Beading Thread Q and A

1. What kind of thread should I use with seed beads?

For loom and off-loom bead weaving and bead embroidery, the most popular thread is Nymo, a nylon monofilament thread. Other popular nylon threads for off-loom bead weaving are K.O, Silamide and Superlon. FireLine is a braided beading thread made of gel-spun polyethylene, and Power Pro is a braided beading thread. If your seed beadwork will include beads with sharp edges that may cut thread, we recommend FireLine.

2. How do I choose the appropriate size thread for the seed beads I am using?

A good general rule of thumb is to use the heaviest thread that your bead holes will accommodate, taking into account the number of thread passes you will be making through the bead. In general, K.O. thread, size D Nymo, size D Superlon and size 6 lb. FireLine can all be used with 15° or larger seed beads, especially with bead weaving stitches that involve only two passes of thread. For stitches that involve multiple passes of thread (such as right angle weave and spiral rope), you may need to use size B Nymo, size AA Superlon or size 4 lb. FireLine.

3. What type of thread is recommended for bead embroidery?

Nymo, K.O., Superlon and Silamide threads are all appropriate for bead embroidery. Wax or thread conditioner may not be necessary when sewing beads to fabric.

4. For what purposes would I use Nymo, Silamide, Superlon, Power Pro or FireLine?

Nymo, Superlon and Silamide threads are all good choices for loom and off-loom bead weaving. These threads are also appropriate for multiple strands of small, lightweight beads, such as seed beads. Power Pro can also be used for off-loom bead weaving with larger seed beads. FireLine is a strong polyethylene beading thread that is also fine enough for most seed beads and all off-loom bead weaving stitches. FireLine is a great choice when you are using beads that may have sharp hole edges (such as crystals) in a bead weaving project. None of these beading threads should be crimped with crimp beads. If you prefer to use crimp beads when stringing beads, we recommend Soft Flex or Beadalon flexible beading wires.

5. How are Nymo, K.O., Silamide, Superlon, Power Pro and FireLine different?

Nymo, K.O. and Superlon are nylon monofilament beading threads.
Silamide is a 2-ply, twisted, waxed nylon thread.
Power Pro is a strong, flexible braided beading thread.
FireLine is made of gel-spun polyethylene, a strong fiber.

6. I want to sew crystals onto fabric. What’s the best way to do this?

Because crystals have sharp bead holes that can cut thread, we recommend using a doubled nylon thread (such as Nymo D or K.O.) or FireLine Braided Beading thread. With the thread anchored in the fabric, pass through the bead, then take a small stitch in the fabric. Pass the needle through the fabric to the wrong side. Tie a knot against the fabric. Pass back through the fabric to the front and pass through the bead again. The combination of multiple threads inside the bead and tying a knot after each bead is attached will keep the beads from falling off if a thread is broken. This technique works best with smaller (3-5mm) crystal beads.

7. What is the Needle Threader with Cutter and how do I use it?

This handy tool contains a needle threader with attached cutter. The threader is on one end, while the safely recessed cutting blade is on the other. To use the needle threader, pass the wire loop of the threader through the needle eye. Pull the thread through the wire loop. Pull the needle off the loop. The thread will pass through the needle eye.

8. How do I seal knots in thread?

Try using a small drop of Hypo Cement. This adhesive is perfect for securing knots between beads, gluing beads onto wire, silk, or ribbon, and gluing flat back crystals into place. This medium strength, non-brittle glue dries clear, does not damage surfaces, has a built in precision applicator tip, and sets in 10-15 minutes.

9. What is the difference between Stretch Magic and Gossamer Floss?

Gossamer Floss has more "give" or elasticity than Stretch Magic. It is made of several fibers, so if a bead with a rough hole edge cuts into it, the cord will fray before breaking, rather than snapping like Stretch Magic can do. To use Gossamer Floss, you'll need a needle with a large collapsible eye. Stretch Magic is sufficiently stiff that it doesn't require a needle.

10. Can I use Toho transparent beading thread with a needle?

Toho beading thread in size Fine will fit through a size 10 beading needle. Toho thread in sizes Medium and Heavy will fit through a Big Eye Needle. You may want to try using sizes Medium and Heavy, which are relatively stiff, without a needle.

11. FireLine gets tangled easily while I’m using it. How can I prevent this?

Although FireLine is a strong, durable thread for beadweaving, the tail end of the thread (the shorter side) has a tendency to wrap itself around the working end, causing tangling and knotting. If you keep the tail end as short as possible (less than 2 inches), this type of tangling can be minimized. Another idea is to use Thread Heaven thread conditioner on FireLine. Although FireLine will not absorb Thread Heaven the way Nymo or other threads will, Thread Heaven does seem to reduce tangling.

12. What cord works best for bead crochet?

Superlon Bead Cord, Pearl Cotton and Micro Cord work best for bead crochet.

13. Beading Thread - Hole Size Compatibility Chart

Click here to download this chart as a pdf

Product Name
Size
Bead Hole Size (mm)
Number of Passes Through Seed Bead, Size:
  name mm
1.3
1.0
0.8
0.6
15°
11°
Fireline Braided Bead Thread
4 lb/B 0.12
x
x
x
x
10
18+
   
6 lb/D 0.16
x
x
x
x
4
8
   
8 lb test 0.18
x
x
x
x
3
7
16+
 
10 lb test 0.2
x
x
x
x
2
6
15+
 
20 lb test 0.3
x
x
x
x
0
2
6
12
Nymo Nylon Thread
OO 0.08
x
x
x
x
15+
     
O 0.1
x
x
x
x
12+
     
B 0.12
x
x
x
x
10
18+
   
D 0.14
x
x
x
x
6
10
   
F 0.16
x
x
x
x
4
7
   
K.O. Bead Thread
NA 0.15
x
x
x
x
8
12
   
One G Beading Thread
NA 0.12
x
x
x
x
8
12
   
SoNo Beading Thread
NA 0.12
x
x
x
x
9
11
   
Pearl Cotton Thread
#8 0.5
x
x
x
 
1
2
   
Amiet Beading Thread
NA 0.5
x
x
x
 
1
2
3
 
Power Pro Braided Bead Thread
8 lb test 0.11
x
x
x
x
10
14
   
10 lb test 0.12
x
x
x
x
5
8
   
20 lb test 0.18
x
x
x
x
2
4
   
30 lb test 0.3
x
x
x
x
1
3
   
Silamide Nylon Thread
A 0.14
x
x
x
x
8
13
   
Superlon Beading Thread
AA 0.12
x
x
x
x
8
12
   
D 0.18
x
x
x
x
4
6
   
Griffin High Performance Bead Cord
0 0.3
x
x
x
x
6
9
   
1 0.35
x
x
x
x
5
7
   
2 0.45
x
x
x
x
2
4
6
 
3 0.5
x
x
x
x
1
3
6
 
4 0.6
x
x
x
 
1
3
5
 
5 0.65
x
x
x
 
0
1
4
6
6 0.7
x
x
x
 
0
1
3
5
8 0.8
x
x
   
0
0
2
4
10 0.9
x
x
   
0
0
2
4
Griffin Nylon Bead Cord
2 0.45
x
x
x
x
2
4
6
 
4 0.6
x
x
x
 
1
3
5
 
6 0.7
x
x
x
 
0
1
3
5
8 0.8
x
x
   
0
0
2
4
Griffin Silk Bead Cord
2 0.45
x
x
x
x
2
4
6
 
4 0.6
x
x
x
 
1
3
5
 
6 0.7
x
x
x
 
0
1
3
5
8 0.8
x
x
   
0
0
2
4
10 0.9
x
x
   
0
0
2
3
12 0.98
x
x
   
0
0
1
2
14 1.02
x
     
0
0
1
2
16 1.05
x
     
0
0
1
1
New Metallics Beading Thread
2 ply 0.4
x
x
x
x
1
2
   
Black Micro Cord
NA 0.5
x
x
x
x
1
3
   
Superlon Bead Cord
#18 0.6
x
x
x
x
0
0
2
 
Clear Illusion Cord
6 lb 0.25
x
x
x
x
3
4
   
Stretch Magic Elastic Cord
.5mm 0.5
x
x
x
x
1
2
   
.7mm 0.7
x
x
x
 
0
1
3
 
1mm 1.0
x
     
0
0
1
 
White Gossamer Floss
.13mm 0.13
x
x
x
x
1
3
   

14. Beading Thread - Needle Compatibility Chart

Click here to download this chart as a pdf

Product Name
Size
Needle Size
  name mm
Big-Eye/ Twisted
Large Tapestry
Medium Tapestry
Fine Tapestry
10
11
12
13
15
Fireline Braided Bead Thread
4 lb/B 0.12
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
 
6 lb/D 0.16
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
   
8 lb 0.18
x
x
x
x
x
       
10 lb 0.2
x
x
x
x
x
       
20 lb 0.3
x
x
x
x
x
       
K.O. Bead Thread
NA 0.15
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
 
One G Beading Thread
NA 0.12
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
SoNo Beading Thread
NA 0.12
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
Nymo Nylon Thread
OO 0.08
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
O 0.1
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
B 0.12
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
 
D 0.14
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
 
F 0.16
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
   
Pearl Cotton Thread
#8 0.5
x
x
x
           
Amiet Beading Thread
NA 0.5
x
x
x
           
Power Pro Braided Bead Thread
8 lb test 0.11
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
10 lb test 0.12
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
   
20 lb test 0.18
x
x
x
x
x
       
30 lb test 0.3
x
x
x
x
x
       
Silamide Nylon Thread
A 0.14
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
 
Superlon Beading Thread
AA 0.12
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
 
D 0.18
x
x
x
x
x
x
x
   
New Metallics Beading Thread
2 ply 0.4
x
x
x
x
         
Black Micro Cord
NA 0.5
x
x
x
x
x
       
Superlon Bead Cord
#18 0.6
x
x
x
           
Clear Illusion Cord
6 lb 0.25
x
x
x
x
x
       
Stretch Magic Elastic Cord
.5mm 0.5
x
               
.7mm 0.7
x
               
1mm 1.0
x
               
White Gossamer Floss
.13 mm .13
x
x
x
x
         
*All Griffin High Performance, Nylon and Silk Bead Cord is sold with an attached needle

15. Beading Thread - Info Chart

Click here to download this chart as a pdf

Product Name
Size Name
Size (mm)
Unit Sold By
Material
Typical Applications
Fireline Braided Bead Thread
4 lb/B 0.12 50, 125 yds Gel-spun polyethylene Bead weaving crystals, gemstones, or other beads with sharp edges around the holes
6 lb/D 0.16 50, 125 yds
8 lb 0.18 50, 125 yds
10 lb 0.2 50, 125 yds
20 lb 0.3 50 yds
K.O. Bead Thread
NA 0.15 55yds Nylon Loom and off-loom bead weaving, bead embroidery
One G Beading Thread
NA 0.12 50, 250 yds Nylon Loom and off-loom bead weaving, bead embroidery
SoNo Beading Thread
NA 0.12 110 yds Nylon Loom and off-loom bead weaving, bead embroidery
Nymo Nylon Thread
OO 0.08 140 yds Nylon Monofilament Loom and off-loom bead weaving, bead embroidery
O 0.1 115 yds
B 0.12 72 yds
D 0.14 64 yds
F 0.16 43 yds
Amiet Beading Thread
NA 0.5 22 yds 100% Polyester Bead crochet, bead knitting, micro-macrame, Kumihimo braiding
Pearl Cotton Thread
#8 0.5 85 yds 2-Ply cotton Bead crochet and bead knitting
Power Pro Braided Bead Thread
8 lb test 0.11 28 yds Braided polyethylene Beadweaving crystals, gemstones, or other beads with sharp edges around the holes
10 lb test 0.12 28 yds
20 lb test 0.18 28 yds
30 lb test 0.3 28 yds
Silamide Nylon Thread
A 0.14 40, 350 yds 2-Ply waxed nylon Loom and off-loom bead weaving, bead embroidery
Superlon Beading Thread
AA 0.12 77 yds Nylon Loom and off-loom bead weaving
D 0.18 77 yds
Griffin High Performance Bead Cord
0 0.3 2 m Nylon Pearl-knotting
1 0.35 2 m
2 0.45 2 m
3 0.5 2 m
4 0.6 2 m
5 0.65 2 m
6 0.7 2 m
8 0.8 2 m
10 0.9 2 m
Griffin Nylon Bead Cord
2 0.45 2 m Nylon Pearl-knotting
4 0.6 2 m
6 0.7 2 m
8 0.8 2 m
Griffin Silk Bead Cord
2 0.45 2 m Silk Pearl-knotting
4 0.6 2 m
6 0.7 2 m
8 0.8 2 m
10 0.9 2 m
12 0.98 2 m
14 1.02 2 m
16 1.05 2 m
New Metallics Beading Thread
2 ply 0.4 25 yds 2-Ply metallic fiber with polyester core Embellishment, use with Diva cord maker
Black Micro Cord
NA 0.5 320 yds 3-Ply bonded nylon Bead crochet, micro-macrame, stringing
Superlon Bead Cord
#18 0.6 77 yds Twisted, multi-filament nylon Bead crochet, micro-macrame, Kumihimo braiding
Clear Illusion Cord
6 lb 0.25 50 m Nylon monofilament Stringing
Stretch Magic Elastic Cord
.5mm 0.5 10 m, 25 yds Polymer Stringing
.7mm 0.7 5 m, 10 m, 25 yds
1mm 1.0 5 m, 25 yds
White Gossamer Floss
.13 mm .13 20, 25 yds Latex-free elastic Stringing

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