paka wrote
on Feb 26, 2012 2:39 PM

SEllen 2:

Paka - Do you mean you think your grandson needs a care instruction card or the jewelry? LOLWink


LOL!  Both, I do believe.

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on Feb 26, 2012 3:00 PM


I agree with you about Fireline versus Nymo.  I think most of us learned off loom with nymo, but I couldn't stand all that splitting.  And if you think about it if it will split and shred when we are making the piece, then it won't be able to stand much wear and tear over time.  I know you die hard Nymo fans might not agree, but you know it will split easily on you.  And with Fireline I have taken apart long lengths of a necklace with Fireline and reused the same thread with any splits, you can't do that with Nymo.


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Emma.J wrote
on Feb 27, 2012 1:55 AM

Thanks all for the enlightening comments.. I guess it is really hard to think just EXACTLY what a person is going to do with the piece, how often they will wear it, whether they will be rough with their piece, their knowledge on harsh chemicals with most beads. I think that I may start putting little cards into my pieces Wink Just in case... lol.

Just adding into the Nymo vs Fireline debate:
I learnt to beadweave with Nymo thread and that is what I am used to. I use Silamide every now and then but not very often.. I used Fireline once when I was beading something and I tried twice and the thread snapped on me both those times! Can anyone tell me why that may be? Maybe my tension was too tight or something, I don't know.. and even though I get INCREDIBLY frustrated with nymo when it shreds and splits, etc (I use REALLY long pieces of nymo coz I hate having to tie off and start a new thread..) I am yet to have a piece literally 'fall apart' AFTER it was finished..

Thanks again for the input! Big Smile


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KipperCat wrote
on Feb 28, 2012 6:26 AM

Emma, have you tried using OneG or one of the other newer threads?  The OneG feels and works a lot like Nymo, but it's much stronger, and less likely to split.  I haven't field tested to the extent Sue does.

Oh, and have you tried using a curling iron on your waxed Nymo?  It melts the wax into the thread, resulting in a thread that behaves itself a little better!  I would do the stretching before the wax.

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Emma.J wrote
on Feb 28, 2012 4:19 PM

Cat - I have heard to OneG but I haven't used it yet. When I am next at my LBS I will keep an eye out for it any give that one a go.. 

I always stretch my nymo before I use but it but I very rarely wax it because I hate to get my fingers and beads sticky when I am trying to work. I can honestly say that I have never heard using a curning iron to get the wax to stick Stick out tongue lol. Definately something I will consider when I start my next project. 

Thanks Cat! Smile

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