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Beader’s dictionary


NACRE (See products)

Nacre is the inner layer of the shell that protects mollusks. it has an iridescent reflection, which makes it a very popular product in many industries, notably the jewelry industry. In order to use it, it must be softened in boiling water, then flattened and cut. Usually white, nacre can be dyed using organic dyes.

Perle nacre (See products)

Pearl nacre comes from the shell of oysters that produce pearls, which is why they are called Mother of pearls. These oysters live in salted water which gives nacre a more iridescent reflection than fresh water seashells. In the jewelry making industry, the pearl nacre used in making jewelry, is generally of a white or beige color.


Piece of jewelry or decorative piece that is worn around the neck. There is a multiplicity of necklace types and there are various specific terms to designate the kind or the length.

Bib necklace

Necklace worn close to the neck. Usually very voluminous, it covers a part of the chest area (like a baby bib). It can be rigid or not.


16 inches (40 cm) long necklace adjusted to the neckline.


Necklace that measures approximately 15 inches (38 cm). It is adjusted to a mid-neck length. It can be a multi-row necklace or it can be a simple ribbon.

Graduated necklace

Single row necklace made of pearls that have increasing diameters as they get closer to the front of the necklace.


Long clasp-less necklace. It can be wrapped around the neck, as a scarf with two dangling ends. It can also be tied at the chest level or slid through an eyelet, like a “lasso”. It is also referred to as a “lasso” necklace.


Necklace made with several front pendants, which gives it a “Y” shape.

Long necklace

Very long necklace of 35 inches (90 cm) or more, it is a single row chain that can be doubled or tied at its base.


Mid-length necklace that measure approximately 22 inches.


Necklace that measures between 25 to 35 inches (65 to 90 cm). It falls bellow the chest ares.


The pectoral necklace is an necklace that appeared during the antiquity, in Ancient Egypt, in the Hebrew and other Asian and pre-colombian civilization. The pectoral necklace is a piece of jewelry that varies in sizes and is traditionally worn around the chest area more precisely at sternum level. It was worn as a magical protection. Its surface covered the heart and the lungs, areas that where thought to be the seat of the soul (life force). It could be made with precious metals, bones, wood, fabric etc. The pectoral necklace was also used to hint at the social status of the bearer. Today it is simply a beautiful decorative piece.


Necklace that measures approximately 18 inches (45 cm). It falls just under the collarbones. Its the ideal length to hang a pendant.


“Y” shaped necklace with a single cross as a pendant. Used as a religious symbol or as a decorative jewelry piece, it can be made of different material such as glass, crystal, gemstones, pearls and plastic. The beads can be mounted on flexible strings or eye pins.


Nowadays, the french term “sautoir” refers to a long necklace that can be worn as is, or in several rows when folded. It varies in length thus recalling at the Matinee, Opera and long necklace.


(n.m.) Of celtic origins, this rigid necklace is worn close to the neck and is usually made of metal. Usually clasp-less, it usually is open at the front or the back. It is often very simple with pure lines, finished with spheres or other massive elements.

Torsade necklace

Necklace made of several twisted rows.

NEEDLE (See products)

You can find different types of needles to use with various types of projects or techniques:

Curved beading needle (See products)

Flexible stainless steel needle with a central eye that is compatible with strings of any diameter. User friendly, both ends of this needle are hard and sharp. The curved end on one side makes it the ideal tool to use with the beads loader as the curved end of the needle will follow the loader’s curve and facilitate the threading of small pearls.

Flexible Weaving or Threading Needle (See products)

Flexible stainless steel needle with a central eye that allows for strings of any diameter. User friendly, both ends being hard and sharp, it can be used on either side, which makes it an ideal tool to weave or to thread beads. A short and a longer model are available. The longer version is more practical to use with the weaving loom.

Twisted beading needle (See products)

Needle made from a twisted wire, which loops at the end, enabling the insertion of a string. Thinner and more flexible than other needles, this one is ideal to use when threading strings through beads with a narrow hole such as fresh water pearls and seashells, corals and other gems.


Nickel is a silver colored non precious metal that has grayish reflection. It is a metal that is widely used for its malleability and its capacity to be plated. Furthermore, nickel resists very well to oxidation. However, this metal tarnishes quickly and reacts according to the acidity of the skin that it comes into contact with. Nickel is one of the metal that causes the most allergies. In Canada, most suppliers sell findings devoid of nickel. Rhodium plated products are chosen instead.

NICKEL SILVER (See products)

Nickel silver is a copper alloy made from zinc and silver colored nickel. It is also known as argentan, german silver, new silver, nickel brass, albata, alpacca or electrum. The term “silver” refers to its silver color and not its composition. This alloy was created at the beginning of the 19th century by two French workers named Maillet and Chorier, thus the French name “maillechort”. Originally nickel silver was used for german and french coinage. Today it is used to make some euro coins; 1€ and 2€, as well as for rivets, springs and zippers and in jewelry. Nickel silver is easy to mechanically process, has great elasticity, can be welded, can resist to corrosion and it responds well to surface treatments (stamping, hammering, etc). Some variants of silver nickel containing different additives exist in small quantities, such as iron and lead. These additions are designed to improve certain properties of the silver nickel such as its strength and its machinability.


Nylon is a synthetic fiber that is often found as a string. Nylon strings are used in fashion jewelry, especially when weaving. This type of string is very sturdy and does not brake easily and needs to be cut with scissors or cutter pliers.

Beading thread

Used mainly to weave, this string must preferably be covered with Thread Heaven, a protective wax that seals the fibers and improves the string’s resistance. This type of wax also helps string loose pearls on the string and prevents knots from forming. It is recommended to manually stretch this string before using it as it may stretch itself later on. It is also used to work with a weaving loom.

Fishing wire

Fishing wires are often used in weaved pieces of jewelry. It can be found in several sizes that are calculated in pounds referring to the maximal weight that the string can support. The 6 lbs wire is particularly used to weave because it is thin and flexible. It is usually transparent but can come in various colors. If your fishing wire is very thin, it will have a tendency to coil on itself. To rectify this, put it through water vapors while stretching it over a kettle. The 20 lbs (0.06 mm) is used to string beads.

K.O. thread

K.O. beading threads are made in Japan and were created by artist Sonoko Nozue, renown for his appearance in the Bead and Button magazine, and developed by the company Kobayashi. This nylon thread is comparable to that of the Nymo brand and is equivalent to the size B of this thread, i.e. 0.008 inch. However unlike the Nymo thread, the K.O. thread is first coated with a protective wax. It is therefore ideal to use when weaving small beads such as seed beads. Made of nylon, it is preferable to stretch it before starting to weave, to prevent the weaving from loosing its shape later on. The K.O. thread is available in several colors.

Nylon Thread 210D/3

Nylon strings are used to replace silk strings when stringing fresh water pearls using traditional methods. The “C” size is very similar to the silk strings that is used for this type of stringing. It can also be used to string simple beads.

Nymo string

The Nymo string is a nylon string that is ideal to use when weaving small beads such as loose pearls. It is a very sturdy and flexible. This string must preferably be covered with Thread Heaven, a protective wax that seals the fibers and improves the string’s resistance. This type of wax also helps string loose pearls on the string and prevents knots from forming. It is recommended to manually stretch this string before using it as it may stretch itself later on. it is one of the most flexible nylon strings.

Wildfire thread

Product of the trademark Beadalon, the wild fire string is made of several thermo welded nylon strings, which makes it a very sturdy string. It does not fray and does not stretch with time. it is completely impermeable and cannot be perforated using a needle, avery useful characteristic when weaving. It is an ideal string to use when stringing small pearls such as such as seed beads. However this string can be damaged by the outer parts of the holes of fine stone or crystal beads. Wild fire is available in 2 colors and two sizes (diameters).