Are you looking to start making jewelry but not sure what type of cording to use? Here are 5 things you should know about cotton wax cord before you get started.
1. It Should Be Kept Out Of Contact With Water At All Times
The name of cotton wax cord is perhaps misleading – it’s not actually coated with wax at all, but rather with a synthetic alternative that confers many benefits and is inexpensive but is soluble in water. This is usually perfectly easy to work around – and while it will sometimes break it’s far more likely to stretch – but definitely worth making people aware of when they receive or purchase from you anything made of cotton wax cord.
2. You Can Rely On It To Bear A Reasonable Weight
Assuming, of course, that the cotton wax cord is kept dry, it is strong enough to bear any reasonable weight – such as a pair of spectacles dangling from a glasses cord, large pendants on the end of lariat style necklaces, or a number of glass and metal charms on a ‘shamballah’ style bracelet. The weak point will be your knots, so make sure to test them before you consider the piece to be finished. You can reinforce them with superglue, but you’ll need to work very quickly to do this – another effect of the coating on cotton wax cord is that glue dries incredibly quickly on it!
3. It Holds A Knot Better Than Almost Anything Else
Knotting is where cotton wax cord really comes into its own. The coating used to protect it makes it remarkably easy to deftly fashion neat, accurate, strong, tidy knots in exactly the places you need them to be. This means that it’s a great choice for making the aforementioned shamballah bracelets – or macramé style jewelry, friendship bracelets, or anything else that relies on knots and knotting techniques a great deal.
4. Clasp May Be Difficult To Secure To It But There Are Other Options
There’s something of a limit to how easy it’s going to be to attach a clasp to your cotton wax cord. You’re likely to find that it slips out of clamp style closures and doesn’t fit into the loops on other kinds – generally speaking, it’s easier to work with the strengths of this kind of stringing material than against them, though, of course! So rather than trying to force it to take a clasp, learn how to make sliding knots (they’re definitely simpler to do than you might expect) and secure your work that way instead.
5. Leather Is More Expensive But Only Rarely A Better Choice
It is entirely true that leather can safely come into contact with water, while cotton wax cord can’t. However, that is pretty much the only benefit it has over this alternative – in every other way the two stringing materials are of equal utility, only leather is much more expensive. You can swap out leather cording for cotton wax cord in any project or tutorial you care to think of, assuming that the finished design isn’t going to need to be water-safe, and there won’t be any ill effects.