Saturday, April 9, 2011

Tips: How to Cut C-Lon Bead Cord and Get Rid of the Curls

This picture shows all four sizes of C-Lon Bead Cord and the
sizes of Miyuki beads that can be strung onto the cord using a beeswax self needle. See one of my earlier blog about the best way of loading beads onto cord. From left to right:
- C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord with Miyuki E's (twice/2x), 6/0s, and 8/0s

- C-Lon Bead Cord with Miyuki 6/0s (2x), 8/0s, and 11/0s
- C-Lon Fine Weight Cord with Miyuki 8/0s (2x), 11/0s, and 15/0s

- C-Lon Micro Cord with Miyuki 8/0s (2x), 11/0s, and 15/0s

C-Lon Bead Cord and to a certain extend C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord, the 'heavyweight bead cord', tend to curl. This can be especially annoying when working with micro macrame, as it makes the process of finding the right cord to work with more daunting especially when working with a multitude of cords. For applications such a crochet, knitting or kumihimo with EZ-Bobs, the cord having a memory of being on the spool all curled up does not matter. For anyone wanting the curls to go away, several solutions come to mind.

No More Curls Methods
  1. When unwinding the thread, give it a pull one arm's length at a time.
  2. Cut the cord the day before and add a weight to the ends overnight.
  3. Steam the cord.
  4. Iron the cord with a warm iron - a hot iron will damage the cord.
I use method #1 when stringing beads and method #4 when doing micro macrame and Cavandoli knotting. I have not tried the method 2, & 3, but they have been suggested by readers of my newsletters.

Alternative Method
Here is a another good method for micro macrame and Cavandoli knotting, when you need multiple cords, all of the same length. I use this method for workshops or when I plan my work a day ahead of time.
  1. Set up 2 winding posts, warping posts or cup hooks set into pieces of wood attached by a C-clamp to fixed positions at the distance desired for your cord ends.
  2. Attach the cord to the post/hook on your left (post/hook #1).
  3. Unwind the cord towards the second post/hook and give it a hard pull.
  4. Wind it around the second post/hook on your right (post/hook #2).
  5. Return to post/hook #1, unwinding, giving a hard pull and wind the cord around #1.
  6. Repeat steps 3-5 however many times until you have the desired number of cords.
  7. Tie the end back at post/hook #1.
  8. Optional - Let the cord sit on the posts/hooks overnight.
  9. Cut the cords at post/hook #1. Hold the cords by their fold at post/hook #2.
Example: For cords 48 inches long, folded in half, both ends (2 ends) will be 24 inches long. So set up your posts/hooks 24 inches apart and cut he cord only at one of the posts/hooks.

Best with your creative projects! - Marion

To purchase C-Lon Bead Cord > Marion Jewels in Fiber Store

Note on Ironing C-Lon Bead Cord
Use a warm setting. The lowest setting on my iron is acetate/nylon. I tested it with 6 - 48 inches long cords folded in half (24 inches long from fold/loop to ends). For speed I raise the setting to polyester, but then you need to iron quickly. Do not leave the iron in one spot with higher heat setting. Nylon will melt!


Monica said...

I tried the pulling method, and found it to be both tiring and ineffective. I have some arthritis in my hands, so a lot of repeated pulling is something I need to avoid. The warm iron is my method of choice. Fast, easy, effective, low-impact.

Marion Hunziker-Larsen said...

Alright, I will have to try it too. Ironing reminds me of giant piles of laundry waiting to be ironed in my childhood home. I have banned ironing in my home to only occasional use on rare occasions. Somehow I have not yet found the zen of ironing... But there is hope yet, getting rid of the C-Lon Bead Cord curls makes it worthwhile to get over my psychological block ; )

Sydney said...

Hello Marion and friends: Yes I iron mine too... I put a towel over top of it and gently iron it on warm, then when my project is done I iron it again and it drapes beautifully, put a towel over top genty pull the necklace or whatever your making under the towel and iron on top of it thanks marion !! Sydney

CLJH said...

I've used a flat iron with a cool setting for my silk ribbons and think it may work for this. It is so easy to place one end within the closed flat iron and pull through the entire length needed.

Marion Hunziker-Larsen said...

Great Idea... I do not have one, but my new daughter(in law)has one. I will ask her to bring it in for testing!

sheila said...

I have irone my C-Lon before a Kumihimo project. Works every time. Aldo I start using the smallest of C-lon micro harder to put beads on. I did the clear nail polish and well it works!Thanks for the helpful hints.

Anonymous said...

Okay all you iron haters....try your curling iron! This is how I straighten my C-lon and I don't need a towel or board and it doesn't remind me of mounds of laundry!

Bemidji, Mn

Unknown said...

I take the curl out of my cord by steaming great.
Jeanne Wertman

Unknown said...

I use a blow drier, just hold all your cords out at arms length and the curls blow out. I am disabled so I had to find a quick way to do it. A little blow dry and BAM your done...