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Pearl stringing problems


#1

Hi there,

I have strung my own Pearls since day one and only had two returns
ever but, I made a necklace for a friend a year ago and ever since we
have been experiencing a string stretching problem. Although she has
assured me that she does not wear it in the shower or to bed the
string seems to stretch and leave a noticeable gap between the
Pearls.

I have re-strung this necklace two times and to my horror I noticed
just last night that it had done it again!!

The clasp area is 100% secure so, it has to be the string Im using.
Knotting in between each Pearl could be a solution but, it just
wouldn’t look good. the Pearls are too small for that.

I am using Griffin 100% Silk / No 4.

Any ideas on where I am going wrong?

Thanks so much!
Tina


#2

Do you pre-stretch your silk line? Hang it over a door with weights?

You should indeed knot between pearls to protect the nacre, but if
the silk is not prestretched, you will still get gaps, knots or no
knots.

Lorraine


#3

Tina,

Talk with Mary at Stachura in Uxbridge, MA. She is a stringing
expert and will notice changes in string manufacturing.

http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/stachura

Good luck, MA


#4

Tina,

Are you stretching the silk prior to using it ?

Cheers,
Vicki


#5

Hello Tina,

I prefer to use silk for pearls, but in some cases have used
SoftFlex cable. It doesn’t stretch. Of course, it doesn’t have the
lovely flexibility of silk either. If you decide to string on silk,
it might be worth stretching the cord. See below for how I do it.

One thing I always do before stringing pearls on silk is to attach
one end of the clasp. Then string the pearls. When they are all on
the silk, I slide the pearls toward the needle so that the silk
portion where the pearls will be is exposed. Then dip that part in
ordinary rubbing alcohol to wet the string. (Rubbing alcohol
evaporates more quickly than water.) Shift the pearls back toward the
clasp and suspend the whole thing from the needle end for a few hours
to allow the silk to dry completely while the strung pearls act as a
weight. That process straightens the silk cord and stretches it a bit
before knotting.

Good luck and let us know how you addressed this problem, Judy in
Kansas, where the weather is amazing for fall. Still no freeze and I
keep harvesting beans! Even got a lovely rain yesternight.


#6

Tina, I wet my silk thread in warm water then hang the full length
from weights for 24 hours and have been doing this for years. I
never had a stretch problem. Marie


#7

Hi Tina

Silk is famous for stretching. It is made to be knotted between
beads. Griffin makes a nylon alternative with the needle attached
called NylonPower. Size #4 is what you want. (I have no connection to
Griffin.)

If you must use silk, you could try stretching it first. Dip the
silk in water, then hang it with a weight on the end (fisherman lead
weights work well). Let it hang overnight. I can’t guarantee success
with this. Even sweat may still stretch the silk further.

All the best,
Kim


#8

Pearls really ought to be knotted in between to protect the pearl
nacre from wearing away when it rubs against its neighboring pearls.
Plus, if the strand breaks, the pearls stay together and graduated
instead of flyingall over the place! Since the silk continues to
stretch, I would guess that your friend gets the silk damp, either
from perspiration or perhapswiping the pearls to clean them after
use, and maybe she stores them on a hook, hanging them up. Pearls
should not be stored hanging as it stretches the silk, which is often
a bit damp after wearing just from your bodyheat. Check to see how
she is storing them. Karen Tweedie


#9

Vicki, Tina, et al. I learned long ago and of course the hard way,
to stretch the silk before using it. I twist it two times around a
smooth round pen, and pull gently through the whole length, with some
weight, until about 1/2 of the twist is gone, usually just one time.
No more stretching out after the necklace is done. Use a clean pen,
and clean hands if you’re using white threads.

Mary Jane St. Amand


#10

Thank you Marie,

I wet my silk thread in warm water then hang the full length from
weights for 24 hours and have been doing this for years. 

I am going to adopt your tip! It makes complete sense.

Best wishes and thank you for your help
Tina


#11

Thanks Karen,

I would guess that your friend gets the silk damp, either from
perspiration or perhapswiping the pearls to clean them after use,
and maybe she stores them on a hook, hanging them up. Pearls should
not be stored hanging as it stretches the silk, which is often a
bit damp after wearing just from your bodyheat. Check to see how
she is storing them. 

You make very valid points. I think I have figured out what the
problem is though. daw!! Centred on the string of Pearls is a
pendant that is attached permanently on a jumpring in between the two
front centre Pearls. It really should rest on the two centre Pearls
but on closer scrutany I have discovered that it is infact sitting
directly on the silk thread.

I wondered why the string was streatchinge? It is not a terribly
heavy pendant but its heavy enough to do the job.

Do you know of a finding or component designed especially for this
situation? A spacer that is added to a string of Pearls to avoid
contact with the Silk thread whilst carrying a pendant in a balanced
way? If there is. I want it!! :slight_smile:

Best wishes
Tina


#12

Thanks Lorraine,

I will stretch from now on.

Thanks for the good advice.

All the best
Tina


#13

Thanks Mary,

I do not think there is a problem with the Silk thread. The error
was all mine.

Thanks for taking the time to reply though

All the best
Tina


#14

Hi Kim,

If you must use silk, you could try stretching it first. Dip the
silk in water, then hang it with a weight on the end (fisherman
lead weights work well). Let it hang overnight. I can't guarantee
success with this. Even sweat may still stretch the silk further. 

That’s a really good idea! I think I will do that from now on.

If you take a look at my latest post, you will see that I have
figured out the problem. Let me know if you are familiar with a
finding that will protect the Silk thread.

Thanks so much for you help
Tina


#15

Hey Judy!

One thing I always do before stringing pearls on silk is to attach
one end of the clasp. Then string the pearls. When they are all on
the silk, I slide the pearls toward the needle so that the silk
portion where the pearls will be is exposed. Then dip that part in
ordinary rubbing alcohol to wet the string. (Rubbing alcohol
evaporates more quickly than water.) Shift the pearls back toward
the clasp and suspend the whole thing from the needle end for a few
hours to allow the silk to dry completely while the strung pearls
act as a weight. That process straightens the silk cord and
stretches it a bit before knotting. 

What a clever idea!! using the Pearls as a weight.

I will definitely do that, I don’t know why I never thought of it
before now…

In between posting and waiting for replies I have figured out what I
was doing wrong.

The pendant I had hanging centred on the strand of Pearls was
sitting directly on the sIlk thread instead of centred on the Pearls.
I have tried to address this problem by pulling the Pearls tightly
and adding a knot at each end. This secures the jump ring the pendant
is hanging from on the Pearls instead of the Silk itself. I would
knot between the Pearls but they are too small, it just doesn’t look
good.

The weather is beautiful here in Connecticut today! So many vivid
fall colours, its amazing!

Best wishes and thanks for your help.

Tina


#16

Hi, Tina -

I’m sorry to hear you’re having a spot of difficulty and with a
friend’s necklace yet. Not ideal.

Mary Atwater suggested a change in manufacturing. A good suggestion,
but not applicable as Griffin is still & only (to my knowledge)
manufactured in Germany. The same cannot be said for what was
Gudebrod, out of Pennsylvania & out of business. The manufacturing
of spools of silk is now done in China; fewer sizes & many fewer
colors.

Karen Tweedie notes that necklaces should not be hung. She is spot
on. Kim Ingersoll suggests nylon. Another stringing medium would
certainly solve the problem.

Is the silk old? Everything degrades as it ages. Try a new(er) spool
of silk.

Certainly, silk stretches; nylon, though stronger, stretches more.
If the pearls are small enough so you don’t want to knot between
them, and the necklace is indeed cultured pearls, the weight of the
beads should not be enough to stretch the silk, even if it’s 40"
long. You can certainly try stretching the silk before stringing,
but I do not think that will not solve the underlying problem.

My suggestion is to use a 0.13" diameter 49-strand Bead-a-lon. It
will not stretch and has the flexibility to be knotted and hidden in
a clam shell or bead tip. While it doesn’t have the lovely fluidity
of a knotted silk necklace, neither does it have the kinkiness of
the 7-strand tigertail. It’s very strong. If the Bead-a-lon breaks,
you’ll know it wasn’t the silk at all, but rather something out of
your control, like a small child hanging from the necklace…

Do, please, let us know how this sorts itself out.

Kind regards,
Mary Stachura