How to Use a Griffin Silk Bead Cord

Written by elise vogler
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How to Use a Griffin Silk Bead Cord
Beaders traditionally string pearls on silk cord. (Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Griffin silk bead cord is a stringing material used to string pearls. It is also used to string other kinds of beads. The silk cord comes with a very fine needle attached. Beaders use silk bead cord when their jewellery design calls for a knot to be tied between each bead. This is the most traditional way of stringing pearls because it keeps the pearls from knocking against each other, which will scratch their delicate surface. Knotted silk cord also keeps beads from getting lost if the cord breaks. One bead or pearl may fall off, but the others will still be secured by knots.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 1 card of Griffin silk bead cord, size E
  • Pearls or beads
  • Scissors
  • 2 bead tips
  • Jeweller's glue
  • Chain nose pliers
  • Toothpick
  • Yarn needle
  • 2 plastic mugs or other lightweight items

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  1. 1

    Stretch the silk cord. Unwind the cord from the card and straighten out the attached wire needle. Tie each end of the cord to something that weighs a few ounces, such as the handle of a plastic mug. The mugs will provide weight to help stretch the cord. Drape the cord over a surface at least 4 feet high, such as a tall chair back or a bookshelf. Allow the ends to hang freely and leave overnight. This will stretch out the silk cord so that it is ready for stringing.

  2. 2

    Tie three knots at the nonneedle end of the silk cord, arranging them on top of each other to produce a large, tight knot with an inch or two of tail. String on one bead tip and slide it down so the knot rests inside it.

  3. 3

    Glue the knot. Use the toothpick to dab jeweller's glue on all knot surfaces and on the first 1/4 inch of tail thread. Allow the glue to dry. Snip off the tail thread, leaving at least 1/8 inch. Tuck the tail inside the bead tip. Use the pliers to gently close the bead tip.

  4. 4

    Tie a loose overhand knot near the bead tip. Insert the yarn needle in the middle of the knot while it is still loose, and slide the knot down until it rests against the bead tip. Tighten the knot, using the yarn needle to make sure that it stays in place. Remove the yarn needle and tighten the knot again.

  5. 5

    Start stringing pearls. String a pearl on the silk cord. Then repeat Step 4, pushing the knot up so that it rests against the pearl you just added. Continue adding beads and knots until you have reached your desired length. Finish with a knot.

  6. 6

    String a bead tip so that the clam shell faces away from the pearls. Tie three overhand knots, using the yarn needle to position them to rest inside the bead tip. Overlap the knots if possible. Repeat Step 3 to complete your strand of pearls.

Tips and warnings

  • Attach each half of your clasp to the hooks on the bead tips. Use a closed jump ring to connect the clasp to the bead-tip hook to create a secure connection.
  • If silk cord is not stretched in advance, it will stretch over time. This will make your strand of knotted pearls look sloppy.

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