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Calculating multiple strand necklace


#1

When doing multiple strand necklaces, is there any sort of formula
for how many additional pearls or beads you add as you move from the
inner strand out?

Thanks!

Beth Wicker in SC where it has been so cold my pond froze, and a
Great Blue Heron was standing ON the pond - probably wondering what
on earth had happened to the water!

http://www.bethwicker.com


#2

Hi, Beth!

When doing multiple strand necklaces, is there any sort of formula
for how many additional pearls or beads you add as you move from
the inner strand out? 

Sadly, the short answer is no.

Here’s the method I use; if it helps you, I am thrilled.

If I am making a multiple strand necklace, I start with the longest
strand, knot it all with the exception of the last 4-5 beads; I do
not attach to the clasp. Then the next longest strand, again leaving
the last 4-5 beads not knotted or attached to the clasp, etc., until
I have as many strands as required.

To make sure the strands fall correctly, I use a model/display bust
and fit each strand individually, attaching the longest first. In a
perfect world, these nestle nicely.

This method works best if there is no “center” of the necklace,
e.g., if the 3 strands are all the same size freshwater pearl.

If the necklace is a patterned piece with a definite center and
symmetrical design on every strands, the process is eased (but not
easy) by using a beading board with separate grooves for the
different strands, as you can design from the center. In this case,
I’ll probably knot up a test strand, taking measurements before &
after knotting.

I start with the longest strand and work to the shortest. If I have
a few beads left over, it’s okay. I return the extras to the
customer; many times she’ll have matching earrings made. I often high
grade along the way, as there are few strands where every bead is
perfect. If I started with the shortest strand and worked my way to
the longest, it is possible not to have enough beads, which is not
ideal: everything has to be re-done…and I am very cranky.

Kind regards,

Mary Stachura
www.StachuraWholesale.com


#3

Beth, I can’t imagine that there is a formula given the variables
involved.

I did a three strand neckpiece of graduated ironstone opal beads. I
fabricated 18KY separators, four in all, to help keep things in place
and probably restrung three or four times to adjust the length.

I also used a dressmakers dummy to see how the strands would lay
when worn. It turned out well but we spent a lot of time adjusting.
We, my wife and I, took great care; but then it’s a pricey neckpiece
and it had to be right. I don’t know if this is any help.

KPK


#4
Sadly, the short answer is no. 

The answer is yes.

The length of a necklace can be idealized (thought of) as
circumference of a circle with, let us say, radius R. By adding
additional stands, mathematically we changing the radius. The amount
of change let’s call delta. The delta would equal to radius of a
bead, ( or portion of it - depending on design ) of a new strand. If
we designing inside strands - the delta is negative and vise versa. So
the formula would be

New length = old length + ( delta * 3.14 )

If graduated stand is desired - then delta = (radius of largest bead

  • radius of smallest bead ) / 2

We can introduce a small value which customary called epsilon, to
represent a adjustment factor depending on individual technique (
presence of knots, stretch of the tread and etc… )

The general formula becomes -

New Length = Old Length + (delta * 3.14) + epsilon.
Delta as well as epsilon could be positive or negative.

Leonid Surpin
www.studioarete.com


#5

Hi, Leonid -

In a perfect world where beads are identical in diameter and knots
identical because of unchanging stringing media, I am sure a formula
could work. I find that the natural variations in the size of
cultured pearls, not being cut to size, precludes my reliance on a
formula.

Kind regards,
Mary Stachura
www.StachuraWholesale.com


#6
The length of a necklace can be idealized (thought of) as
circumference of a circle 

I’m afraid I have to disagree.

Necks are not round and a necklace hangs in an ellipse. What you
might describe as the vertical run will have a bigger impact on how
strands nestle than the horizontal run. Add in the weight of the
beads and it gets complex pretty quick. Factor in fat necks, skinny
necks, knobular clavicles.

Overall length plays a major role too. A choker that sits right on
the throat will require less difference in strand length than say, a
28" multistrand.

To illustrate this to yourself, grab a hold of a good fitting
mutli-strand necklace, maybe its got a bayonet clasp. Now lay it out
flat on the bench and try to close the clasp and still have all
strands concentric. Its OK, take your time.


#7
When doing multiple strand necklaces, is there any sort of formula
for how many additional pearls or beads you add as you move from
the inner strand out? 

It’s been my experience that each strand is 3/4 inch to 1 1/2 inch
longer than the one just shorter depending on the size of the beads -
smaller beads, less difference, larger beads, more difference. Even
with the best of planning, everyone’s neck is different and a new
necklace has to be tried on by the wearer for proper fit.

jeanette


#8
Necks are not round and a necklace hangs in an ellipse. What you
might describe as the vertical run will have a bigger impact on
how strands nestle than the horizontal run. Add in the weight of
the beads and it gets complex pretty quick. Factor in fat necks,
skinny necks, knobular clavicles. 

The point of contention that neck is not round, but elliptical is
nonsensical, because circumference computation for all practical
reasons is the same.

The fact that in circle we are using radius, and in ellipse we
average major and minor axis is not essential for practical purposes.

As far as irregularities in beads and other factors, the formula
uses epsilon to account for that. If epsilon would prove to be
insufficient, the delta can be computed as standard deviation instead
of averages. Many other analytical tools exist to arrive at workable
formula.

The main point is that the process of beading is not beyond
mathematical description.

Leonid Surpin
www.studioarete.com


#9

Hello Leonid, The front half of the second strand fits inside the
first and larger strand and the back half of the second lays on top
of the first. Confusing, isn’t it? Have fun.

Tom Arnold


#10
In a perfect world where beads are identical in diameter and knots
identical because of unchanging stringing media, I am sure a
formula could work. 

I am reminded if the H. L. Menken quote-- “For every complex problem
there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong”.

Noel


#11
The front half of the second strand fits inside the first and
larger strand and the back half of the second lays on top of the
first. Confusing, isn't it? 

Not really, but you also should specify cross-over points.

In any event the general formula would be:

New length = ((old length + delta+epsilon) / cross-over) + (old
length - delta - epsilon) / (1 - cross-over)

Leonid Surpin
www.studioarete.com


#12
I am reminded if the H. L. Menken quote-- "For every complex
problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong". 

It is a shame that mr. Menken was never introduced to Occam Razor. It
would spare him an embarrassment of making commentaries, which are
clear, simple, and…

Leonid Surpin
www.studioarete.com


#13

It would be very helpful if anyone responding with a how-to would
state whether they have done it; or is it some sort of surmise as to
how it might be done.

There is no substitute for ‘real life’ experience!

KPK


#14

Hi, Kevin -

It would be very helpful if anyone responding with a how-to would
state whether they have done it 

I’ve been stringing for the trade for 25 years and as well as
teaching at professional venues.

Kind regards,
Mary Stachura
www.StachuraWholesale.com


#15

havn’t been following this thread as it didn’t interest me. Not only
do bead and know sizes change the dynamic, but so does every other
variation. the best method I’ve found is using a neck form to
periodically check if strands are lying as I want them to. Theory is
nice, but nothing beats a reality check to lessen the number times
you have to work backwards, wasting time.

best, Marianne


#16
Not only do bead and know sizes change the dynamic, but so does
every other variation. the best method I've found is using a neck
form to periodically check if strands are lying as I want them to.
Theory is nice, but nothing beats a reality check to lessen the
number times you have to work backwards, wasting time. 

The original question was “is there a formula”. Now the thread has
morphed into “is the formula practical” Well that depends on who is
using it. If you feel more comfortable with doing it bead by bead, go
for it.

Leonid Surpin
www.studioarete.com