I have three types of beading thread on offer here. Fireline thread is sold on reels with 50 yards (around 50m). Nymo thread is sold on reels of 66m. KO thread is sold on reels of 50m.
What is the difference between beading threads?
Essentially, you have two types of beading thread: nylon based thread and monofilament based thread.
Nylon Beading Thread
Nylon based threads are more like sewing cottons. So, they are flexible. They are made up of lots of tiny strands twisted together. These threads have a natural stretch to them. They also have a tendency to knot more easily, but you can help to combat this by conditioning them with beeswax or thread heaven. When the nylon beading threads have been used for a long time, you may also find they start to split or separate.
Nylon threads are the cheapest option. You will see different manufacturers with different brands. This reflects the fact that the manufacturers are constantly trying to improve their offering. So, you will find some brands are less likely to split and knot than others. As with many products, the price can be a good indicator of quality.
The nylon threads are usually available in a range of different colours. So, you can match your thread to your beads.
Monofilament Based Thread
These beading threads have developed from fishing line. So, they are strong and do not split. They also have less tendency to knot. Or, perhaps I should say, when they do knot, I find the knots can be undone with relative ease. Again, you will find different brands.
These threads are typically available in just two colours. The crystal variation is like white, but semi-transparent, so it blends well with most beads. If you are using dark beads, then you might want to consider the dark variations. These are usually the crystal thread with a dark coating. So, be warned, the coating can rub off on your hands as you work. Don’t worry though, it doesn’t stain!
Monofilament threads do not have the same natural stretch. So, this tends to make them better for projects that need good tension.
If you need more information about different beading threads, try this blog.
Which thread is best for me?
I have no definitive answer to that question. Beading thread is often a personal choice. All the threads have different pros and cons. If you are just starting out, then I would encourage you to try different threads and see which suits you.
All these threads are strong and good quality. The Nymo and KO threads are both nylon based. So, if you are on a budget, these are perfectly fine. However, they do have a greater tendency to knot. Also, their natural stretch may cause problems for some projects.
The Fireline thread is Monofilament based. I confess it is my personal favourite. It is available in different weights (thicknesses), but I only have 4lb here. I tend to use this for all my bead-weaving projects.
So, in summary, try different threads to see which you prefer. If a pattern specifies a particular thread type, then it is a good idea to use that thread. The designer may know something about the project’s needs that makes some thread more suitable than others! Beyond that, it is perfectly ok to be led by your budget!
If you need more advice or help, then please contact me.