Necklace And Bracelet Lengths.

Q: As a newbie to the bead necklace-making scene (and thoroughly enjoying my new found hobby). Would you be so kind as to tell me what the standard lengths are that most people use when making necklaces and bracelets using 'Tiger Tail' wire?

A: If I'm making a bracelet for a particular person, I'll ask them what length they want. Those I make for myself, are six inches without the clasp (skinny wrists here). If I'm just working on a piece, in general, I usually go with six and a half to seven inches. I've only done a few necklaces and they were all by request; anything from 18 inches to 48 inches. The 'Rio Grande' catalog has a great reference photo that shows a person wearing all the standard lengths of necklaces. It's a good tool, but personal preference still rules here (either your own or the customer's). Right now, I'd say off-hand that 16" and 18" necklaces are by far the most popular. I'd say 7", including clasp, is pretty standard for bracelets. 16" is best for younger people and 18" for more mature, unless you're talking choker length, and many men prefer 20". If you aren't making for a specific customer, I'd try to do a variety of lengths, bearing in mind the market you're selling to and the materials. My own personal preference is the 24" length, because I'm old and fat . So length is one of my "issues," I guess. I hate to see a beautiful necklace I can't wear because it's too short for me! I'm so glad to hear you're having a great time with beading and jewelry making as a new hobby (some of us might call it an addiction...LOL). 'GIA' ('Gemological Institute of America') lists standard necklace lengths along with their traditional names, as follows (verbatim) "Choker: 14-16 inches (falls to the hollow of the neck) Princess: 18 inches Matinee: 20-24 inches (falls to the crown of the bust) Opera: 28-32 inches (twice the length of a choker) Rope: longer than 32 inches" That being said, necklace length choice is highly personal. It's hard to go wrong when making simple necklaces (as in a tin cup style) in the 18 to 20 inch lengths for adults. For most, that length should fall right below the collarbone. When in doubt though, get the measurement of your client and ask them which length they prefer. As to bracelet lengths, my understanding is that a "standard" length measurement is 7", but again, preferences are highly individual. Also, don't forget to calculate the diameter needed to accommodate various bead sizes, as, for example, a 7 inch bracelet strung with 8mm beads may not fit a 7 inch wrist. 'Rio Grande' puts out an excellent catalog of gems and findings, and explains this calculation (on page 198 of the new catalog) in easy-to-understand terms. Their catalog is free, and if you don't have one, you can order it by calling 1-800-545-6566. One note about 'Tiger Tail': if you're new to rec.crafts.beads and haven't read about the downside of 'TigerTail' as a stringing medium, be aware that it can permanently kink and ruin a design. 'Softflex' products and 'C-Flex' are highly recommended by newsgroup contributors for their flexibility and drape. However, they are more costly than 'Tiger Tail'.