Seed Bead Curation

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    • #133368
      Wendi Murray
      Participant

      I an looking for an archival quality material to string very small glass seed beads for long-term storage. The cotton string we typically use is too thick. I have looked for polethylene string online but have not had any luck. Does anyone have any ideas? Thanks!

    • #133373

      Would fishing line work?

    • #133372
      SMM Warner
      Member

      Nymo nylon thread is commonly used by beaders, myself included and will not break down like cotton. I have also used it in my museum work in the past. I do not recommend silk, sinew, anything intrinsic or fishline. Fishline plastic/nylon biodegrades fairly quickly or can become brittle and break. I would use size D white Nymo thread. You can order it from Crazy Crow Trading Company. You might also consider synthetic sinew but is is waxed…both are available at Crazy Crow or other Indian Craft enterprises. You will probably need some size 10 or 11 beading needles also.

    • #133371
      Janice Klein
      Member

      Fishing line (or as the conservators call it: monofilament) is a good solution. Depending on where you are located it can be a bit difficult to find. Hardware and sporting goods stores are your best bet. It comes in different thicknesses (and colors) so you should be able to find one that works for even the smallest beads. Another option might be 100% cotton thread.

    • #133370
      Ron Kley
      Participant

      Monofilament line can be had on eBay, at fishing supply stores, and in the sporting goods sections of WalMart stores. Note that it is not marked or sold by diameter, but by “test” (the number of pounds of tensile stress that it will withstand without breaking). The lower the “test” strength, tha smaller the diameter. Four-pound test is about the thinnest you’re likely to find in stores, but I just looked and found 2-pound stuff on eBay.

      Ron Kley

    • #133369
      Kory Berrett
      Member

      Just to repeat – SMM Warner is right. Fishing line (monofilament) degrades fairly quickly, can become brittle and break. Look for something that will last longer than 10 or 20 years.

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