Stringing

We provide a stringing service for repair, renovation, alteration and re-design of all pearl or bead necklaces or bracelets, utilising the traditional method of hand knotting on a double strand, usually using silk thread. We recommend that pearls are strung every six months to a year and a half depending on wear. Heavier necklaces should be strung regularly as the weight of the beads will pull on the thread causing unsightly gaps and weakening the thread leaving it prone to breaking. It is advisable to have bead necklaces re-strung as soon as the thread looks stretched, when tiny gaps start to appear between beads and the next to knots or when the thread no longer looks fresh. If the thread on the necklace has broken it has to be re-strung it cannot just be put back together with the remaining thread.

When stringing pearls we will use white silk thread, unless you request otherwise. Silk thread reduces the wear on the pearls' drill holes. Most pearl necklaces are strung knotted, that is with a very small knot between each pearl. This gives an elegant drape and reduces wear on the pearls. Should the thread on your necklace break it is likely that you will risk losing only one or two pearls. If the pearls are smaller they will tend to be strung either un-knotted or with a knot every three to five pearls. This avoids the pearls appearing to be overwhelmed by the knots and due to smaller pearls being lighter in weight the drape tends to appear more attractive if there are no knots. Different weights of thread are used for different sizes of pearl and the thread size is also dictated by the size of the drill hole in the pearl. This will influence the size of the knot. We will endeavour to keep the knots as small and as tight as possible, depending on the thread size. If we use too small a thread or if there is a larger hole on one particular pearl the pearl may run over the knot, causing the pearl to move and leave a gap.

Maintenance of your pearls is important to keep them looking their best. Dirt and grease from skin and the environment will coat the thread during normal wear. This affects the appearance of a necklace and can degrade the thread. It is essential to try to keep creams and perfume away from pearls. These can damage the top layers of the pearl sometimes removing layers completely, giving a weathered look. If you play with our pull on your necklace this can wear the surface of the pearls and it will stretch the thread. For the same reason is best not to swing pearl necklaces around or to shake them about in the hand. This can also risk chipping or cracking the pearls. Upon noticing that the thread on your pearl jewellery is not looking its best please bring it to us. During re-stringing your pearls will be cleaned and the fresh silk thread will give your necklace a new lease of life. We request that you count the number of pearls on your necklace then make sure that we count them again in front of you. This is to make sure that there are no errors. When a necklace has been re-strung it will be much tighter than when it came to us, this will make the necklace look much shorter. This does not mean that there are fewer beads on the necklace it is just that the old thread was stretched.

We also re-string bead necklaces, whether it is gemstone or glass beads. We will try to match the colour of the thread as closely as possible to the colour of your beads unless you request otherwise. We tend to use a tougher thread than silk, such as a polyester or cotton thread as coloured beads are less likely to be worn by the thread. Depending on the material and the finish on the drill holes the beads can wear or cut into the thread so it is better to use a tougher thread for this purpose.

We can re-model or re-design your strung jewellery as well as carrying out repairs. For example if you have a two row necklace we can make it into a long single row necklace. We have sometimes found a match for a single row necklace to make it into a double row. This is not easy and can take time but the results have been well worth it.

We have re-modelled brooches to make them into clasps as centrepieces for stunning multi-row chokers. We can supply new clasps or sometimes we can repair broken clasps, depending on the material that they are made from.

We are sometimes asked why our necklaces are strung with a tiny piece of coiled wire, that is like a spring, around the thread that joins the necklace to the clasp. This is called bullion wire. It is there to prevent the clasp from wearing the thread and the adjoining bead. It is also the case that gold rots silk thread. Many clasps are made of gold so the bullion wire helps to prevent breakage.

A note on drill holes in beads:-

Sometimes poor drilling techniques have been used on gemstone beads. Ideally a straight drill should have been used but in some countries a pointed drill is used to start the hole on one side then the bead is turned round and drilled through to the other side. Sometimes the drilling hole does not meet up or the hole can be minute. It is often the case that the drill was not drilling straight so there is a swirl in the middle of the drill holes. When buying strings of gem beads check the holes. If the thread is very thin or if the beads are on fishing line, especially if the holes appear large but are difficult to move on the thread then it is likely that they have been drilled badly. In this situation we can have each bead re-drilled. There is a slight risk of breakage with this and it does add another cost onto the necklace, however it is a one-off cost. If a necklace is not properly through drilled stringing can be nigh on impossible or the rough drill holes will cut into the thread and the necklace is likely to break.

Prices differ for each stringing project, depending on the bead, the size and length of the necklace, the number of rows and the design. We will supply a quote before going ahead at your request.

We look forward to seeing your stringing projects.