Cord for beading is available in several different fibers including elastic, nylon, satin, silk or other natural fibers. Cord can be used for its appearance, durability or suppleness, depending on the type of beading project you’re planning.
Elastic Cord is great for slip-on jewelry like bracelets, watchbands or children’s necklaces and eliminates the need for a clasp. It can be found in black, white and other colors. Elastic cord is thicker than other beading threads, so it should be used with larger beads. Elastic cord can be easily secured with a square knot, or fastened with cord coils. Stretch Floss Cord is a kind of elastic cord that retains its shape memory longer and holds knots well.
Satin Cord is one of the most popular types cords used for jewelry projects because of its attractive appearance. The brilliant colors and shine can enhance a large bead. Satin cord is woven from manmade fibers and comes in a number of colors. It tends to fray so should not be used with beads with sharp edges. Different thicknesses are available: rattail, at 2mm in width, is the most common. Mousetail measures 1.5mm, and bugtail just 1mm.
Many natural fibers can be used to make beading cord. Natural Cotton Waxed Cord is tightly woven and waxed for ease of beading. Cotton cord takes and holds knots well and is colorfast. Crinkled Silk Cord has no dye or allergens. Both cotton and silk cord are colorfast and hold knots well.
Leather or suede cord can be used for beading projects as well. Whether the piece is a simple bead necklace secured by knots, or a complicated weaving or macramé, leather and suede are strong, supple and lend a natural earthy look to beaded projects.
Hemp Beading Cord is available in a variety of weights and package sizes. Quality varies, but high quality hemp is extremely uniform, fray resistant, knots easily and maintains shape well under normal wear. Hemp comes in natural and recently in many died colors.
Also see thread.