Pearl Restringing: How to Restring Pearls Properly
Sometimes the small and seemingly insignificant things in life make the largest impact. If one gives a simple glance at a strand of pearls, they may notice the magnificent luster, the size and the unique color of the pearls. Rarely does one pay attention to the way the pearls are strung. However, quality stringing of pearls can make all the difference in how the pearls look and in how long they last. If you’re curious how to restring pearls properly or why it’s important, you’re not alone. Read on to see how this sensitive work is done.
Materials Used for Pearl Restringing
The best material for stringing pearls is silk thread. Pearls are delicate and the silk threads are soft and gentle; thus the silk threads do not damage the pearls with time and wear. To ensure that the pearls stay in position, pearl stringers hand-knot the pearls in place. All pearls have knots in between them, unless the customer specifically does not want them. Sometimes pearls can be knotted in groups, such as a knot every 3 or 4 pearls to create a certain look. When there are knots in between each pearl, this will make sure that the pearls don’t rub against each other, a movement which can cause damage over time. The knots are knotted very tightly and it will sometimes appear that the knotting is not straight and has a kink in it. It takes some time till the knots loosen a bit. One way to speed up this process is by hanging the pearls on something (like a doorknob) for a few hours to loosen the kinks caused by the tight knots. Pearl & Clasp experts typically make knots after every pearl, but can string with a different knotting pattern if the customer prefers that.
Pearls can also be strung with any number of rondels to enhance the look of your pearls. Rondels are only used on single strand pearl necklace and bracelets. They are used for decorative purposes and sometimes to increase the length of a strand.
If someone has multiple strands of pearls, a divider bar can be inserted to help keep the pearls together. Divider bars come in all different designs with diamonds or it can be a simple gold bar. Many of the clasps can be made into a divider bar as well. It is important that the pearl restringing be done by a professional so that all the pearls line up when adding a divider bar. Adding divider bars to pearls is usually more a question of style than function. Some people like having their pearls hang tightly together as they do with a divider bar while others like when they are not bound so tightly. On a multiple strand necklace, bars can be very helpful to ensure that the pearls lay straight on your neck. Most people will use a center piece clasp worn in the front and then 1 or 2 divider bars on each side of the clasp.
When stringing a multiple strand necklace, it is important to think about if you want the pearls nested or not. For example, if you had a triple strand necklace, do you want all the strands to be 18 inches or would you rather have 17, 18 and 19 inches? For the stringer, this decision is very important and will determine how the pearls are restrung. The stringer has to make sure that the pearls lay inside each other and it is not always as simple as just taking away a pearl. Sometimes you need to make a larger knot, or a smaller one. This requires a great deal of expertise to make sure that your pearls lay right if you want your pearls to be nested.
Our team of experts work hard to ensure that your unique strand of pearls will get the individual care that it deserves!
What About the Clasp?
One area that our pearl stringers pay close attention to is the point where the clasp attaches to the strand. Many pearl stringers pay little attention to this area, but in truth this is the point where the strand can weaken most quickly. In order to make sure that the attachment area doesn’t unravel, our proficient stringers cover the stringing material with a thin coiled wire known as gimp, bouillon or French wire, preventing the metal clasp from rubbing against the stringing material. Our stringers also weave the ends of the threads back through the holes of the last three pearls so that the strings never unravel. This part of the stringing process is a lengthy one, which is why it is often skipped by other pearl stringers. However, since this step ensures that your attachment will never become undone, we make certain to perform this critical task in all of our pearl restringing.
It is also important to make sure that you have the right clasp for your pearls. If you have a single strand necklace, then it is very possible that your clasp can flip over, something that is usually not desired. Since this flipping is common, there are a few things to do to prevent it. The first option is to have a double-sided clasp. This type of clasp has a design on both sides, so it looks gorgeous no matter which side is showing. There are certain clasps that are made as double-sided, and many of the clasps can be customized into a double sided clasp. Another option is to purchase a ball clasp. These are great because there will be no flipping and the clasp will always look stylish. Diamond ball clasps in particular have become very popular. A clasp can also be strung slightly off center, and that will decrease the chances of the clasp flipping (though it will not eliminate it completely). The last factor is the size of the clasp in relation to the size of the pearls. If the clasp is very large, then there is a greater chance that it will flip. The closer the size of the clasp to the pearls, the less chance that it will flip.
If you’re really worried about how to restring pearls properly, it’s important to allow a skilled jeweler to do the work, rather than attempting to do it yourself. Even with the best of care, pearls should be restrung every 1 to 3 years depending on how often they are worn. Aside from refreshing a droopy strand of pearls, when you restring your pearls you can create a fresh new look by adding rondels or a new clasp that will really spruce up your old pearl strand. At Pearl & Clasp, we are honored to help you revive your pearls. Our team has over 20 years of combined experience, and we offer hundreds of gorgeous clasps and pearl accessories to help transform both the style of your strand and its durability. We look forward to restringing your pearls soon!