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.


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 Hunziker-Larsen 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 - Marion

daydreamersdaughter said...

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

Marion Hunziker-Larsen 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

harinnyc said...

firstly, i am new to kimuhimo but have some 'cord' on hand so have been looking for sites with diameter/gauge measurements. THANK YOU SO MUCH for all your size comparison/measurement information; so helpful!
now, if i am correct i think you meant .5mm (1/2 mm), not 5mm in your reply to daydreamersdaughter ; "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."

Unknown said...

hello.. I'm looking for nylon thread/cord like this in the photo.

it should be thin, not frayed when I cut and adapt for knotting.
thx you so much

Denise P said...

My macrame bracelet instructions call for text 210 S-Lon. What do you recommend in your store to replace it. I just purchased fine weight C-Lon from you for a beaded crochet project and I have #18 S-Lon already in my home.

Marion Hunziker-Larsen said...

Hi Denise, Tex 210 is the numbering for the standard C-Lon Bead Cord, Nylon #18 and for #18 S-Lon. So if the pattern asks for Tex 210 S-Lon, you can use the cord you have at home, or you can get new colors of C-Lon Bead Cord, other brand of Nylon #18 or Tuff Bead Cord Size 5 on my site at

Denise P said...

Thank you so much! I can't wait until my new cord arrives!

Anonymous said...

Are you still doing business at your store? I ordered the c-lon thread from an Etsy shop and received s-lon instead. I was hoping maybe you were still in business and I could order from you going forward.

Marion Hunziker-Larsen said...

Yes, I am still in business, shipping orders every day. Check my latest post on comparing C-lon and S-Lon colors. It is the August 5, 2022 post.

Anonymous said...

Hi, C Lon cord doesn't come in gauges. It's a 3 ply nylon cord that comes in a range of diameters or thicknesses. I think that what you were told to get is actually the C Lon cord in the Standard #18 size, which is the second thickest size and is 0.5mm in diameter. The largest size is the C Lon Heavyweight Tex 400 Cord, which is 0.9mm in diameter and is just under 1mm thick. Good luck with your project. From Amanda Jones in Australia

Marion Hunziker-Larsen said...

That's a perfect description. Thank you Amanda Jones!

Elizabeth Gregory said...

I've been following you for years and want to thank you especially for the Cavendoli story. i love the technique, it's so dense and stable. I wish I lived closer to California. Liz