Speaking os pearls

Yesterday after Christmas dinner, my daughter handed me a pearl
braclet that I had made for her several years ago. I am not a beader
and stringing and knotting those pearls felt like a major undertaking.
It was worth it because she wore that braclet a great deal and as a
rule, she doesn’t wear the type of thing I make. Woe! The string
frayed through where I attched the jump ring. What do I do now? I
suspect that I will have to resting and I am resinged to finding the
instructions again and spending te time. My big question is, how do I
prevent this from happening again? Should I glue the knot or not? If
so, what with?

Knot or not :-), Marilyn Smith

Marilyn, I suggest that you use something colled “French Wire” which
protects the bead cord where it loops around a jump ring. It is a
spring-like coil of fine wire used to reinforce bead cord. It is
available through Rio Grande, (800-545-6566) and can be seen on page
306 of their current Gems & Findings catalog. I would glue the knot
with avery small amount of a cyanoacrylate adhesive, (super glue).


   Woe! The string frayed through where I attched the jump ring. My
big question is, how do I prevent this from happening again? Should I
glue the knot or not? If so, what with? 

Marilyn, I think you might want to check into boullion wire. RGA used
to sell it, as well as several other places, primarily in beading
catalogs. This is a delicate coiled wire, used before attaching your
terminations. The coil prevents the fraying of the cord and looks very nice.

All strung products that are worn regularly wear out. We recommend
our customers get theirs restrung every 6-24 months depending on how
often they wear them. I don’t know where you are located, but most
major cities have professional stringers who will string your product
for a minimum amount of money. If you aren’t very good at it, I
strongly recommend you send it out to one of them.

Daniel R. Spirer, GG
Spirer Somes Jewelers
1794 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02140

Hi Marilyn, Yes, it is restringing time. This time use bead tips or
French wire to protect the point of contact. French wire is
traditional but I prefer bead tips. There are two kinds - ones that
look like a little basket with a hole in the bottom and ones that look
like a clamshell with a hole at the joint end and a loop at the open
end. When closed the knot is completely inside the clam and it looks
like a bead. I like the clamshells - as you can tell. Use silk thread
as thick as possible so the knots won’t get lost in the pearl hole and
allow the pearls to rub against each other. Use a drop of clear glue
on the knots in the bead cup and allow to dry thoroughtly before
cutting off the excess thread. I like hypo cement. It wicks into the
silk quickly and drys quickly too and the needle application tip is
neat and tidy. Attach the clasp to one bead tip and the jump ring to
the other and Voila - a new bracelet!

This has to be done every few years. Silk degrades and wear does
occur. Keep those instructions handy. If you can’t find them I can
look up the title of a cheap little beading book that is worth its
weight in gold! Happy New Millenium,

Marilyn, you should look at re stringing, especially for pearls and
beads that are worn a lot, as “maintenance”. I recommend that my
customers have their strings checked every couple years, same as the
prongs on set stones.

As for how to handle the jump ring, you could use the coiled wire, I
think they call it French Wire on the ends. If it is properly used,
it will add some life to the string. I don’t like it much though,
it tends to fray. You might also make sure the solder joint on the
jump ring is smooth and not abrading the cord.

I am curious though about where the “Knot” is. To get the best
security and appearance on the end of a string of pearls (or other
beads), you do not knot the last three beads until after looping the
jump ring. IE, you add a bead, knot, add a bead, knot, then at the
end, add the last three beads, go around the jump ring, back through
the last bead, knot through the next to last, knot, then through the
third to last and knot. This takes a little practice and planning to
leave the correct amount of space for the last knots but know if you
lose the cord at the jump ring, you don’t pour beads on the floor.


The few things that I have beaded, I have backtracked through the
last three beads but I think that I have made a knot between the last
bead and the jump ring. Maybe I don’t need that extra knot. She did
wear it for two years so maybe that’s normal (I recieved several posts
to this effect.)

Marilyn Smith

If you use a French coil at the ends of your strands where they are
attached to your jump ring you will not have any fraying of your
silk (or whatever cord you are using.). Check your local bead
supplier for French coil. Hope this help.



I think you want “French Wire”. It’s a very small coil that the
beading strand is run through and then attached to the jump ring. It
is used for exactly the problem you describe. If you have a Rio
Grande catalog check out page 272. I can’t find any other examples
right now (I’m preparing for a garage sale- what a mess!!!) but surely
there are others out there that have examples. As for glueing, extra
insurance can’t hurt. The type of glue depends on the type of string.

Thanks, this is what I’m in the process of doing. I dug around in
some old stuff and sure enough, I had some “French Wire.” I finally
knotted away yesterday but hadn’t glued anything. I did good. I put
off doing this for less than two weeks. Now there’s just the little
matter of size. I think I used a fatter string this time and so the
bracelet is probably longer than what it was. I should have measured
it before I cut it apart. However, I havn’t put the finding on or cut
anything yet so I’m going to try it on her before I do so.


Bouillon wire is also known as French Wire. It should do the trick
extending the length of time before you need to resting. French wire
comes in gold tone and silver tone and is available through Rio
Grande and most any supplier that sells beading supplies. I have
found that gluing the last knot is still important. Some people use
super glue however jeweler’s cement (also used by watchmakers to glue
crystals) is better since it remains somewhat flexible. The glue is
also available through Rio Grande. You can contact me if I can be of
further help.


Marliyn, As a pearl restringer for more than a decade, I can say that
unfortunately, the pearls must be restrung. Especially bracelets
which endure alot of wear and tear (getting wet, perfume and makeups,
etc. all degrade the silk string) eventually need to be restrung
anywhere from a year to three with constant wearing. As another Joel
suggested, french wire (also called bullion wire) helps to keep the
jumpring from prematurely fraying through the silk tho it won’t be
permanent. (it can add years to that area)

If you are near Ventura California I would be happy to show you a
simple method of stringing…or you can contact me off line if you
would like to send it for me to do for you.

good luck, Gianna

Dear Marilyn,

I was taught that you do not knot after the last bead unless you are
straight stringing and that would be the only knots you have, one at
the beginning and one at the end. On a knotted piece, especially a
bracelet that receives so much stress, two years is pretty good!