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 the 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 new colors... When I received my order I was so disappointed as it was the same exact cord in the same exact colors a C-Lon, 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%.

May 18, 2015 Update

C-Lon developed the Tex 400 size starting in 2008 with 24 colors. They have since added new colors in 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014 & 2015. The last 8 new colors of C-Lon Tex 400 arrived in February this year, bringing the collection up to 108 colors.

In May 2015, I received a notice that S-lon has added new colors of Tex 400 bringing their collection to 100 colors. I am not even going to check on their colors as most likely they are the same with some name changes to keep everyone confused. 

May 12, 2020 Update

C-Lon has added more colors in the Fine Weight and Micro sizes, plus they have introduced smaller spools in these two sizes making it more affordable to buy more colors. S-Lon has paired down their color offerings and are stocking less colors than in the past.

Here is what's available at this time - Updated May 2020

116 Colors of C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord - Heavyweight Tex 400 ~ Ø 0.9 mm - 39 yd/36 m
S-Lon - 64 colors - 35 yards per spool

116 Colors of C-Lon Bead Cord  - Standard #18 Size Tex 210 ~ Ø 0.5 mm - 92 yd/84 m
S-Lon - 94 colors - 77 yards per spool

60 Colors of C-Lon Fine Weight Bead Cord - Tex 135 ~ Ø 0.4 mm
Original Spools 136 yd/124 m - New Spools 50 yd/46 m
S-Lon - 20 colors - 118 yards per spool

48 Colors of C-Lon Micro Bead Cord - Tex 70  ~ Ø 0.115 mm
Original Spools 320 yd/293 m - New Spools 100 yd/91 m
S-Lon - 18 colors - 287 yards per spool

36 Colors of C-Lon Bead Thread - Size D - Tex 45 ~ Ø 0.11 mm - 80 yd/73 m
S-Lon - 36 colors - 75 yards per spool

38 Colors of C-Lon Bead Thread - Size AA - Tex 35 ~ Ø 0.09 mm - 75 yd/69 m
S-Lon - 24 colors - 75 yards per spool

August 2022 Update, check this new post for an update comparing the colors across the 2 brands. This new update includes charts showing how the colors intersect. 

Not sure which size you already have or need? Request a sample card at no charge.
Not sure which colors you already have? Send numbered snippets in an envelopewith your name and email address to Marion Jewels in Fiber, PO Box 6776, Chico CA 95928. Keep an exact copy of what you send for later reference. As soon as we get it, we will identify the snippets for you and reply by email. Also check this post on how to identify C-Lon colors.