Question Corner: Beading Thread

Every so often, we get questions about materials or a customers looking for explanations about wire sizes, gauges, etc. Share your questions with me at and I’ll get answers to your inquiries about materials from our very creative and knowledgeable instructors!

As there are quite a few beading thread options, many customers can be confused about thread. Crystal asked the following questions:

” Which thread would you recommend for beaded fringe earrings?”

Great question! For small brick stitch projects, such as earrings, you do want to use thread – Fireline is too stiff for the fringe and the earring are too small to be switching threads. Because brick stitch can be tough on thread, you want to use a thread that doesn’t fray easily. Toho One-G and Miyuki threads are perfect for this application. You do need to stretch the thread – gently but firmly stretch (not yank) the thread in sections to remove the curl and align the fibres. For larger brick stitch projects such as ornaments, etc., I use 4lb Fireline. It is as thin as thread, won’t add space between rows of beads and won’t fray.

Just curious – do you prefer one over the other – in terms of the Toho or Miyuki thread? I’ve also noticed some shredding with the Nymo when I use if for leather wrap bracelets – thinking I could try one of these threads for that application as well or is there something else you would recommend?

It depends what technique you’re doing. I find Toho One-G, K-O, and Miyuki threads very similar although One-G has less stretch. You could use any of them for the leather wrap bracelet.

Everyone has their own preferences, but here is what I personally use for various techniques:
Spiral Rope: 6lb or 8lb Fireline; it is thin enough to go through the core beads multiple times and won’t fray with the multiple passes.
Flat Peyote: Miyuki, K-O, or Toho One-G; Fireline is not necessary..
Dimensional Peyote: 6lb Fireline if I want the resulting beadwork to be stiff; Hana or Myuki thread if I need some stretch for certain shapes (Hana thread is very stretchy).
Bead Embroidery: Miyuki, K-O, or Toho One-G; it withstands going through the beads and the base fabric very well without fraying.
Loomwork: Coned Nymo (not bobbin) for the warp thread – something without any stretch. You can use Miyuki, K-O, or Toho One-G for the weft threads.
Netting/Fringe work/Coral work: Miyuki, K-O, or Toho One-G to allow your beading to drape.

Using all these different threads may seem complicated and cumbersome, but the thread is the only thing holding your beading together! You won’t notice a good thread as you stitch, but using an inappropriate choice of thread can be a major source of frustration.

By the way, beading thread is vastly different than sewing thread. Beading thread is made from long nylon fibres that don’t break easily. Sewing thread is cotton, polyester, or a cotton/polyester blend and is spun from short fibres. It won’t stand up to the abrasion of seed beading.

With respect to Nymo, it was originally developed by, and is still used, in the upholstery and manufacturing industry. It is a nylon monochord, which means it is a single bonded strand, not several twisted together. Nymo thread is strong and supple, but it can fray when it is overworked. The bonding on coned Nymo is a better quality than found on bobbins, which is why fraying occurs easier when using bobbin Nymo.

You can condition any thread by using bee’s wax or thread conditioners such as Bead Buddy Thread Magic. It causes the surface of the thread to be slicker when stitching with it; it does need to be reapplied as you stitch.

Thanks Crystal, for helping us kick-off this new blog topic! Please send us your questions and we’ll provide an answer.


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