Tuesday, March 22, 2016

DIY Tassels for Jewelry Continued... Larger Tassels with Chinese Knotting Cord Micro Size E

Mala with Tassel

Tassels, especially larger tassels can be a focal center to a neckpiece or mala. This mala has 108 beads with 4 marker beads (the 4 lepidolite). The 8mm beads are strung with C-Lon Bead Cord and knotted in between. The mala can be worn long singly or doubled up as a shorter piece. The 5 inch (12.5 cm) long tassel is made with Chinese Knotting Cord Micro Size E.

I have made these larger tassels from 4.5 to 5 inches long. I tend to make them long as they can always be shortened. Silk can be used for these these larger tassels, but the ones made with the Chinese Knotting Cord drape better than the silk ones. Smaller tassels can be made with Chinese Knotting Cord or with silk.  > Check this DIY Silk Tassel Tutorial

Materials and Tools for a 5 inch Tassel

40 yards of Chinese Knotting Cord Size E - 0.4mm in diameter
Tapestry Needle Size 22
Sharp Scissors
• A Small Book, Several Layers of Card Stock or a Large Bobbin Plastic Box

DIY Tassel Tutorial

1. Wrap the cord 100-115 times around a box, book, or card stock.  

DIY Tassel Tutorial

2. With a separate piece of cord and the tapestry needle, wrap many times around the cord bundle. 

DIY Tassel Tutorial

3. Use a flat knot to bind the cords. 

DIY Tassel Tutorial

4. Cut the tassel cords along the other end. 

DIY Tassel Tutorial

5. Fold over the cords of one of the sides over to the other side. 
This will make a perfectly symmetrical tassel. 

DIY Tassels Tutorials

6. With a separate piece of cord, wrap the tassel neck, starting with 2 half hitches.

DIY Tassel Tutorial

7. Continue with a simple wrap and finish it with 2 half hitches. 

DIY Tassels Tutorials

8. Stitch the end back into the tassel and through towards the ends of the cord.

DIY Tassels Tutorials

9. To trim the cord ends, wrap a piece of plastic around the tassel. 

DIY Tassel Tutorial

10. Use your sharpest scissors to trim the ends. 

DIY Tassel Tutorial

11. Using the tapestry needle, the tassel can now be attached. Alternatively, it can be attached prior to wrapping the neck at step 5 or before trimming it at step 8.


> DIY Instruction on How to Make a Mala with a Tassel

Monday, March 21, 2016

Cord Making - 3-Ply Cord made with C-Lon Bead Cord

3-Ply Cord made with C-lon Bead Cord

Making your own 2-ply and 3-ply cord is an easy process and the tools required are simple. Cords of various diameters can be made with C-Lon Bead Cord or any other type of cord you want to experiment with. 

A 2-ply cord made with 1 C-Lon Bead Cord will have a diameter of about 0.75mm whereas the 3-ply cords shown above have a diameter of about 5-6mm. These larger cords are made with 12 lengths of C-Lon Bead Cord per ply, so a total of 36 lengths of C-Lon Bead Cord for the 3-ply cord.

The Tool Kit

Cord Making Tool Kit

This is the tool set I designed and use for making 3-ply or 4-ply bonded nylon cords. For short 2-ply silk cords I often use a manual mini cord twister. Read about 2-ply cord on this previous post. The mini twister os better suited to twist silk or thinner cords; whereas this set up with a reversible electric drill is better for bonded nylon cords or thicker diameter cords made with multiple cords in each plies. 

Cord Making Tool Kit

This tool kit is designed to work with a reversible cordless drill. The hook is ready to be attached to the drill and this is how each of the plies will be twisted.

Cord Making Tool Kit

A central hook is attached to a table with the 2 inch C-clamp provided.

Cord Making Tool Kit

A bar with 4 hooks is attached to a portable chair. I wrapped the wood chair with a bead mat to protect the chair. A towel will work too. A rolling cabinet can be used instead of a chair as long as the wood bar with the 4 hooks can be moved. The bar needs to moved closer to the central hook after twisting the first ply.

Cord Making Tool Kit

The mini-bungies work well to attach the bar to the chair. If the bungies are too short or too long, a cord will work. 

Making a 3-Ply Cord
Once your set up is in place, you are ready to make the cord. Choose the diameter of the cord, the number of cords per ply. Lay each ply and its color composition. Then twist each plies counterclockwise. Lay them together and tie the ends together and let them twist clockwise all by themselves. 

Each tool kit comes with PDF instructions sent by email. The instructions list all the steps for making 3 and 4 ply cords. Plus it has a handy reference chart with diameters for cords made with C-Lon Bead Cord. 

Here are some projects done with 3-ply cords made with C-Lon Bead Cord. 

3-Ply Cord Bracelets

Adjustable Double Slip Knot Cord Bracelet
made with 3-ply cord made with C-Lon Bead Cord

Rope Bracelets made with C-Lon Bead Cord

3 or 4-Ply Bracelets Made with C-lon Bead Cord and Euro Magnetic Clasps & Spacers

2, 3 and 4mm 3-Ply Cord Made with C-lon Bead Cord

Cord making is a nice technique to have at your fingertips. It is very useful when you need a thicker cord that what you have on hand or what's available. As to what can be made with cords… your imagination is the limit...

References and Links

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Griffin Jewelry Silk - Spools versus Cards

Griffin Jewelry Silk on Spools

Griffin Jewelry Silk on Spools

The Griffin Jewelry Silk is a high quality filament silk from Germany. This silk is a standard beading silk that has be made for many years. Griffin has been around since 1866. The thread quality, diameter and colors are incredibly consistent. It shows the high quality standard levels at the factory where this thread is made. The silk on the spool is a 3-ply cord with a left twist made from 100% natural silk.

I currently carry two sizes of the Griffin Jewelry Silk on spools > Marion Jewels in Fiber Online Store

6/F Ø - 0.35 mm - 65 meters per spool
8/FFF Ø - 0.42 mm - 40 meters per spool

Griffin 100% Natural Silk on Cards

Griffin 100% Natural Silk on Cards

The silk on the card is the same silk as what's on the spools, but it is twisted into a cordon, a 2-ply twist with a needle attached at the folded end. One of the drawback is the short length of the card, only 2 meter long making it difficult to use this silk for longer necklaces, crocheted necklaces and any other project requiring longer length of silk.

So yes one of the solution if you need silk with a needle attached at the end like the one that comes on cards is to make your own. To make your own 2-ply silk cordon (re-twisted 2-ply cord) > Check this post on making 2-ply twisted cord with Griffin Jewelry Silk

Here is a chart that compares diameter sizes between the silk on spool and cards, plus 2 and 3-ply cordons made with the silk on spools. It is a handy reference for anyone working with this silk. Diameter sizes are approximate and based on information provided by Griffin.

Compare Diameter Sizes of Griffin Jewelry Silk and of Griffin 100% Natural Silk Cards

I hope this will help anyone with questions about how these two silk products compare. It will certainly make a handy reference when I am next asked questions about how to compare Griffin Jewelry Silk and Griffin Silk on Cards! - Marion