If you are thinking of picking among the best necklace lengths, it is essential to consider that the actual length of the necklace will depend on the number of pearls that you have plus the allowance given to the knots between the pearls.
Restringing a single pearl necklace will be easier than restringing a long pearl necklace for apparent reasons, the most important of which is you will be managing a whole lot more with a long necklace. The average length for most necklaces is eighteen inches, but this can up, again, if you have far more pearls in one set. The best way to find the perfect length is by restringing the pearls at home.
Stringing a Pearl Necklace
While there are many types of string for a pearl necklace, the most ideal and the one that we recommend to people is natural silk threads.
We know that there are probably dozens of options for making DIY bracelets and necklaces: metal wires being one of them, but the safest to use for pearls will always be silk threads. Silk threads are durable and will stand the test of time, and it’s also elegant.
Using anything else on pearls will be a massive gamble because you don’t know how the final product will look.
Another essential factor is that pearls will have a small drill hole compared to other beads and ornamental chips, so you need a relatively thin thread that packs a lot of durability despite its thinness. As you may know, the strength of metal wires goes down as the gauge of the wire goes up.
Another important distinction for pearl necklaces is that they are often strung with two pieces of thread, and they are knotted after each pearl in the string. Why is this done, anyway? Knotting prevents friction between the pearls, which can damage the long term, and the equal spacing between the pearls adds to the elegance of the necklace.
Another reason for this threading method is you don’t want to lose all your pearls when you accidentally snag it on something, and the threads break. If your pearls are threaded like ordinary beads and snag and cut the thread, the pearls are going to fly off in all directions, and you can lose the majority of your pearls.
The Best Way to Restring a Pearl Necklace
If you don’t want to send your old pearls to a jeweler because you love crafting things on your own, we have good news for you: with a bit of work, anyone can adequately restring a set of old pearls.
Why restring your pearl necklace?
Restringing a pearl necklace is necessary after a few years, especially if you have been wearing your pearl necklace regularly. Keep in mind that pearls are often stringed with thin silk, and over time, the silk is going to take damage from expansion and stretching.
When the silk’s capacity is reached, the silk will break, which can be problematic, especially if you are traveling or when you are in a formal event like a wedding. We don’t want your pearls to fly off, so we need to restring it.
Restringing improves the quality of any set of pearls, regardless of the jewelry configuration. The same value of restringing applies when you have bracelets and pendants that have seen better days.
How do you restring for durability?
We recommend selecting a size zero and a size two thread, so you can knot and lock in each pearl properly.
This is of primary importance if you want a sturdy restrung necklace that you can wear immediately.
The knot before and after each pearl has to be larger than the drill hole of the gems. What we’d like to do here is to prevent the slipper silk from passing through the drill hole, threads and knots included.
This method of threading and knotting is especially useful for larger pearls and longer necklaces, where durability is the number one priority.
Also, keep in mind that longer necklaces have a higher risk of snagging on objects, and because silk is not as durable as wire and other types of twines or threads, there’s a real risk of it being cut accidentally.
What are the steps for restringing a necklace?
Assuming that you have removed the old thread, gather your pearls in a bowl or plate. Cut out at least double the quantity based on your estimate of the length – you can remove the excess water.
Insert the first string into the first pearl and add a tight overhand knot before and after the first pearl. Keep in mind that as you work toward the finish line, the string will grow longer, and you will have to be careful not to tangle the line.
If you are having a tough time knotting, we recommend knotting using your index finger. Loop the silk over the tip of your index finger and then pull. You may also want to follow up with a large needle to help slide or guide the knot toward the top area of the current pearl, so the distance of the knots is equal, and the overall symmetry of the necklace is preserved.
As we have mentioned earlier, using two strands is necessary if you want to fix the knotting for a longer necklace. With two strands, it is also required to pull the separate strands apart to tighten each overhand knot while keeping the knots’ distances correct for each new pearl.
When you have attained the desired length of the necklace, attach a clamshell ends on either side. You may use glue to improve the adherence of the clamshell ends and increase the durability of the necklace. For the necklace’s terminal ends, you will need these items: clamshell ends, lobster clasps, and, if you wish, some jump rings to extend the clasp length.