Beading: Nymo vs. Fireline

I’ve used Nymo (nylon beading thread) for a long time, in part because it was at one point economical to buy a big spool of it and just keep going. I’m fairly fond of it. I’ve used it for years. I know how much to wax it, how long a piece I can work with without tangling too much, how many twists and turns I can do with a needle before I’d better stop and unwind the tail from the rest of the working thread just to save a hassle later. I know how tricky it is to knot when you want it to, and how easy it is for it to knot itself when you don’t want it to.

For earrings, Nymo works very well. The beads are pulled snug up against each other, and the thread’s thin enough that you can make multiple passes through even tricky skinny beads if you’re careful.

Nymo does, however, have a certain give in it, and given the bracelet designs I’m currently trying out are fast-stitch peyote, with minimal thread passes through each bead, I was a little worried about that. So I stitched up the rose-patterned bracelet I posted a couple weeks back with Nymo, packed it up, and sent it to one of my beta readers with instructions to have at it. Because nothing beats RL testing!

My beta loves it. But they did say the Nymo stretches just a little. Which could be problematic in the long run, especially if I make something meant to be tightly fitted to a wrist, or simply want to avoid something slipping off at awkward moments.

So now I’m trying what for me is a new kind of beading thread: 6-lb Fireline. My reactions so far… hmm.

It’s definitely stiffer, with a lot less give than Nymo. It’s thicker – which is okay with fast-stitch peyote, but could be problematic in a multiple-pass earring design. It’s easily knotted with intent, but it will also knot by itself. Not quite as often as Nymo, so far, but since it knots in a different way, it can be more frustrating to deal with because I don’t expect it.

I suspect I’ll figure that out with time, though, just as I will what’s the optimum thread length to cut to minimize tangling vs. how many new threads I have to add to the work.

Bottom line, I don’t think I’ll be dumping Nymo out of my beading kit. But it looks like I will be adding Fireline. They’re both good, just at two different things.

Anyone else have thoughts on beading threads?



4 thoughts on “Beading: Nymo vs. Fireline

  1. I honestly wish I knew something about jewelry making. Because you obviously see something amazing in it. What got you into bead work?

    I looked into it myself, and I found myself more than a little put off by all the big gaudy beads that seem to be in fashion. It was surprisingly difficult to find any of the more small detailed how-to books. In fact, I think I found one. I think I found one, anyway…


    1. The answer is sheepishly simple: like a raven, I adore sparklies. I picked up some beads at a flea market waaaay back, from someone’s “surprise box” of various leftover costume jewelry pieces, and found a book on Native American style beading somewhere else. Then someone introduced me to Swarovski crystals, and – well. Very, very sparkly, and for roughly 4 bucks you can get a set of 48 4-mm bicones, whereas the same thing with gemstones – sheesh. Expensive.

      (I’m on record with family as saying, if a guy shows up with a $1K diamond ring, toss him out. If he showed up with $1K worth of 11/0 beads and crystals….)

      I really don’t like big beads either. Too heavy!

      So. Beads, and I thought maybe I could learn to do something pretty that would bring in a little money. It’s not a lot – but it paid for the cover of Count Taka, for one!

      There’s a bunch of neat books on brick, peyote, and other bead stitches available on Amazon. The rose-patterned bracelet was from “Fast Peyote-Stitch Jewelry”, by Josie Fabre.

      To me, beading takes concentration – manipulating objects in 3-D space is something I have to focus on, I can’t just do it offhandedly. Which means that if I’m utterly frustrated with how something is going writing-wise, I can pick up some beads and Not Think About Words so much. Sometimes the break helps!


  2. Personally, I bead with beading wire – but I do a different type of design than you do. And I’m thinking of getting started with thread as well, so noting those recommendations!


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