Tangled beading thread really sucks the fun out of making jewelry. Here are some simple ideas for how you can prevent knots in your thread.
Tangled beading thread is a huge pain the butt. You get into such a nice rhythm creating a new piece of jewelry and then…
There’s a knot that you have to stop and undo.
If you’re sick of suffering from tangled-knot-itis (It’s a real thing, I promise!), then you’re going to want to read this post. Here are some simple ways that you can minimize tangling your thread.
How To Prevent Tangled Beading Thread
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Here’s a video telling you how to reduce tangled beading thread but there’s some extra information written in the post as well:
1. Use Shorter Lengths of Thread
The first way that you can prevent your beading thread from tangling is to work with shorter lengths. I see a lot of beaders working with long pieces of thread simply because they don’t want to add new thread. Maybe they don’t know how or they’re just not confident in their abilities to do it.
Working with long lengths of beading thread is a big no-no if you want to avoid knots. The more you pull that thread through the beads, the more you crinkle it. Ever notice that once you start working with thread, it’s never as straight as when you first remove it from the reel?
I recommend sticking to lengths of three yards (nine feet) or less. I personally work with two yards (six feet) at a time unless I know the beading project is going to take a lot of thread. Then, I extend it to three yards maximum.
2. Minimize Mistakes
As I mentioned before, the more you work with beading thread, the more it will twist back on itself. If you make a ton of mistakes as you are working and constantly have to remove your thread from the beadwork, it will become tangled more easily.
Of course, it’s difficult to completely eliminate making mistakes but try to minimize them:
- Pay attention to what you are doing while you work. Sometimes, I get caught up watching TV while beading. Before I know it, I’ve picked up the wrong beads or done something else incorrect.
- Follow instructions carefully. If you have a tendency to skim beading patterns instead of reading them thoroughly, you may be more prone to making mistakes.
- Learn the basics of the stitch before you attempt to move on to more complicated patterns. When you truly understand a beading technique, completing beading patterns using the stitch will come much more naturally.
Related: 5 Ways To Overcome Fear of Beading Tutorials
3. Use A Thread Conditioner
Thread conditioners reduce static cling and help the thread to slip through the beads easily. This greatly decreases the stress on the thread as you work and prevents tangling. Thread conditioners also have the added bonus of strengthening the beading thread.
Use beeswax for this purpose or Thread Heaven. Please be aware that Thread Heaven is no longer in production. If you see it on the shelves, grab it while it’s still available.
Purchase beeswax or Thread Heaven (while it’s still available) here.
Simply run the length of beading thread through the thread conditioner to coat it. Then, use the thread as normal.
As much as you try, you will always have to deal with tangled beading thread but hopefully these tips can help you to minimize the occurrence as much as possible.
Related: A List of Tools That Are Useful When Bead Weaving
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Teri DiBiasi says
Great ideas on how to stop my thread from tangling, thank you. I’m really enjoying this blog and all the things I’ve been learning. I do have a question however; on the patterns that you have for sale, can they only be downloaded to video or are they printable also? I have a much easier time learning from print rather than verbal directions.
I’m so glad you’re finding this blog helpful! The patterns for sale are all written PDF tutorials with step-by-step photos. Once your purchase is complete, you are free to download each pattern and print it out if you like.
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Wonderful! Welcome to the TBCL family and thanks for your kind words.
Good thread makes a big difference. The Japanese beading threads have never knotted on me ever, and I always use long lengths.