Like others here, I am a Fireline user for life! I get the 4lb at Bass Pro shops. I use mainly 4mm crystals in my work, and I find that by going through my beads twice, it gives it a more "finished" look and feel. I also use the Big Eye needle.....can't do without that either!
I, too am a fanatic about the Dyneema/Spectra lines (the material that Fireline and PowerPro are made of). I am addicted to using a doubled thread, so I mainly use 5lb PowerPro in white or one f the colors - it comes in yellow, grey-green, red and a very pretty blue which is sold only for ice fishing. In winter, when I see that blue, I scarf it up! I also use FireLine in the grey for bead projects where I want the thread to recede and the beads to be a little less bold.
Unlike many of you guys, I have moved to smaller and smaller line over the years. I now use 4, 5 or 6 lb. line, whatever is available when I am looking. Because I am housebound, I buy all my line from Cabelas.com, a sporting goods store that usually has what I'm looking for at a very fair price. Recently, I bought three 300yd spools of Fireline from a person on Ebay for the same price as one 300yd spool at Cabela's. Both are identical, as far as I can tell.
Years ago, I wrote to Berkeley and asked if there was a difference between "beading line" and "fishing line." They came right out and said that it was merely a packaging difference. I cannot explain why the people in the beading class had different results, but it may be that some used different tension, needles or conditioned their thread in different ways. Even with Fireline, I use a heavy coat of beeswax, especially when I want the finished piece to have some body.
As far as coloring the line goes, I have found that PowerPro and FireWire Crystal are the best at taking coloring from a Sharpie. I wait until I have the project finished and then color only the exposed line, because the Sharpie will rub off on your fingers if you try to color it before weaving the piece. To remove some of the color from the smoke Firewire, I run the line through a bit of nail polish remover on a cotton ball. I have not found that this weakens the line in any way, and leaves it a paler gray that doesn't stain my fingertips.
And now a question for you experts? have you found a way of keeping the line from cutting your fingers, especially when making something that needs a decent amount of tension? In winter, which is when I do most of my beadweaving, I end up wearing bandaids or going around looking as if I own pet piranhas. I use the smallest sizes of line in #12 Indian bead needles, or when using 15/0 beads, I use a size 13 English beading needle. If any of you have any finger saving tricks, I would be eternally grateful.
Well, ain't I a lucky Gal! Am quite new at beading and my main bother is just that - the thread: it splits, tangles, breaks in my finished projects... [:'(] Happening accidentally on this discussion, I see that quite a few of you have pointed out exactly the same thing. So maybe it's not me but the thread!!
Fireline, here I come!
Sandra, Liguria, Italy
I understand the raw finger problem-it happens to me also, even with Nymo. I usually do the same thing as you-put a bandage where the thread rubs the most. I do the same thing when I keep pricking myself with a needle, since I'm not a big fan of thimbles. If anyone has a better suggestion, I'd be interested to hear it.
As far as the needle pricks goes you could try this little trick. Take your wire cutters and cut off the very end of your needle then use a nail file this works in keeping my fingers from getting poked and also helps keeps the needle from penetrating and fraying your thread. I started ding this when ever I used Nemo, but than I decided it would work with Fireline as well.
I will make this disclaimer first and foremost - I am not a bead weaver so this may be a stupid thought...
Have you tried the rubber finger tips? You can get them in different sizes. The ones that I have are a weird brown tan color but there are also blue ones at wal-mart. They are not that expensive. The only this is at a office supply you probably will have more options like small medium large.
For those that are not familiar with these, they cover the first joint of the first ( mine I buy larger for work so that I can slip them off easily and they cover almost to my middle knuckle. But these may not be what you are looking for.
Another thought would be the stretch wrap for injuries. It does not stick to your skin but it sticks to itself. It may even be a pre-wrap. This is a fairly thick wrap more like an ace bandage than some of the really thin pre-wraps that you can see through. You would just have to wrap it so that the seam is not against the thread. I caught my nail about 1/2 way down and ripped it about 3/4 the way across. I have been wearing this the last couple of days and it is staying on. I can get the exact name if necessary.
Those are a couple of thoughts from someone who just bought a little loom and is trying a first serious attempt. It is okay to post back how ridiculous these suggestions are.
If anyone wants to try it, I would be happy to get the exact name of it.
Have a great day!
NOT stupid -- those rubberfinger tips would improve the friction as well, so one would be able to provide tensio more easily.
Ignorance is curable; Stupidity has neither cure nor excuse.
My daughter hit on the idea of making small finger covers from scrap leather. She uses them in her millinery making. Since it is my little finger which suffers most from "Firelilne" cuts, I have made one for it. It is longer than a traditional thimble so that it covers past the first joint (which is where the problem occurs). You just need a small piece of leather, cut to a bit larger than will cover your finger and with a very fine seam to join it up. Works very well.
Love those beady beads.
My Etsy Shop
To keep the thread from cutting my fingers, I wrap it around a pen that has a rubber cushion grip on it. Then I pull it to tighten tension.
I don't know if this name will show up but I recently found that amazon (a-m-a-z-o-n-dot c-o-m) carries all weights, colors and spool sizes of Fireline, even the 300 yard rolls. Before I used to use only 6# but picked up a 4# roll at Wal Mart when they were out of 6. I made the attached Ndebele bracelet with it and it feels like fabrice. Which dispels the statement by Nymo users that Fireline is too stiff. I have made spirals with 6# and had no problem.
One other trick I forgot to add on Fireline. To remove some of the coating on it that sometimes comes off on your hands and to reduce any possible tangline pull it thru a sheet of fabric softner. You can do this before you start and while weaving if it starts to twist or tangle. I brought a box of cheap fabric sheets and keep it with my weaving stash.
Luv the bracelet, luv Fireline, luv the fabric softener sheet but prefer to use baby wipes myself.
Beads and Blessings
I never tried baby wipes, but what the fabric softner does is also take the static out of the fireline.
Sue Your a Honey! I love this idea. I break alot of the long needles(pulling too tight) I use an emeryboard to smooth them. Wow! never thought of doing it to prevent the the sharp point from fraying my Thread.
Love this idea, Thanks for sharing Everyone!
"Remember that when you leave this earth,you can take nothing you have received...but only what you have given; a full heart enriched by honest service,love,sacrific and courage.Saint Francis of Assisi
Glad you liked the idea Mary. I hope it not only keeps you from fraying your threads, but also helps to keep you from getting blood on your work.