NEW! FireLine, S-Lon Japan, and more colors of One-G! Plus we re-organized this page by size -- thinnest at the top (best for beadweaving), thickest (for stringing heavier beads) at the end.
Comparing the sizes from different manufacturers can be confusing... some use millimeters, others use inches, and others use more obscure size references, so here's a quick beading thread comparison from smallest to largest:
O (super fine, 0.15mm), A, B (0.2mm), C, D (0.3mm), E (0.325mm), EE, 1, 2 (0.45mm), 3, #18 (0.5mm), 4, 6 (0.70mm), F, FF, 5 and 8.
Not sure which type of cord to use for your next project? Click into any item for more information, or see beading thread overview at bottom of page.
Beading thread is a staple jewelry supply for making many styles of bracelets and necklaces. But there are so many styles and sizes to pick from!
Some of the beading thread and cord on this page is best for general bead stringing, and others are best for beadweaving. Some can be used for both. Choose cord type and size depending on the type of project, and the size of your beads (or more specifically, the size of their holes).
Beadweavers need thin, strong thread, that can be woven back and forth multiple times through tiny beads. When using teensy size 15 beads and a complicated pattern, you need the thinnest thread possible. When using size 11 seed beads and a simpler pattern, you can use a little thicker cord.
Some projects are best with beading thread that doesn't stretch... and other projects are best with beading thread that has a little "give" to it.
When stringing necklaces and bracelets with large gemstones, trade beads, or other heavier beads, use thicker beading cord -- generally the thickest cord that fits easily through all the beads. (You may also prefer to use stringing cable, also known as beading wire or flex wire.)
If you can't stand to thread needles, try needle-end cord, or some of the stiffer types of cord that don't require a needle, or make your own "needle" by dipping the end of the cord into a bit of glue, and then trimming at an angle.
FireLine is a pre-waxed, braided cord consisting of gel-spun polyethylene (Dyneema). It has a high tensile strength and has been recommended in numerous how-to articles on beadworking. #12 English beading needles are perfect for this cord. We highly recommend Fiskars Precision Scissors for cutting this thread. It is not machine washable.
Nymo beading thread is a popular bead cord to use for beadwork both on and off loom, and is preferred for seed beads size 12 and smaller. Choose from black and white thread in Size O, a very fine size of beading thread that is commonly used with English beading needles. Most users of Nymo prefer to condition the thread with beeswax or a synthetic thread conditioner, to help prevent fraying and tangling when weaving through the same beads multiple times. Size O Nymo is approximately 0.006" (0.15mm).
WildFire beading thread by Beadalon is ideal for working with seed beads, especially as a bead weaving thread. It is 100% waterproof, knottable, and its super-strong fibers cannot be pierced with a needle! WildFire also features a smooth, thermally bonded coating. Choose from 2 sizes that features the strength and durability of DandyLine.
Rapidly growing in popularity, TOHO One-G nylon beading thread was created specifically for bead weaving (on or off loom). It is strong and flexible, yet doesn't fray as easily as most other nylon beading threads. One of beaders' favorite features of One-G cord, is that it is preconditioned, so it doesn't require waxing.
S-Lon Japan Polyester Beading Thread is available in 0.20mm, 0.25mm and .30mm. If you have a tough time threading needles, this is the perfect stringing and beading cord for you! It's specially coated for needle-free stringing for seed bead work.
Size D Super-Lon (C Lon) nylon beading thread offers a beautiful palette of colors to satisfy your jewelry cording needs! Size D (0.3mm, or 0.012") S-Lon provides the feel of Nymo, but with more strength. It's very popular for use with size 11 seed beads. Created with parallel construction and UV resistance, Size D cord is an extremely strong nylon thread with very little stretch and very little twist. Super-Lon is also available in size #18 (0.5mm), which can be used for stringing larger beads, plus is excellent for kumihimo and micro-macramé.
Needle-End Silk Cord is popular for stringing gemstones, pearls, glass beads... just about any type of bead! There is a needle built into one end of the cord, so you don't need to worry about finding a needle the right size, or threading a tiny beading needle.
Size 2 = 0.45mm (works for most freshwater pearl beads and small gemstones beads)
Size 4 = 0.6mm (a good general purpose size)
Size 6 = 0.7mm (popular for stringing larger gemstones)
Bead tips are the most popular way to finish the ends of necklaces and bracelets strung on silk cord, and bullion is an attractive, but less common material for finishing the ends. (See "Related Products" tab of needle-end cord.)
Size E Silk Bead Cord is excellent for stringing all types of beads, and is especially popular for stringing gemstone necklaces (with or without knotting between the beads). It's approximately 0.325mm (0.0128") and works well with 0.23mm twisted steel wire needles. Ends are normally finished with bead tips or bullion.
Size FF Nylon No-Stretch Bead Cord: Use with size 10 or twisted-wire needles, or simply stiffen the end with superglue. Size FF is about the same size as Size 6 needle-end nylon cord. It's a nice size for stringing most materials, and goes easily through standard Czech glass beads.
Beading Thread comparison from smallest to largest: O (super fine, 0.15mm), A, B (0.2mm), 1G, C, D (0.3mm), E, EE, 1, 2 (0.45mm), 3, #18 (0.5mm) 4, 6 (0.70mm), F, FF, 5 and 8.
One-G Toho thread (330 DTEX, 0.203mm) is about the same as size B (0.2mm).
FireLine and WildFire: 0.005" (0.13mm), 0.006" (0.15mm) and 0.008" (0.2mm)
Power Pro (out of production) was .009" (0.22mm)
Necklaces and bracelets strung on beading thread are normally finished with bead tips, which help you securely knot your cord ends, plus hide the knotted ends.