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Do Bracelets Crimp, Cut or String?

pizazzworks
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Question:
Hi, I have a request for a "quality" bracelet but the people want it on that stretchy beading string. I have always considered them as a trinket and not worthy of decent gem-quality beads. What is the scoop on these stretchy bracelets?

Actually I don't even know how they should be tied to keep them from slipping apart.
Carmen

Answer:
We would agree with you on the use of the stretch string. Kay would not use it on a quality bracelet either. It is good for kids projects and is relatively easy to tie off by just using a square knot.

I have seen books that recommend crimp beads but we would be concerned with the crimp cutting the string.

I would try to convince the person that the only way to have a long lasting, quality bracelet is to use beading wire.


Comment From Subscriber:
I have been making stretch bracelets from semiprecious stones and sterling for quite a while, and have sold them for an excellent price to some very upscale shops. I, too, considered the medium unsuitable until I saw a show-stopper turquoise bracelet that set me free of prejudice.

I always use a double strand of stretch material (.5mm) and tie it off, hiding the knot in a silver bead. I wouldn't consider a crimp for obvious reasons, and don't trust glue. There are designs that don't lend themselves to clasps; there are people, who for physical reasons, can't handle clasps. I have not yet had one returned.

Thanks for the excellent newsletter - I enjoy it very much.


Comment From Subscriber:
I also had a customer who wanted her bracelet on the stretchy plastic string as she had a real problem with doing and undoing a clasp. I tried to convince her to try a toggle clasp, but she wasn't happy with that. We finally compromised on using memory wire. I attached matching beads to the ends so that it would look more finished. The design possibilities are limited with memory wire, but she was very happy with it as she could put it on and take it off easily.


Comment From Subscriber:
I too have had requests for 'quality' stone/bali sterling bracelets on stretchy cord. One of the MAIN reasons people ask for this stringing material is that they require NO Clasps! Toggles can fall off, lobster/ring assemblies can be oh so frustrating to put on... I found the easiest non 'fall off' and easy to put on clasp for a bracelet is to use the 'fold over' bracelet clasps and some SAFETY chain. This assembly addresses the "hard to put on" and the "falling off" issues!

Choose a style of fold over clasp or safety clasp (I think that is what they are called) that has rings soldered for adding safety chain. Use a good sturdy small curb chain for the safety chain as it will move well and last a long time.

If you clasp does NOT have rings to add safety chain, just add the safety chain ends to the strand BEFORE you crimp it, put the chain on the rings that attach to the clasp or get creative! Just add that chain - at least 2.5 - 3.5 inches... so the 'loop' formed by chain/bracelet will easily fit over the hand.

These fold over clasps come in several sizes and can be used for multiple strand bracelets by using good sized soldered ring to directly attach your strands to, then add the clasp with a ring to 'clamp into' on the permanent clasp end, and one on the other side.

Try making a few, be creative with your use of attaching rings and present the pictures to your customers.

Adjustability also is one of the reasons that people like those stretchy bracelets. With the fold over clasps you can use a bit of the large ring sterling chain on the 'attach' side, put a pretty charm on the last link for a very cute look. That way the customer can choose a length and even use side cutters to cut the chain to make it the perfect size for them if they don't want a 'dangle' on the end.

You can choose a specific charm or dangle to denote that that piece was made by YOU! Make it a signature component..... I hope this helps!
 
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