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recommendations for elastic bracelets?

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  • recommendations for elastic bracelets?

    Hi, I wondered if anyone had a recommendation for a stretchy bead stringing material - I have been using one called "strong and stretchy" and it seems pretty hard to snap, but I can't help worrying that I'll sell a bracelet and then it will! (I think this worry is because the first stuff I bought WAS easy to snap and this looks the same but does seem much better...) What do other people use for elasticated bracelets??
    Thanks, Jo

  • #2
    I make a LOT of stretch bracelets with all kind of beads and stones, and I have experimented a lot with different knots, glues and types of elastic - here's what I find works for me.
    I started to use the clear stretch elastic in about 1mm thick, but even though it does stretch a bit, when you really really pull it it does not spring back to its original shape. Now, I know people aren't going to be pulling a bracelet that hard but I like to be absolutely sure that people are going to be happy with it and that it is going to last.
    So after a few trails and errors I have switched to proper elastic called SHIRRING elastic. Some people call it SHEARING elastic too, its the same thing. You can get it in every colour under the sun but I like the metallic gold or silver ones, they are the kind I use the most along with plain black.
    The 1mm thick seems to be the best and will fit through most beads you would put on a bracelet.
    I tie a surgeons knot (tie once like you are tyeing your laces, then tie again but instead of going through once with the loop, go through twice, then a final simple knot ovet THAT, then a large dab of GS Hypo cement to seal the knot.
    When that's dry, clip off the ends of the elastic and slide the knot inside a large holed bead if you can. What I do then is to tip more GS cement into either side of the bead with the hole in it to completely secure the knot inside that bead.
    Since switching to this method I have NEVER had a bracelet break or come apart or loose shape even with heavy wear.
    You can get various types and colours of shirring elastic on ebay, its pretty cheap per metre (about 10p I think).
    One other thing I found about the clear elastic was that it does tend to go a bit discoloured and brittle over time and then becomes weak.
    I know many people do use it but I have never really liked using it, I just don't like the way it feels but that's my personal opinion. If you do decide to use it just make sure you use glue on the knot, because the clear elastic does not hold knots very well and will eventually work itself loose over time even if it seems tight to begin with, and use a glue that does not degrade or interact with the elastic.
    Hope that helps!


    • #3
      Thanks for those great tips Louise - I never thought of using shearing elastic.
      I don't make stretchy bracelets too often as I'm scared they'll break, and you're right - the usual jewellery making ones on offer do tend to go discoloured after a while, which looks pretty yucky, and it leads to them breaking eventually. I use stretch magic at present which does this, but will definitely be looking for the shearing sort now.

      Sarah x


      • #4
        I use stretch magic on my childrens bracelets but have to agree they do become brittle after a while, I think I'll try shearing elastic on the next batch
        thanks louise
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        • #5
          Lots of great tips Louise, thanks. I'm glad I posted the question now!


          • #6
            great info louise, i will need to keep a copy of that, if you dont mind. i have avoided stretch bracelets as i was unsure of their durability but i think i will have a go now, many thanks


            • #7

              I just found this thread while researching into elastic. How have people found the shirring elastic over time? Also does it matter what width you go with? I've been using 1mm clear elastic recently, but it limits the beads you can use and also makes whopping big knots which are hard to disguise. Quite keen to try the shirring elastic!



              • #8
                Thanks for that info. Have just ordered myself the bits you suggested.