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glass beads / cotton thread

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  • glass beads / cotton thread

    i went in to pick up some bees wax today and the woman at the store spent a good 10 minutes trying to sell me a spool of this 'fireline' ( i think it was called), she swore how much better than regular beading thread it was, how much stronger than regular beading thread and how this stuff just absolutely did not fray. i told her that for the price id deal with the fraying and go with regular cotton thread.
    to that she said that glass beads cause cotton thread to deteriorate and break down, thats why antique beadwork is so fragile, the glass beads causing the cotton thread to decay...... anyone know if theres any truth to that?

    The older I get the less of a deterrent life without parole gets

  • #2
    its been my experience that items beaded with cotton thread .... break real easy. i personally work with nymo thread (nylon i guess LOL .. really have no idea) ... and its good for me. i have a pair of moccs i made for my oldest daughter ... who is 13 now and all four of my girls wore em and a niece and as well as two grandchildren. i only had to replace eight lines of beads on the heel.

    there are these women that are mass producing beaded items here in town ... they have stuff sellin at the local native gas stations and use cotton thread. i bought a pair of earrings and they lasted .... one and half days during a pow wow ... the first pow wow my daughter danced at LOL. and there's been complaints about the beaded lanyards they are selling too.
    Watch your broken dreams...
    Dance in and out of the beams of a neon moon

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    • #3
      think she was BSn ya about the glass beads causing thread to deteriorate ..... my sister heard about this stuff that was suppose to be unfrayable. she bought some ... used it on the bugle bead fringing on a beaded velvet cape. the stuff was a bugger to cut with a scissors LOL. but wouldnt ya know it .... the bugle beads still cut it HAHA
      Watch your broken dreams...
      Dance in and out of the beams of a neon moon

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      • #4
        Well, she is not entirely wrong, but I wouldn't say she is spot on either. I did my graduate research on glass bead deterioration, so I kinda know a little bit about this stuff. The glass itself will not do anything to the thread. However, if the glass starts to deteriorate, this results in sodium and potassium hydroxide to leach from the glass surface. It is possible that this solution could get on the thread. These two compounds are pretty nasty alkaline solutions that would no doubt affect the thread and anything else it gets on in some way--most likely discoloration.

        With that being said, there are numerous examples of beads that have totally deteriorated and left the threads in place. So that sort of debunks the theory that it does in fact cause the thread to break.

        I would go so far as to say that it is possible, and even likely, that under the right circumstances deteriorating glass beads can have an effect on the threading material, but I would not say it is a definite cause for its breakdown. If the glass beads are stable, there is nothing to my knowledge that will cause any harm to the thread. Almost all modern glass is very stable.

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        • #5
          Here is an example, the blue beads have almost all deteriorated, it's neat how you can see the design still. The threads are all still in place and look very healthy. The other beads are very stable as well
          Attached Files

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          • #6
            potassium hydroxide im familliar with, i used to use a potassium hydroxide solution to strip paint on houses. its some nasty stuff to work with for sure and i have the scars from the chemical burns to prove it

            The older I get the less of a deterrent life without parole gets

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            • #7
              Take a trip through a museum and you'll find plenty of old items made with cotton thread thats still in good shape. I think sweat, moisture and hard use are probably more damaging to cotton threads than the beads strung on it.

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              • #8
                yaknow...... thats kinda what i figured,but what do i know. ive used that fireline stuff before and its not too bad to work with. its certainly easier to thread a needle with than regular cotton thread that wants to split all the time. but it just costs so darn much .

                The older I get the less of a deterrent life without parole gets

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                • #9
                  If you want to use fireline to bead with, get it from a sporting goods store or a fishing tackle supply store. It's a lot cheaper there than at a bead store since it's just fishing line. To cut it easier, get a pair of kids Fiskar scissors. Everybody I know that beads with fireline uses those to cut it. I think unless you use steel thead, bugles will cut just about anything. LOL!
                  Take nothing for granted. Life can change irrevocably in a heartbeat.

                  I will not feed the troll-well, I will try.

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