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Stinging Beads.

Q: I do lampwork, but am new to making jewelery and just made my first necklace. I used some of my lampwork and some bought spacer glass beads (larger than seed beads - round and diamond shapes). For stringing, I used bead thread ('Nymo?'), but now I'm wondering if I should have used something better. I read somewhere about how some beads can cut the thread. I know this thread is really strong, but can glass beads wear through it.

A: I string a lot of lampwork, too, and since the holes can be rough and eventually wear through 'Nymo' or 'Silamide', I like to string lampwork on 'Soft-Flex'. It comes in different diameters, so you can choose whatever is best for the weight of the pieces you're stringing. I've never had a problem with 'Soft-Flex' breaking. 'Soft-Flex' and 'Beadalon' are great for lampwork. I have had thread break and customers have had to return pieces to be repaired. I quit using the thread years ago. The wire works much better, but make sure that the strand count is at least 49, the diameter .018, and that it is nylon-coated, or you might have problems. I would be happy to give the number for a wonderful wholesaler for these products if you need it. 'Accuflex' and 'Beadalon' will tell you their products are the same as 'Soft-Flex', but most beaders will disagree. Soft-Flex drapes softer. Most of my necklaces, made w/4,6,and 8 mm beads strung on (mostly) .014. 'Soft-Flex' will coil up and fit in a 4x3" 'Ziplock'. The other products come out much stiffer. I agree with L..., and 'Soft-Flex' also has new 'Soft-Touch', which is even better at draping. If you're going to be doing a lot of stringing on this type of cable, I really recommend you get the crimping pliers. Not only will the necklaces look better, but they'll save you a lot of time.