Stitch Pro: How to Trim Beadwork Thread

When I'm not blogging, editing, or beading, you can often find me creeping around this site to check the popularity of different blog posts. It's the librarian/researcher in me that just wants to know which subjects interest our readers. So I was pretty surprised to run across the analytics that showed how many people read my last post, How to Start a New Thread. As much as I'd like to think it was because my witty banter and amazing photos (!), I'm certain it's because there are beginner beaders out there who actually searched on those key words. Knowing there are new beaders out there makes me elated, of course! So, in my enlightenment about who is beading/reading, I'd like to keep up the momentum and share some really basic information for beginners. (And, if you're a more advanced beader, you might be curious to find out how another beader does her thing.)

Trimming Thread

Unbelievably, there are right and wrong ways to trim your thread ! Here are a couple surefire ways to make clean cuts:

Using a Scissors

Your goal is to trim the thread as close as possible to the work so that no thread nubbins stick out. To do this, press the beadwork against the work surface with your scissors, then pull the thread with your other hand as you quickly trim the thread. The tension you created by pulling the thread will make the ends pop back into the nearest bead hole.

Note: I use FireLine braided beading thread exclusively in my work, so a mini Fiskars-style scissors works best for trimming my thread. If you use Nymo, One-G, or another nylon-based beading thread, I'd recommend using sharp embroidery scissors instead.

Using a Thread Burner

For a trim that's pinpoint accurate, use the same technique as above, this time with a thread burner. This way requires a little manual dexterity, since you need to hold the beadwork down, pull the thread, and still operate the tool, but it's often worth it, especially if the thread is in a place that is hard to get to with a scissors.

Sometimes, especially with tail threads, you'll have a rogue thread end sticking out just enough to be annoying but not long enough to trim with a scissors. To remedy this, use a thread burner to very carefully touch the end of the thread so it melts, balls up, and rolls into the nearest bead hole.

How do you trim your thread? What other tips and tricks do you have for your fellow beaders? Share your thoughts right here on the Inside Beadwork blog.

Happy beading!

Jean Campbell

Senior Editor, Beadwork magazine

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