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How To Mass String Beads.

Q: When I purchase beads, they seem to mostly come strung. How do they do that? Especially with seed beads and chips. I'm almost sure that they cannot be doing it by hand.

A: I saw a documentary where workers in India held many thin, very long threaded needles in both hands and dipped them repeatedly into a big vat of seed beads. It was amazing how quickly they'd fill each one, and then an entire handful of beaded threads made a hank. Gee, I can't even get the dip-and-fill routine to work with a SINGLE needle...;-) I've also seen a wonderful little seed bead-stringing gizmo that beadknitters use. You put a bunch of beads into a hollow globe, set a long, curved (and threaded, of course) needle into the cup, and spin it (I think 'Bead & Button' carries ads for it). I wonder if manufacturers use a motorized version? It's funny you should talk about motorizing those things. My father saw my little bead spinner, and said that he could put a little motor on it and I wouldn't have to spin it myself. Hey, I may just take him up on that offer. Try changing the angle and sweep of the needle. I've found that when I have the bead well directly in front of me, and I approach with the needle from the right at a shallow angle and sweep the tip from right to left, I usually get 6 or 7 beads on at a time. You do need a good number of beads in the well - if it gets too low, there will be a comparable decrease in the beads on the needle.