Wednesday, March 19, 2014

What is Tiger Tail and How to String Beads With It

I personally like working with beading cable which is also called "Tiger Tail" when creating necklaces, bracelets and some anklets.  Beading cable is nylon coated cable that has been twisted together from multiple strands and is readily available in 3, 7, 19, 21 and 49 strands and ranges from .3 to 1 mm thick. The more strands present in the finished cable, the stronger and more flexible the wire will be. I find that a .18 mm wire with 7 strands is usually best for my projects and use it extensively. Occasionally I will use a smaller diameter wire for very fine holed beads like some small pearls.



Beading cable on a spool

Using the heaviest wire you can fit through your bead holes is another way to choose cable. This way bead will not rub up and down the wire as much and damage the coating should they be sharp. This is especially true for crystals like Swarovski which can have sharp edges on the holes.

Tiger Tail comes in many types of wire. The most typical is stainless steel which can also have colored finishes over top of the wire, however, it also comes in sterling, gold, brass, copper and other metals. I use the stainless most often followed by brass or gold coated stainless. 

This product is very strong and quite flexible. It is paired with crimp beads or ends which also allow for direct attachment of clasps and rings to hook them into. The strength of this product cannot be compared to any type of stringing material currently available. 

How to String or Restring with Tiger Tail

What you need: Beading cable, pliers or crimp tool, toe nail clipper or wire cutter, beads, crimp beads


1. Cut your tiger tail 4-6" longer than your finished piece will be with your toe nail clipper or wire cutter.


2. Slide a crimp bead on one end of the wire

3. Add the clasp.




4. Loop the end of your tiger tail back through the crimp bead leaving a short tail.




5. Use a pair of pliers to crush the crimp bead flat or use a crimping pliers to crimp and roll the 
bead.



6. Test your crimp and be sure it does not move. If it does then use your pliers to flatten the crimp further.

7. Using other end of the cable, string your beads onto it in the desired pattern. 

8. Cover the small tail you have with first beads you are using so that the tail does not show.




9. When you are finished with stringing add another crimp bead and the clasp loop or a short length of chain if you want your project to be adjustable.

10. Loop the free end of the cable through the crimp bead and as many of the end beads as you can.



11. Grab the end of the tail and pull gently to tighten the loop so it matches the one on the opposite end.

12. Repeat steps 5 and 6
And you are done!  Easy and affordable, stringing on beading cable can save you a trip to the jeweler for a broken item or can become an easy way to string found beads.








5 comments :

  1. Is this good to use for smaller projects only? ( necklaces, bracelets) Or how does one connect it for larger longer projects? (Victorian ornaments, netting)

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  3. It really is not appropriate for netting and such-if it becomes kinked it is permanent and weakens the wire. Thanks for reading!

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