Pearl necklace, what to string it on?
I have bought a length of freshwater pearls that are currently strung on something like gimp cord that I want to thread onto a silver wire with a silver lobsters clasp. What weight of wire should I use please?
Hello Ruby, the strings of pearls I have bought in the past have small holes and the wire I have used has been 0.5mm. When you say weight of wire I am thinking you may not be used to mm so that would be 24 gauge I think.
Thank you Kwant that is useful to know. I showed the pearls to a jewellery friend today she suggested drilling them as they are so small. I don't want to risk that at this early stage. I shall check out the 24 guage wire.
I wouldn't thread pearls onto ordinary wire - it can cut and damage the pearls, and at that gauge would be very weak.
Pearls are usually strung on silk, but if not, beading wire (like softflex or flexrite) would be the best alternative. It does come in quite fine varieties, though obviously these are less strong than the thicker ones.
Ha yes I would listen to George if I were you as I should have been clearer in my response, I do not string pearls but use them as elements in other pieces and that is when I have found the 0.5mm wire to be useful, such as for this pair of earrings.
Should really use griffin silk cord
I'm going to agree emphatically with that last post - pearls should not be strung on wire for several reasons
1 the necklace will look stiff and 'wrong'
2 if it breaks every pearl will end up on the floor
3 there will be no 'hinge' between each pearl
4 wire will not do the pearls any favours at all
Pearls are drilled to 0.7mm. This is the standard around the world. It will look very small to most beaders as most beads have much bigger holes. Without skill and a proper pearl drill I would not recommend you even think of enlarging the drill holes on a whole string. Your jeweller friend - as is very common - knows little about pearls, which is a very specialised field within the jewellery trade
I have made a video on how to knot a pearl necklace from start to finish http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hb5_x...el_video_title
You will find there a link to how to get the materials you need.
Hope this helps
What is your take on gimp when stringing perls? I always felt at it added to quality the finish, but these days you never seem to see it.
Absolutely we use gimp (aka french wire or bouillon) for everything. It adds to the look and also acts as an ablative to protect the silk as it goes around the rings of the clasp, where there is the potential for lots of wear.
Since we guarantee all our stuff for a year we don't want fraying and breakages and returns so we use gimp. It costs pence per item. (available on the Pearlescence website in gold and silver finishes)
Calottes shout 'amateur' and nothing at all shouts 'will break in weeks'