Learn How to Knot Gems and Pearls – A Resource Guide

Knotting has been something I have been wanting to master. Seems like a basic skill, but I don’t have it down…yet. In the past, I became overwhelmed when it came time to figure out what type of thread and what type of needles I needed to purchase in order to move forward.

I sat down this week and tried to navigate knotting gems and pearls. Here is what my continuing education discovered.

Resources: Knotting Gems & Pearls

  • I love this Pearl Knotting Like a Pro downloadable pdf I found on Beadshop.com. Check out the “guesstimation” cheat sheet for thread sizes that is included in the pdf! That kind of stuff really gets me excited because that junk takes time to figure out!!!
  • Beadshop.com also had this downloadable pdf on how to knot gems: Gem Knotting 1.5.
  • I found this basic stringing YouTube Video to be helpful: Pearl Knotting Tutorial
  • Kate at Beadshop.com covers how to tie knotting strings together to create a 10’ continuous strand in this Facebook Live video. She also explained how she tests everything that she knots prior to knotting, so there wasn’t any easy formula I could easily follow in regards to thread I need to buy (dang!!).
  • You can learn just about everything there is to need to know about the variety of beading threads on the Beadshop.com Stitchery section, but if you are at all like me, I was overwhelmed!

Items Needed for Knotting:

I have identified that I need the following items to knot with (links go to beadshop.com):

Okay, you skilled knotting pros! What else do I need to purchase to get started learning basic knotting? Let me know in the comments, on social media or email becky@nunndesign.com! Thanks!

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6 thoughts on “Learn How to Knot Gems and Pearls – A Resource Guide

  1. Klew says:

    Greetings Becky;
    I am happy you have broached this subject as I am learning a bit about knotting currently as well. Many customers have been coming into our shop lately to create Mala’s, and rosary’s alike. There are a couple things I would like to comment on
    1. Thread nippers are great because they are spring loaded not like a scissor.
    2. French Wire is fabulous and like a tiny slinky except they don’t spring back once they are pulled out and I find that I prefer to pre-cut several pieces so I can be sure they will all be the same length as it is difficult to determine how much when one end is already in the “U” position in over your thread.
    3. I use a thread glue; “Gum Arabic” rather than Hypo as my personal preference and apply using a toothpick. It seems to be easier for me not to have to slide the tiny needle back into the applicator and get glue on my finger when I am beading, that’s just me.
    4. I use C-lon and S-lon thread with a big eye needle as well as natural silk as you are limited to the length on the silk to 2 meters and sometimes I want longer or use a double knot which uses more material.

    Happy Knotting! Be Well, Klew

  2. Pam Howard says:

    Hi Becky,

    You’ll love knotting. It’s one of my favorite things to do. I recommend purchasing a package of cocktail straws or coffee stirrer straws (I sometimes pick up a few at my local coffee shop). Why? Consistent spacing. Decide how much space you want between your beads and then cut a piece of straw that length. After making a knot on the right side of a bead (I work from left to right), slip the straw on your silk cord and slide it down until it rests on the last bead knotted. Make a knot against the right edge of the the straw. Remove the straw (this is very important), slide on your bead, make your second knot and repeat. It’s a beautiful thing. Enjoy!

  3. Pamela Howard says:

    I just took another look at your list. You need tweezers, I prefer the straight rather than the angled ones. It’s much easier to place your knot exactly where you want it with tweezers than with an awl or a T-pin. No was is necessary. You might want a bead reamer as sometimes the wholes aren’t consistent in size. Scissors are absolutely fine, and you’ll need clam shells (the bead tips with 2 rings are really nice). The Stitchinary at beadshop.com will help you determine the right size thread/cord to use according to the size of your beads. I like hypo cement. You can easily get the cap back on by laying the tip across your finger with the hole up so you can easily see it and it’s in a stable position to guide the stopper in.


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