Types of Necklace Cords


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 jewelry 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 colors, and make durable and long lasting jewelry. Use larger beads with this type of thick cording.

Satin and Silk

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


  • Hemp, like satin, comes in a variety of weights. This natural twine is woven from the fibers of the cannabis plant, touted as the longest, strongest natural fiber on the planet. Hemp is often used for knotted macrame necklaces and favorite 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 colors and package sizes.

Bead Thread

  • Bead thread is a thin, synthetic material used for stringing delicate beads. It varies in thickness and color, 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 jewelry. It's often used inside children's jewelry, watches, and costume jewelry. Use multiple strands to prevent jewelry from breaking. It can be tied of with a square knot or fastened with cord coils, which you can purchase at your local jewelry store.

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