To improve their skills, beginners in beading must familiarize themselves with the terms used in beading techniques and equipment. There are some terms related to beadwork that can be difficult for beginners to understand at first. One term that can be a little confusing is 'finding'.
In beading, the term 'finding' refers to a small metal part commonly used in beaded accessories and ornaments. These metal parts can be used as fasteners and as stoppers for beads. Findings can also be used as bases for decorative bead placements, or as decorative elements themselves. Findings commonly used in beaded jewelry include clasps, jump rings, metal rings, crimps, pins, cones, and bead caps.
These findings can be made from a variety of metals, including pure silver or gold-plated metal. These are usually polished and finished to make them durable. Findings are indispensable tools for many beadwork projects. Knowing the appropriate finding to use for a project can help beginners create well-made beadwork.
If you're a little confused on which findings you can use for your work, here's a quick overview about common types of findings and these items' functions.
Commonly used findings in beading
1. Clasps – Clasps are basic components in beaded jewelry. A clasp serves as a fastener that connects the ends of a piece of jewelry. These are often used in necklaces and bracelets, to make these pieces of jewelry easier to wear. There are different variations of clasps, including toggle clasps, magnetic clasps, hook clasps, lobster claws, snap clasps, and spring rings. In projects where multi-strand beading is involved, multi-loop clasps are used to allow more strands to be tied or looped in a single clasp.
2. Crimps – Crimps are essential in securing a length of beaded string or wire; crimps ensure that beaded strings or wires are securely attached to the clasp. These findings usually come in two shapes: tube-shaped crimps and round-shaped crimps. Crimp pliers are typically used to attach crimps onto lengths of beaded string or wire.
3. Chain – There are a lot of ways to use chains in beading. In beadwork projects, chains are commonly used to add length to a beaded accessory. These findings make bracelets and necklaces easily adjustable in length, making these pieces of jewelry more convenient to wear.
4. Jump rings -- These findings are also used in a lot of beadwork projects involving beaded jewelry. Jump rings are considered to be the most basic of beadwork findings. These findings are used when attaching charms or pendants to bracelets and necklaces. These rings can also be linked together to add length to a piece of jewelry.
5. Split rings - Split rings are often used together with clasps; a clasp and a split ring can be attached to opposite ends of a length of beaded string or wire so that these ends can be securely connected.
Not all beading projects require the use of all these findings. What's important is that you know the right type of finding to use for the beaded jewelry you're making.
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