Help! Antique braided, twisted beaded necklace redux.

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on Jun 21, 2013 6:54 PM

I'll start by saying I''m a complete novice and I decided to undertake a project that turned out to be over my head.

I have a necklace from my grandmother that is a thick braid of tiny white coral beads. Each of the 3 braid lines has one strand of larger beads and one strand that is made of 3 strands of tiny beads wrapped around a thick cotton cord (this is where the problem lies).

The clasp broke and as I was trying to replace it, the thin cotton strings on the tiny beads started breaking and falling everywhere. I disassembled it and it looked easy enough to re-bead. Ha! 

Does someone have advice on how to wrap the 3 strands around either the existing cotton cord or a suggestion for a replacement that won't coil up on itself and make an utter mess of the situation? Any suggestion on what type of "string" I should use for the beads?

Much thanks!!


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Beadiecat wrote
on Jun 21, 2013 10:42 PM

Maybe bead crochet? I don't know how to do bead crochet, but it looks like the pictures I've seen of it.Except that I don't think bead crochet is done around a thicker cord, unless it somehow creates a cord in the middle as you crochet it.

Maybe someone who knows a little more about that can come along and advise you. Good luck, it's a beautiful piece.


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on Jun 26, 2013 6:26 PM

It's definitely not bead crochet- that is way above my skill level and I wouldn't have tried to attempt it. I carefully disassembled it and the small bead strands were simply just wrapped around a cotton cord that was tied together on each end. It seemed really simple but when I try to wrap the strands it keeps twisting up on itself. Not sure what to do to replicate it :(

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tcwhit wrote
on Jun 26, 2013 7:00 PM

I've no clue what it actually is, the small beads look like a spiral, and perhaps the larger strand is separately added later while braiding?

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SEllen 2 wrote
on Jun 26, 2013 7:01 PM

Have you taken both ends of the clasp off? If not perhaps if you could show us a picture of the end and the twisting strand.

If I'm understanding correctly the small strands of beads were not connected to each other they are simply single strands held together at the ends. I had a hair comb that did something like this that I had to remake. However, mine did not have a core. 

I found that when I tried to replicate the "twist" that it went all wonky. It wasn't until I loosened up on the twisting that it started looking like it was suppose to. Try loosening up on your twist.

I don't know if this was of any help. I do hope you get it figured out as it is a beautiful piece.

Good Luck

 sellen Smile

southwest Texas USA


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on Jun 26, 2013 7:29 PM

You are correct about the ends. When I took the clasp off, it uncovered just a big knot of the thick cotton cord and the tiny cotton strings in a birds nest of a knot. And the strand of larger beads is added to each twist of small beads.

What kind of "string" would you suggest for the small bead twists? I tried a very fine braided metal wire coated with some type of plastic and it seemed very tight. I tried loosening the twist but then it looked terrible. Could it be because of the wire I chose? Maybe I'll try without the center cord, too?

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SEllen 2 wrote
on Jun 26, 2013 9:38 PM


It sounds like it was done pretty much the same way as my comb. Just for mine without the center core.

 I think what they did with your piece is that they took the 3 single strands and the center cord tied them both together then they did the twist and secured the 3 single strands and the center core with another knot at the other end.kwim? Your small strands must have worked themselves loose and that's why it broke.

The beading wire you chose could very well be part of the problem.

Do you have a bead store near you? I hate to recommend something and then not have it work and your stuck with something you might not be able to use.

 I would try either pearl knotting thread or maybe SoNo thread. They are both very supple and drape well. (I have used both of these for various projects.)

I'll keep my fingers crossed that it works out.


 sellen Smile

southwest Texas USA


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on Jun 28, 2013 4:03 PM

Great idea about how the twist might have been done- thanks! The necklace is so old the strings were just disintegrating. I'll definitely look for those threads. I've already sunk a few dollars into it, what's a few more LOL There are some big bead shops not far away- I'll check there.

Thank you!

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