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About to buy me some pearls.... advice please

Bron357

Ideal_Rock
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Hi Pearl People, I’m going to come over to the Nacre side.
ive spied some interesting pearls from a vendor mentioned on another thread.
the pearls are currently undrilled.
What size hole should I have drilled? I was thinking either 1.0mm or 1.2mm.
How hard is it to string, with knots, your own necklace?
I could do fine wire or fishing line like I do with other beads but is knotted on silk recommended as better?
thanks.
 

seaurchin

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Nov 2, 2012
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I don't know about hole sizes because I don't string my pearls myself, but there should be knotting between pearls, to prevent the pearls from damaging each other by rubbing together. (Or, there are some little bumper bead things you can use instead of knotting but I don't know the name of them).

I plan to have my necklaces that aren't already strung on PowerPro restrung on PowerPro (which is basically fishing line) and also with "mystery clasps," a screw mechanism fitted into the two end pearls instead of a clasp.

This is because I'm tired of having to have my pearls re-strung every few years even if I don't even wear them. The gimp (the wire coiled around the ends of the stringing material, which then attaches to a clasp, for any who don't know) is usually the first thing to go, maybe because I usually request my pearls be strung with PowerPro in the first place. The gimp flakes off and gets icky/black. I figure that with PowerPro and mystery clasps (and no gimp!), I shouldn't have to bother with re-stringing any more.

However, the end pearls have to be a minimum size for a mystery clasp, maybe 8mm?

Also, if you use PowerPro, it makes smaller knots than silk or polyester so the finished strand will be slightly shorter. (The finished strand would also be slightly shorter with a mystery clasp).

I also really like "endless strands" for rope length, one continuous strand (on PowerPro) with no clasp (or gimp!)

Umm, I think I only answered one of your questions but that's all I know. :)

ETA: Another thing about pearls is that they shouldn't be left in a safe or safety deposit box for extended periods because they can dry out and crack. That can become a real PITA in certain situations! Sorry for blabbing on lol.

One more thing I like about endless strands or mystery clasps is that I'm kind of picky about having my metals match and that way, there isn't any metal so they go with anything.

...And, you can even get several mystery clasps to have the same strand used as bracelet/s or different length strands or double/triple strand. Woo hoo!
 
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molinePDG

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Bron! - Welcome to the Nacre Side of Things... :) Glad to see your face in the Pearls section.

My advice would depend on what kind of pearls and for what purpose. For general reference, "standard" drill hole size for most pearls < 10mm-ish, especially Akoya is .7 or .8mm

"Standard" drill hole size for pearls > 10mm-ish, especially south sea types is 1mm, or so.

Half drill sizes vary widely and really depend on the finding someone is using, but it sounds like you're looking at full drills, so the above sizes apply for a general idea. .

1.2mm is a pretty large drill hole, insofar as drill holes go, but that's not to say there's anything "wrong" with it. Pearl suppliers like to drill as small as they possibly can, since pearl lots are sold and measured by momme, which is a weight measurement. It makes financial sense before the pearls get to a consumer to lose as little weight as possible when drilling.

Definitely would do knotted on silk or some similar thread for stringing. For wire wrapping (like a station necklace), of course, wire. I don't foresee any issues with something like fishing line, even though it's not common. It may stretch (?) though?

Also leaving as a general note, not recommended to never restring a necklace, for most materials I can think of. In general for thread/stringing that most people and stores are doing, no matter how strong the stringing material, thread/whatever will wear overtime. There are some threads that you can restring at longer intervals than just plain silk, but with wearing your pearls would still recommend a restring eventually, especially if you notice "give" in between pearls or the pearls are sliding at all on the thread.
 
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dk168

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I have only bought pre-drilled pearls and used silk threads for stringing myself.

Can't recall the hole size exactly, however, 0.9mm springs to mind as that's the diameter of the silver and gold wires I bought for wire wrapping purposes.

I had to buy a reamer tool in order to enlarge the pearls for double-threading at both ends of the necklace.

However, depending on the stringing method used, this is not always necessary.

DK :))
 

seaurchin

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@molinePDG- I've had some strands that have been strung on PowerPro (fishing line basically, though it may have some differences from it, I'm not sure) for years and they have not stretched or needed restringing, aside from problems caused by the gimp issue I mentioned above.

One problem with PowerPro though is that it is very strong so if you're working with it, regular scissors won't do.
 
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molinePDG

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@molinePDG- I've had some strands that have been strung on PowerPro (fishing line basically, though it may have some differences from it, I'm not sure) for years and they have not stretched or needed restringing, aside from problems caused by the gimp issue I mentioned above.

One problem with PowerPro though is that it is very strong so if you're working with it, regular scissors won't do.

Great to hear that you haven't had any issues with your particular stringing materials! A dear friend (and much more masterful stringer of pearls than I could ever be) does my stringing for me, so I'm not a great one to ask about true intricacies of stringing. But most folks who have any sort of pearls are definitely not thinking about their thread, lol - this is why people on PS are great.

Also, excellent note about not leaving pearls in dry areas! They like to be enjoyed for sure. :D
 

yssie

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Hi Pearl People, I’m going to come over to the Nacre side.
ive spied some interesting pearls from a vendor mentioned on another thread.
the pearls are currently undrilled.
What size hole should I have drilled? I was thinking either 1.0mm or 1.2mm.
How hard is it to string, with knots, your own necklace?
I could do fine wire or fishing line like I do with other beads but is knotted on silk recommended as better?
thanks.

I suck at stringing.
I also suck at wire wrapping.
I routinely envy (and, y’know, admire :bigsmile:) @MakingTheGrade’s handiwork :love:
My two possibly-useful contributions to this thread -
1. The sizes mentioned (0.8mm, 1mm, etc.) reflect the size of the drill needle... So the resulting hole is infinitesimally larger, and you can theoretically count on being able to use wire of thickness equivalent to stated needle gauge.
2. But wire gauges are like dremels - they’re always almost the same, but never exactly the same, and never exactly the diameter stated on whatever gauge chart you happen to be referencing. So if you’re going to be DIY wire wrapping - buying practice goldfill in a couple of gauges is probably a good idea.
 

CMN

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Hi Bron, just for your reference some good jewellers in Sydney will offer a stringing service. If I recall my local (good quality - mid range) jeweller charged about $60-$70 for a single strand. I supplied the gold clasp.
 

Bron357

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I jumped on in!
I asked for 1mm hole. I want to make a bracelet for myself. there will be enough for two bracelet I think.
I’m starting with a modest purchase, the colour of these ones called out to me so I bought them.
they look so yummy, like boiled lollies. 4A6DE79C-7048-4E72-925F-D54F08A805FA.jpeg
 

Bron357

Ideal_Rock
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Hi Bron, just for your reference some good jewellers in Sydney will offer a stringing service. If I recall my local (good quality - mid range) jeweller charged about $60-$70 for a single strand. I supplied the gold clasp.

Thanks.
yes my jeweller has restrung pearls for me before. I sold that strand. They were white and rather boring I thought at the time ha ha.
I keen to try making a bracelet myself, I’ll probably use the stretch elastic for such bead bracelets.
it was a very modest $$$ purchase so no harm in giving it a go.
 

seaurchin

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0.7mm is the industry standard for full drill for most pearls. There are other synthetic threads around which are specifically for pearls so you don't have to use fishing line (Serafil -available on etsy, or nylon or other synthetics))

The reason I like PowerPro so much (which I believe is the exact same material as fishing line, though marketed for stringing beads, with different weights and in light and dark shades) is that it seems practically indestructible- as well as washable.

In my experience, PowerPro doesn't need re-stringing (if gimp isn't used, as it wouldn't be with a mystery clasp or "endless" strand as I mentioned above somewhere). It doesn't seem to break down over time and could simply be washed in the sink if needed. Unlike silk, which does wear down and get dirty over time and which would mildew if you got it wet.

What I've been trying to figure out is if these other synthetic threads have those same superior properties as PowerPro or not. Does anyone know? Caitlyn (passed away now, unfortunately) on the other forum was a big believer in PowerPro and I learned about it from her.

The downside about PowerPro that I could see possibly happening, though I'm not sure if it would or not, is that its "hardness" might actually abrade the pearls over time, whereas a softer thread would not. And as mentioned, another, though lesser, downside is how it's too tough for regular scissors to cut through when stringing.

I'm thinking about having all of my strands re-done with mystery clasps (no gimp!) and PowerPro and being done with the annoyance of re-stringing forever- Woo hoo! Possible?

Oops, I hope this is helpful to you Bron rather than taking your thread too far off-topic. :)
 
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Begonia

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I've only ever knotted with silk, but I find it a very relaxing, meditative thing to do. There was a good tutorial on PS years ago, and she gave some excellent tips and pictures (otherwise YouTube).
Knotting myself has saved me a lot of money.

Make sure to prestretch any cord or line you use. The stretchy cord, just pull it a bit in either direction. Silk is sometimes recommended to wet and pull but I've just hung it up for a few days in the bathroom and then given it a pull between my fingers. Use needlenose or tweezers to get that knot nice and tight. Newly knotted pearls should be tight and almost crumpled a bit, but hang on a hook or wear and they straighten out PDQ.
 

SparklieBug

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Feb 23, 2013
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I've only ever knotted with silk, but I find it a very relaxing, meditative thing to do. There was a good tutorial on PS years ago, and she gave some excellent tips and pictures (otherwise YouTube).
Knotting myself has saved me a lot of money.

Make sure to prestretch any cord or line you use. The stretchy cord, just pull it a bit in either direction. Silk is sometimes recommended to wet and pull but I've just hung it up for a few days in the bathroom and then given it a pull between my fingers. Use needlenose or tweezers to get that knot nice and tight. Newly knotted pearls should be tight and almost crumpled a bit, but hang on a hook or wear and they straighten out PDQ.
^^^ I LOVE stringing/knotting pearls for the same reason! I love the look of the pearls, love the feel of them, love the sound of them clacking together, love seeing the instant progress of the strand. Happy sigh!

I use Beaders Secret which is really smooth to work with (no tangles), doesn't stretch so no need to pre-stretch, and I don't need to use tweezers or anything other than my fingers to tighten the knots. It's easy-peasy compared to my pathetic results with silk, LOL!
 

glitterata

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I string my own. I tried the standard method, but I couldn't get the knots close enough to the pearls. Then I tried the Japanese method, and it was super easy. You could do it with your eyes closed. (Well, except for the beginning and end, when you have to attach the clasps.)


 

molinePDG

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I string my own. I tried the standard method, but I couldn't get the knots close enough to the pearls. Then I tried the Japanese method, and it was super easy. You could do it with your eyes closed. (Well, except for the beginning and end, when you have to attach the clasps.)



I hadn't seen this explanation before! Thank you for sharing
 

Daisys and Diamonds

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:appl: :appl: :appl: I jumped on in!
I asked for 1mm hole. I want to make a bracelet for myself. there will be enough for two bracelet I think.
I’m starting with a modest purchase, the colour of these ones called out to me so I bought them.
they look so yummy, like bolollies. 4A6DE79C-7048-4E72-925F-D54F08A805FA.jpeg

Wow !
I jumped on in!
I asked for 1mm hole. I want to make a bracelet for myself. there will be enough for two bracelet I think.
I’m starting with a modest purchase, the colour of these ones called out to me so I bought them.
they look so yummy, like boiled lollies. 4A6DE79C-7048-4E72-925F-D54F08A805FA.jpeg

i dont even like boiled lollies but these are making me want the whole basket of Air NZ lollies the air hostess has the kids give out prior to descent !

The word of pearls is so much wider than i ever dreamed 777-200-economy-child-flight-attendant-handing-lollies-exp-301122-800x800__FocusFillWzE1NiwxNT...jpg
 

Pearlescence

Shiny_Rock
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I use Beaders Secret which is really smooth to work with (no tangles), doesn't stretch so no need to pre-stretch, and I don't need to use tweezers or anything other than my fingers to tighten the knots. It's easy-peasy compared to my pathetic results with silk, LOL!
You need to search for serafil now.
 

pearlsngems

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Same thread. Serafil is the manufacturer's own name for it.

PowerPro is good, but colors are limited to white and moss green; Serafil comes in many colors suitable for pearls. I've been using Serafil for many years now. I buy it on Etsy from seller in USA, since I live in USA.
 

Pearlescence

Shiny_Rock
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Same thread. Serafil is the manufacturer's own name for it.

PowerPro is good, but colors are limited to white and moss green; Serafil comes in many colors suitable for pearls. I've been using Serafil for many years now. I buy it on Etsy from seller in USA, since I live in USA.
You can say that, I'm not allowed!
 

Daisys and Diamonds

Ideal_Rock
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Im impressed serafil comes in quite a few reds
i have a cherry amber necklas to string (i hate the garnet spacer beads and awful gold plate findings on it right now )

I found a lady North of Auckland out in the wop wops that knots pearls for $1 / cm
 

Pearlescence

Shiny_Rock
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pearlsngems

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That's a new one for me, too! :lol:

Urban Dictionary says:

"wopwops

"NZ term the unknown/outback/gravelled & metalled roads/bush-- anywhere that's over an hour from civilization, often shortened to simply wops."

 
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