It was great to be able to demonstrate in the masterclass on Jewellery Maker how to use beading threads, such as Fireline, in kumihimo designs. Each type of cord or threading material used for beaded kumihimo will bring its own special qualities to the design, but it will also bring its own challenges! People are often put off using something as fine and slippery as Fireline for kumihimo, which is a shame because it can work extrememly well.
The first advantage to using Fireline is the semi-transparent nature of the crystal type, which allows light to pass through the braid. This is particuarly advantageous when you are using something special like Swarovski crystals, but it is also wonderful used with transparent AB seed beads. The second advantage is the diameter of the thread, which allows the use of tiny beads, such as size 11 seed beads. A beading needle can be used which makes threading the beads very quick. The third advantage is that the Fireline can be used to attach a clasp with knots and then the thread can be melted close to the knots to provide a very neat finish. The fourth advantage is that the braid will have a wonderful flexibility to it, combined with great strength and durability.
The keys to success with this method are to use a brand new disk which will have tight enough slots to grip the thread and to use one of the thicker types of Fireline, such as the 10lb variety.
I have just posted the instructions for three kumihimo designs using Fireline and they can be found by clicking here.
If you want to see this method in action you can watch the demonstration by clicking here. The demo starts at around 3 hours 6 minutes into the recording.