Glossary of Beading Terms
Findings are the components used to make a collection of beads into jewelry. This includes clasps, headpins, jump rings, bead tips, crimp beads, and more. Usually these are metal, but they can also be made of wood, stone, or other materials.
A metal bell or cap-shaped bead that goes next to a round bead, partly covering it. Often used on both sides of a bead to “frame” it.
Also known as French Wire or Gimp. This is a very finely coiled wire that forms a flexible tube like a spring. It is used for finishing the ends of strung jewelry pieces. It is threaded over the cord to cover it where it is normally exposed, such as where the cord goes through the loop on the clasp at the ends of the piece. It gives a professional look and protects the bead cord from fraying from exposure. The downside is that it tends to wear rather quickly itself, so it is good for fancy jewelry that you don’t wear often.
Metal findings that cover the knot at the end of a string of beads. Callottes (also called clam shells) clamp sideways onto the knot. Tying the knot around a seed bead and adding a drop of glue secures the knot. Close the callotte with pliers and snip the excess thread. Also called clamshells or bead tips.
Beads with a hole that goes only half-way through, instead of all the way through like a normal bead. There are many findings that are made to take a half-drilled beads, like ring settings and earring posts. You can also use them to finish memory wire bracelets–an end cap. They are affixed with bead glue.
A type of clasp consisting of a bar which fits into a loop. It operates on the same principle as a button. Toggle clasps tend to be bulky and therefore most appropriate for chunkier jewelry. This clasp is also sometimes used as a main decorative element in a necklace that clasps in the front. photo credit