Sunday, February 7, 2010

C-Lon versus S-Lon

I get many questions about Superlon or S-Lon and the difference between this product and C-Lon.

C-Lon first produced the C-Lon Bead Thread in Size D in December 2002. In March 2005 the Super-Lon Beading Thread, a 'new product', was announced by another company.

C-Lon started producing C-Lon Bead Cord in 24 colors, then 32, now 88 and soon 104. Superlon or S-Lon is now producing S-Lon Bead Cord in 65 colors. Some of the color names are different, but the actual colors and quality of the thread seem to match C-Lon exactly. The spools sizes and yardage are different. C-Lon Bead Cord used to have 86 yards per spool, new production has 92 yards. S-Lon Bead Cord 77 yards.

In 2007 C-Lon added the C-Lon Micro Cord, now available in 32 colors. S-Lon in late 2009 announced a new cord called Superlon or S-Lon Micro Cord available in 8 colors. The spool size is different and yardage 10% lower than C-Lon, 287 yards versus 320 yards.

When S-Lon Bead Cord was announced, I remember questioning the name and wondering if it would the same product as C-Lon, but some of the color names were different so I hoped it would be different... When I received my order I was disappointed as it was the same exact cord in the same exact colors, most likely made in the same exact factory, so a knock-off product... Of course all perfectly legal... just as Starbucks moving next to local espresso bars, large box stores putting smaller stores out of business, and then raising their prices... all part of the great game of competition... but we can choose whom we support.

When I opened the online store in 2006, many of my students could not find bonded nylon in their local bead stores. Only coated wire for stringing beads was easily available. I started the store with C-Lon and then expanded to all the nylons I use in my own work. I do not carry S-Lon nor plan on using it. Should you?

Photo: The spools on the left are the C-Lon Bead Cord. The shorter, plumper spools on the right are the S-Lon Bead Cord. Shorter yardage on S-Lon by 10-12%.

4 comments:

Kathy R. said...

My friend and I just started making bracelets with 6/0 seed beads and I was wondering if the C-lon is waxed. I need a source to buy it from when I return home in the spring. We are making the bracelets with the wheel. Also should we be using D or AA?

Marion said...

Dear Kathy,

C-Lon makes cord and thread. The cord is a bonded 3-ply nylon cord. The bond is a coating that is applied after the thread is twisted and plied to keep the filaments together. The cord is available in several weight (from the heaviest to the lightest): C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord; C-Lon Bead Cord; C-Lon Fine Weight Bead Cord; C-Lon Micro Cord.

The C-Lon Bead Thread is altogether different as it is a monocord, more like a floss without any twist. This thread profile is like a ribbon whereas the 3-ply twisted cord stays rounder. It comes in two thickness, Size D and Size AA. It may have little lubricant of some sort, but it is not waxed. Some people use wax or Thread Heaven, but it's unnecessary.

As to what would be the best to use on a kumihimo wheel or disk with beads, I would recommend C-Lon cord over thread, and since 6/0s have quite large holes; you could easily use the C-Lon Tex 400 available in 24 colors, or the C-Lon Bead Cord available in 96 colors. You are of course welcome look at all the thread & cords available in my online store at store.jewelsinfiber.com. - Marion

daydreamersdaughter said...

My instructions are to buy 18 guage c-lon cord. Exactly which c-lon cord is 18 guage?

Marion said...

The C-Lon Bead Cord is a 3-ply bonded nylon cord with a diameter of about 5mm with a size specification of Tex 210. Traditionally this type of cord was made for the upholstery industry and was called Nylon #18. So you can use C-lon Bead Cord in standard size or any Nylon #18 cord. Best of luck with your project! - Marion