Hi, Sarah-Jane -
Unless the necklace is aerobic (so heavy, one’s heart rate goes up
when wearing it), I use silk cord for everything. If my customer
wants something else, I will go with my customer’s request. When
knotted, I like the liquidity in the way beads & pearls move when
strung on silk. Nylon may be stronger, but stretches more. 49-strand
Beadalon doesn’t stretch, is very strong, but doesn’t “give.”
The thickness of the cord depends on how you’re attaching the clasp
- bead tips, clam shell, French wire? If you’re using bead tips/clam
shells to attach to the clasp and not knotting the beads, any size
silk that’s secure will do nicely.
Are you knotting between every bead? If so, then size is critical,
especially if you’re using French wire to attach to a clasp. The
silk must be thin enough to go through the first 3 & last 3 beads,
but still create a knot that the beads’ holes won’t eat.
And, finally, are you mixing More complex still.
Most better beads are ultrasonically drilled, giving the beads a
nice straight hole. Ideal. The size of the bead hole will vary,
dependent on the hardness of the gemstone, e.g., lapis is a softer
stone than onyx, so the hole in lapis beads will be larger than the
holes in the onyx beads. The entrance hole will be larger than the
exit hole, another factor to consider.
With all of the above said, I like Griffin #5 for most work; if I’m
stringing fwp strands, I like #3 white, which will take a permanent
dye to match the pearls. (I used to use Gudebrod silk, as they were a
domestic company, but they are out of business now).
If I can help you further, please contact me off-line.