Nylon is the modern way of bead stringing. Nylon does not fray as much, or stretch as much, as the silk. High performance nylon does not stretch.
We carry Griffin (good quality), Stringth (best quality), and C-Lon Bead Cord and C-Lon Micro Bead Cord (best quality) brands.
Griffin Nylon (now a substance called Polyamid) Bead Cord on cards with needle for beads and pearls. Cards have about 6 1/2 feet (2 meters) of cord plus a needle.
Simply take it from the card and off you go. The twisted stainless steel needle at the end of the cord saves threading time. Doubling the thread is not necessary. You can knot the cord easily because the thread has the correct twist.
The most popular sizes are #0, #1 and #2 for use with pearls, and #4 and #6 for use with other beads.
NOTE 12/2008: The distributor has been greatly reducing the size and color options for the nylon bead cord. White will be available in all sizes; black in most sizes; other colors in 2, 4, 6 and 8 only.
High Performance Nylon
C-Lon #18: Similar to Conso on the spool, or Griffin Bead Cord Size #6. Great for bead crochet, macrame, fiber and beads projects, using size 8/0, 6/0 and larger sized seed beads, or Czech glass druk and fire polish beads.
C-Lon Micro: Similar to Conso on the bobbin, or Griffin Bead Cord Size #2. Great for bead crochet, macrame, fiber and beads projects using 15/0, 11/0 and 8/0 sized seed beads. Also can be used as the warp threads on a loom.
C-Lon Tex 400: This thicker bead cord is similar to the Griffin Size #10. It is .9mm thick. This comes on 43-yard bobbins.
C-Lon Tex 135: This bead cord is similar to the Griffin Size #4. It is .6mm thick.
Stringth bead cord is made from synthetic fibers, so it is strong and less likely to fray, shred, or stretch than conventional cord. It's "slide-easy" finish allows even, consistent knots. Coat the cord end with superglue to form a self needle. Not all colors are available in all sizes.
NOTE: 2011: Stringth is reducing the choices in its line. I'd suggest also trying C-Lon Bead Cord. We are gradually closing out this line.
2 ounce (apprx 170 yards) Spools (a little thicker than Gudebrod or Beadsmith 100% Silk E, similar to Griffin Size #6, and C-Lon #18 Bead Cord)
This upholstery thread (really a bead cord) is a heavy, twisted thread yet supple and flexible. Use bobbins with size 8�-11� beads where you need a really stiff tension, or spools with size 6/0-8/0 beads. It's also perfect for stringing our large Czech pressed glass beads (those are the leaves, hearts, drops, triangles, pendants, etc.) You'll find that a milliner's or other sewing needle is easier to use with Conso than a true beading needle which has a long narrow eye. For stringing, use a Big Eye or twisted wire needle or dental bridge floss.
Conso is sold on bobbins (thinner thread) and spools (thicker cord).
BEAD CORDS vs. THREADS
People often confuse BEAD CORDS and THREADS.
Beading Threads are very thin ribbons, and are meant to be fully covered with beads, thus hidden within your pieces. They are typically waxed with beeswax to keep them from fraying. Threads, once waxed, are actually stronger and more durable than bead cords, but they are unsightly. Threads are used in both bead weaving and bead stringing projects.
Beading Cords are threads that are braided together, to make them visually attractive. But you don't wax bead cords -- this would make them ugly. So bead cords will have problems of fraying and stetching that waxed threads will not. Bead Cords are used for projects where you want the cord to show, like putting knots between beads, or tin cup necklaces where you have a cluster of beads, then a length of cord showing, and then another cluster of beads, then the cord, and so forth.