View Full Version : What is the best and strongest Stretchy Cord/Elastic?

07-18-2004, 03:29 AM
Hi I have an easy ( I hope) question. And I am sorry if this has been posted here before, I only recently stumbled on to the " Wearable Art" fourm. And I must say I LOVE IT!!! :clap: Ok, I want to make some stuff with stretch cord or elastic. (And I have) but want to know is there one out there that is super strong? Also not really thick. I have used the stuff from like Hobby Lobby and it is ok, but I really want something that I am going to feel good about if someone drops a good chunk of change for some of my pieces. I would love to do some watches and would just hate them to break.
I am sure I will have LOTS of other questions also. :confused: :D
Thanks alot in advance!!


New York Glitter Designs

07-18-2004, 09:50 AM
Hi Allison, welcome to WC :) I have used Stretch Magic but have not been able to bring myself to sell anything with it as I just don't know if it will hold up. I wore and tested a bracelet that I made with it and my son tugged on it once and the beads went flying everywhere... so that was no good - but perhaps it was my knot was not strong enough. Or perhaps it needs some glue on the knot?

I have a stretch bracelet that is all lampwork beads that I bought in florida several years ago - it has a black fabric looking stretch cord and it seems that the knot is glued and tucked inside one of the beads - and so glued to one of the beads - I've worn it a lot and it does not seem to be wearing at all - if I could find that cord I think I would make more stretchy things too.

Looking forward to seeing what other answers you get!


07-18-2004, 10:06 AM
I don't use the stretch elastic cords. I like to only use softflex to string things. I am also afraid that the elastic won't hold up. Have you ever had any problems?


07-18-2004, 12:33 PM
Well, Corina just recently had an in-depth chat about Stretch Magic. She had been leery of using it for all the reasons mentioned, but she's given it a try and loves it. I'm not sure of the diameter she used, if it's 1mm or .5 mm. I have some of the .5 (the only size the bead shop I frequent carries), and have made a bracelet with some beads Corina gifted to me. I love the feel of it, but it does make me nervous. I've also recently restrung a bracelet for a friend that has 2 holes per bead. I'm less nervous of that one because of the second cord, so the beads won't all fall off if it breaks.

I'm thinking about ordering some of the 1mm Stretch Magic and re-stringing. Also, I believe all you need is a good surgeon's knot. I think crimping and gluing are not advised as the crimps will cut into the cord and the glue may break down the cord over time.

I don't Corina's chat archive is up and working, but if you e-mailed her, she may save them on her hard drive & perhaps she could send it to you. I bet she'd even reprint it here in the Wearables Forum if you asked her.

07-18-2004, 01:55 PM
I think crimping and gluing are not advised as the crimps will cut into the cord and the glue may break down the cord over time.

I've heard this about superglue on Stretch magic. :)

07-18-2004, 02:57 PM
I made my 4 year old daughter a bracelet with Stretch Magic. She has taken it on and off many, many times and not carefully. We are still in the testing phase but it has been about 2 weeks and no problems so far. The bracelet hasn't relaxed one little bit and I didn't tie it stretched because all the instructions I've read say not to.

Here is a recent stretch bracelet (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=177791) thread on this forum. Here is another stretch bracelet (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=165996&highlight=stretch+bracelet) thread.

Welcome to Wearable Art. If you decide to try a stretch bracelet please post pictures, I'd love to see some of your work. We have a Show & Tell thread in this forum, almost every day, where we post our work to get opinions from the other artists and to show off our stuff of course. :D

07-18-2004, 04:44 PM
Hi Allison!

Thank you for posting this question, as I have been looking for advice in this direction, too!

I'm still reluctant to use stretchy cord material for anything that one might consider of value (sterling components, lampwork, nice freshwater pearls... even the Swarovski).

I clicked on the two links provided by Barbara (thank you, Barbara!) and read both threads with interest.... especially when it came to the magnetic clasps with safety chains (something that caught my eye a few months ago).

Two of the posters mentioned "Gossamer Floss stretchy string" which really does resemble dental floss. I've had bad luck with this! I find that it starts to fray over time, especially if there are Swarovski bicones involved.

Also, a friend sent me four sets of lovely crystal and gemstone chips combination bracelets (about eight bracelets per set) from Victoria's Secret last year. Pretty pricey; I think the catalog had them at $50+ per set. Anyway, they were strung on the Gossamer and it has been cut through and is fraying in several places in almost all the bracelets.... just like the ones that I had made myself. They were made very well - not strung too tightly, with a hidden knot - it is the actual cord that is the problem.

Hope this helps?!

Best from Claudia

07-18-2004, 05:10 PM
I think Kate McKinnon recommends Power Cord. Not sure where to get it, never looked. She's all about strong, well constructed jewelry, and does some fun stretchy bracelets with this.

07-18-2004, 07:57 PM
Hey thanks to everyone who replied!!! :clap: I have used the Stretch Magic and have pretty good luck, but about 3 weeks ago I strung a bracelet. I tested it and it seemed very strong, then I noticed that I was missing one of my beads in it ( of course! :mad: ) so I had to re-string it. Then I checked it when it was done and the cord broke! Thank God the beads mostly landed on the table I was working on. I have since restrung it. I will post a picture a little later. I'm waitin on the Pizza delivery guy to get here... :D but I will post a few different thing's I make too. I am so glad I found this fourm! I normally go to the Glass Art fourm. I make Lampwork beads too, but am not a pro yet like some of the people in the glass fourm! But this one is awesome too! Thanks for all the input! :D


New York Glitter Designs

Donna Merrill
07-19-2004, 12:51 PM
I have also heard that Power Cord is the best stretchy stuff. I'm not sure, but I think the recommended size is .8?? Does anyone else know? You can get it from Fire Mountain. I've used Stretch Magic, which held up well until my nephew pulled on it and it came apart. I knotted that one and put a dab of glue on the knot. I wonder if it would work to close it with a crimp, or would it just fray at the crimp and eventually break that way? I would expect anything strung on Stretch Magic to eventually break. Donna

07-19-2004, 01:38 PM
It is my understanding that crimps are not good for stretch cord. They tend to nick the cord and once nicked the cord will eventuall tear through at that spot.

kate mckinnon
08-08-2004, 01:55 PM
I use the PowerCord 0.8 mm, in clear. It seems to be the best, and rarely breaks unless there is a sharp bead hole.

I never use crimps on elastic, just a nice sailor's trick- tie a double overhand knot (like you accidentally tied your shoes into a knot) and then turn the piece around and tie the same double overhand knot from the opposite direction. You end up with two knots in one direction, and two in the other direction, and they lock each other down.

There is an article in Step by Step beads from last year with photos of the knot- here it is. this is the double overhand. You would pull this snug, leaving some room on the elastic (never make anything tight!) and then flip it around (just switch the elastic in your hands) and do the same thing from the other direction. then pull both knots in, from the top and from the bottom.

08-08-2004, 04:29 PM
I used stretch magic in my polymer days and found that it magically stretched over time. ;) I didn't like it. I resorted to using regular, thick black elastic cord which I felt more um, secure with. I like the idea of a stretch but am concerned about the longevity/durability of it myself. I'm a bit anal when it comes to that though.

Shirley C.
08-08-2004, 05:24 PM
hi, kate!
i was going to give your tip on powercord and the way to tie the correct knot, and here you are yourself. loved your class!!!

08-08-2004, 09:29 PM
I certainly can't add anything more - I just don't trust any of the stretchy stuff! But I do have to say it's great having Kate here to answer questions! Thanks Kate!! :)