Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Some notes on beading

I am continuing with the daily beading, as you can see with each week's update on Sundays. Here is something I did for the first time today, although I have heard about it for sometime.

If you draw your thread through beeswax, it is meant to tame it and strengthen it. I had a go with this at one time, and just thought it was an extra bother. However, several different times in the last few years, I have read about an additional step... you press the waxed thread with a warm iron.

Well, these little badges have lots of potentional for the thread to get tangled on protruding edges or beads already sewn.

And this last week I find myself getting to the end of my pink reel of Nymo beading thread. So, it is extra curly and taking me alot of extra untangling time. (These little fabric covered card pieces are already taking me much more time than I had intended, so I probably won't revisit them for a long while once February is done.)

So I decided, let's have a go with this waxed thread lark.
Pulling it through the wax began to straighten the kinks a bit.

But look at the difference the pressed with a warm iron sections make!

I am sold!

Another thing to mention. If you can use needles size 10, 11 or 12, small beads will pass over the eye section easier. The needles are smaller/thinner the higher the number.
Because I am travelling between the coloured squares through the felt layer under the fabric, I like using needles that are a little longer. And I like the needles to have a little larger eye so I can actually thread the thing! Sharps needles can work, or milliners straws, but sometimes the beads catch on the eye section. Long beading needles are a bit tricky to push through the fabric glued areas on the back - they are a bit too flexible.

Anyway, I was getting on fine with a John James bead embroidery needle size 12. But when I tie off the thread on the back, I have to push through the playing card the badge is built on. Even these needles are bending a bit. I realise now they are probably best for when you are passing the thread through the beads over and over again for building a 'fabric' from the beads.

So, here is what happened in mid stitch the other day!
no, that isn't stuck through card, it is a broken needle! I have had thin needles break at the eye section before, but not often directly in half.

So, I need to look out for a few more longer size 10 or 11 needles. I usually leave them threaded up so I can just pick up the white threaded needle when I want, or the pink or the blue, etc. It means I am not threading and re-threading and losing the leftover strand somewhere.

Any new/old things you have learned from recent projects?


irenemacwilliam said...

when leaving a needle at end of job leave a length of thread doubled with a knot. If you loose the needle it is easier to find on floor, drawer, table, etc

I have had broken needles but not at the eye, I use a thimble so am able to push hard through multiple layers or awkward areas but it has meant needles break and many have a bend in them.

Sandy said...

Hi Irene,
you should see my beading needles! they all have curves...some in different directions.
Some of my other needles for other sewing do as well.

Good idea about the thread with the knot left. I tend to do that so that I don't get frustrated when I start to sew and it just pulls right through!