Durathread: how good is it for beading?
Have you heard of the new Durathread beading thread? Have you tried it yet? If you have, then you’ve probably got your own answer to that question. But if you haven’t heard of it, or if you’re wondering how good it is, read on! I’ve been trialling some of this new thread and I’m here to report on my findings.
Before we get started on that, I just wanted to clarify two things:
- this is just my opinion. You might feel completely differently when you try this thread
- my samples came with a great product guide. So, in order to test this, I’m going to quote direct from the guide (anything written in italics) and then give you my thoughts on that area
What is Durathread?
Durathread is a hybrid thread, it’s not fused like Fireline but is much stronger than Nymo or S-lon. This results in a soft yet very strong thread that gives a beautiful soft and fluid drape to your finished jewellery.
Durathread is particularly good for fringe work and pieces where you need a softer finish. For pieces where you want a stiffer or more rigid finished effect then threads such as Fireline and Nanofil work well.
Durathread has near zero stretch and is particularly strong. It is made from a polymer called Polyethylene – you can pull it very tight and knot it easily to keep a strong tension on your beadwork.
What does that mean?
Well, this thread looks more like the nylon threads, or a cotton sewing thread. It has a similar sort of feel, although, I would say it is slightly stiffer. Partway between Fireline and Nymo, in my opinion.
So, if you hate Fireline because its texture feels ‘weird’, then you’ll probably like Durathread. (If you like Fireline, you’ll also like Durathread!)
I’ve tried this for some tubular and some structural work, as well as the softer stringing that you would need for a fringe. So, I would agree: it’s fine for structural pieces, but not quite as stiff as Fireline. It does give a lovely soft feel, as it claims.
The strength is brilliant. And I had no issues with knotting. I also found it was really easy to get good tension. I tried this with some RAW where I personally struggle a little with tension. But this held firm.
So, if you get frustrated with nylon threads that knot and tangle as you work, or if you struggle with tension, I would recommend giving Durathread a try.
Working with Durathread
The product information explains that this thread isn’t pre-waxed. Now, I don’t normally bother with waxing thread. But I have found that Nymo is very tricky to use if it’s unwaxed. So I was curious to see how Durathread would compare.
As I said above: no knotting or tangling. So, I felt, no waxing required.
Now, the product guide did come with two ‘warnings’…
As Durathread is not fused it’s important to cut it with very sharp beading scissors. This will create a neat ending and make for easy threading. Cutting with damaged or blunt scissors will result in frayed ends which in turn will make it harder to thread onto your needle.
Due to the QuadCore braiding of this thread, it’s important that you avoid sewing directly through the thread when beading to keep the integrity of the braid in tact.
Did I heed the warnings…?
Well, I confess, my favourite beading scissors probably aren’t as sharp as they once were. So, as you can see in the detailed photo above, I managed to cause a bit of fraying each time I cut the thread.
I was still able to thread the needle (a size 12 with a fairly small eye). So, this wasn’t a disaster.
Out of curiosity, I tried cutting some with a thread burner. I wasn’t so happy with the results there. It melted the end, creating a little blob that wouldn’t fit through the needle. But I find this exact same problem when I use my thread burner on Fireline. So, I reckon that’s an issue with the burner, as much as the thread.
The only frustration
For me, the only thing I can find wrong with this thread does come from the braided structure. As I was using it, the area that is sitting inside the needle eye take a fair bit of pressure. So, I found that started to unbraid. This is where you can get potential weakness in the thread. It also made it difficult to slide the needle along when I wanted to free up more thread for working.
But, let me emphasise, compared to Nymo, this problem is minor.
Would I recommend Durathread?
Yes. So, use this link if you want to buy a reel to try.
For me, it sits partway between Nymo or KO and Fireline. So it has the strength and durability benefits of Fireline, but with the softness of Nymo. It’s less frustrating to use than some of the traditional nylon brands.
So, if you follow my advice, which is to try different types of thread and see what works for you, I strongly suggest you try this. You might just find a new favourite beading thread here!
For more information, you can also visit the official Durathread website.