Types of Necklace Cords

Written by holly goodman
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Types of Necklace Cords
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To make some new bling, start with the string. Making necklaces can start with the simple and progress to the complex, but it all begins with the cord you choose and the choices are many. Selecting the best cord material for your new necklace will depend on the beads you're working with and the look you desire.

Leather and Suede

Leather and suede are beautiful, strong natural cords for jewellery making. Use them as a single strand with beads, twist them into braids or tie them in macrame knots. Leather and suede come in both natural and dyed colours, and make durable and long lasting jewellery. Use larger beads with this type of thick cording.

Satin and Silk

Vibrant colours make satin and silk a favourite material for many jewellery makers. Chose a hue to highlight bead colours for a fabulous combination. This man-made fibre is prone to fraying and best used with smooth-edged beads. Three types of satin cord, categorised by thickness include rattail (2mm); mousetail (1.5mm) and bugtail (1mm).


Hemp, like satin, comes in a variety of weights. This natural twine is woven from the fibres of the cannabis plant, touted as the longest, strongest natural fibre on the planet. Hemp is often used for knotted macrame necklaces and favourite for this type of work because it's easy to work with, knots easily, holds it's shape and seldom frays. Hemp comes in varying colours and package sizes.

Bead Thread

Bead thread is a thin, synthetic material used for stringing delicate beads. It varies in thickness and colour, and some examples include fireline, conso thread, c-lon thread and woven translucent bead cord. Most have waxed finish for smoothness and softness. Durability varies from threat to thread.


Elastic is the cord of choice for stretchy, clasp-less, slip-on jewellery. It's often used inside children's jewellery, watches, and costume jewellery. Use multiple strands to prevent jewellery from breaking. It can be tied of with a square knot or fastened with cord coils, which you can purchase at your local jewellery store.

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