Wheat Wrote WHAT?!

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June 24th, 2015 at 22:21 pm

Tiplet: Better Beginning The $1 Well Spent

This is NOT a commercial but it might sound like one.
More like a rant and ramble

And, I suspect I am about to annoy more than a few of those packaging kits for Beaded Braids – but since I do not buy kits, only “hear from my customers” and members of our facebook group about their misadventures – this really is not directed at individual or group of kit makers.

The most commonly used stringing material used for beaded braids is SuperLon (SLon). and you can read more about than you probably really want to know at:
The BeadSmith SuperLon (SLon) Cords and Threads
Happy Endings come from Better Beginnings and Good Better Beginnings start with Proper Planning
– enough with the alliteration

The most commonly given advice is to cut your cords 3 times longer than you want the finished braid.
And, that often works FOR ONE OF THE THOUSANDS OF BRAIDS that actually are Japanese and therefore considered Kumihimo.

If you are making the “round hard spiral” Japanese name Kongo Gumi (or Kongoh Gumi) then yes 3x might work. But if you value your time please consider….

One of the victims to paraphrase a friend of the
“Learn It On Monday,
Make a Tutorial On Tuesday
Teach It On Wednesday
Pack a “Kit” with the bare minimum on Thursday
is also the cause of the most grief to new braiders.

Running out of thread before your braid is done and then facing the choice of “taking it out” or going thru the agony of adding – something not always possible.

Remember this happens because Braiding is a FIBER ART and far too often otherwise competent Beadworkers do not understand the differences that really do matter.

Primary among the issues is takeup – this is the amount of thread that is used in each step used to form a woven or braided structure.

Takeup is affected by lots of factors, mostly human and unless that is considered in planning – all too often leads to the running out of cord.

CORD IS CHEAP – Seriously -SLon, at $2.90 per spool is $.083 per yard, So added cost is 67 cents –

What about the cost of shipping you say?

Using our sales records which shows the “SLon Only” order is rarely under 6 spools, that means you could make each cord about a yard longer for a whopping 88 cents.

Hate the idea of waste, well consider “thinking” about making those cords even longer and making matching earring “dangles”, or if you sell your work, a small sample that will the same braid in different beads or colors – or just pat yourself on the back because you now have 30 minutes or more to do something else that makes you happy.

“But I sell my work and have to keep my costs in line”
add the $1 to the price and pat yourself on the back because instead of wasting time unbraiding or otherwise fussing to make it work – because if you can’t see the value of your time, I can’t help you.

Tough Love Commentary – One can often learn more from the misadventures of another than you might think

Professional Crafter or Just love Braiding –

Isn’t your time and enjoyment worth more than maybe wasting $1 (retail)?

Now you know what I think, I’d love to hear your side.

3
  • 1

    I agree! I have purchased kits …and have had to ask the seller for beads not included, and been stressed through the project about running out of cord before finished….when asked, the seller was defensive and I was chastised; ) Thanks for writing this blog piece Wheat!

    Deborah Weekley on June 25th, 2015
  • 2

    I totally agree with you Wheat!!! Best to make it too big than wish you had added on in the first place!! And that philosophy applies to many projects I have tried over the years… like making a skirt for my granddaughter!!! I may think that the xx length is just right but the granddaughter may have a different opinion when it is tried on her…. if not the right length??? she won’t wear it and if the length is too short then I can’t add on.. but I can take off an inch or so if it’s too long. The same goes for the cord in the Kumihimo… Better to have too much than too little..

    Eloise Brown on June 25th, 2015
  • 3

    Hm…I wonder what triggered you to think about running out of cord? ;)

    Mary Sue Sylwestrzak on June 25th, 2015

 

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