Working on beaded bracelet repairs/customization

I completed one bracelet customization job I had been asked to do.  The other one…I will need to rework.

I needed to use split rings rather than jump rings, in order to avoid a potential catastrophic design flaw (the jump ring rotating so that its opening lines up with the stringing material and breaking loose — which happened to me once already — it makes the bracelet vulnerable to bead loss)…at least now I know what I’m doing, though (as, I need to use two crimp beads per end, not one).  I also know that the split ring — or soldered ring! — needs to be at least 5mm in diameter to avoid beads slipping off the end of the line.

I’m thinking about using a soldered ring, now.  A split ring can still come off or abrade the stringing material; a soldered ring, not so much.

When I was helping clean out the art area downstairs, I also found two bracelets which had been given to me some years ago for potential repairs.  I’m working on one of them — not for money, at this point, but as a favor for a friend (I think she could use the love).  These are bracelets made with netting stitch.

One of them is so intricate and faded that I didn’t think I could disassemble it and reassemble it — even if by chance, all the beads are there (which I’m not betting on).  Still not sure what I’m going to do with that one.  The pattern is such that a missing bead will really mess it up, and a new bead will be much more intense than the rest of them.  Plus…my eyesight isn’t so good that it is easy to tell what is going on there.  These are made with size 15/0 beads, or something…they’re tiny to begin with, and they’re faded, and the pattern is intricate.

The other bracelet — after disassembly — seems to be made with a double-needle technique, which I don’t know how to do.  It took me a little while to realize that if I was using a single thread, I would need to “step up” every row or two.  It’s not hard, if you know what you’re doing — it just took a few trial-and-error passes for me to figure it out.

I’m lucky that I was able to get the needle back on the thread after every time I had to remove it to undo a stitch (backing the needle out of the bead hole risks splitting the thread and creating a snarl, which damages and weakens the thread, as well).  I’m using a size 13 needle, because these are size 15/0 Charlotte beads (maybe 1mm long, if that)…this needle is only easy to get a thread through if you pinch the thread between your fingers and lower the needle eye over it.  It’s seriously, a really fine needle.

I do have twisted wire needles which are fine enough, but I need the stiffness of a real needle to get through the tiny bead holes which are at awkward angles.  *sigh*

Hey, at least I haven’t broken any beads, yet.  (Though I did come close, once:  I think I had to use pliers to get the needle free.)

It’s nice to have the time to be able to work on this.

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Haru ("Codey") is a third-year Master's student in Library and Information Science, hoping to find a way to fuse their desire to make the world a better place and to finance their art.

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