Beading Thread Review: Silamide vs. Nymo

I’m a huge fan of Nymo, but I was recently introduced to Silamide. After doing a few projects with it, I think I have a good understanding of the pros and cons of each. Here is my analysis:

Silamide

Pros:

  • It comes on the card already waxed and stretched.
  • Silamide is a twisted thread so it’s more like a real thread.
  • If used to make twisted fringe, the fringe will stay twisted tight for a long time, whereas if Nymo was used, the twists would eventually fall.

Cons:

  • Since it is a twisted thread, it would un-twist during the course of beading, and I would have two ends. This made it really hard to re-thread the needle.
  • Since it is already stretched, I didn’t really have the “give” that I was used to, and it was harder for me to tighten the stitches. They had to be tightened individually.

Nymo

Pros:

  • Since Nymo is not a twisted fiber, you can pinch the end of the thread to make a flat end. It’s easier to thread the needle this way, and I can usually do it on the first try.
  • It’s not hard to wax and stretch it either. I just give it a few tugs, run it through some ordinary candle wax, and I’m good to go.

Cons:

  • It needs to be waxed and stretched.
  • It’s not twisted like a thread, it’s made from straight strands that can fray more easily.

I think I will stick with Nymo for now, except in the case of twisted fringe. I’m probably slightly biased towards nymo for two reasons. One, I’m so used to using it, and Silamide wasn’t that much better that I felt I needed to switch. Two, I just bought two huge cones of Nymo!

While testing out these beading threads, I was introduced to One-G by some members in my bead society. I need to use it in several more projects, and I will be posting a review of that thread as well.

What do you think? Which beading thread do you think is best? Please leave a comment and share why your favorite beading thread is the best!

{ 7 comments… add one }
  • avatar Summer February 19, 2010, 4:18 pm

    For me, it really depends on the project. If I’m doing peyote or a similar off-loom stitch, or a beaded rope, I prefer Fireline. If I’m doing beaded lace or loomwork, I prefer Silamide. If I’m doing a sculptured brick stitch, I prefer waxed Nymo. Each type of thread is so different, I have them all on hand, just as I have various gauges of wire for wirework projects. :)

  • avatar Ralonda February 20, 2010, 1:42 pm

    I am a die hard nymo fan. I have used the others, but it is like an old friend- you know its limits and don’t push it. There is always another creative way to get the same result. I will say, working with crystals is a whole different spool of thread– you need something other than nymo if there is any stress on the edges.

  • avatar Leslee February 20, 2010, 3:57 pm

    I was started on silamide thread so that is my usual first choice. I have never used nymo. But I was introduced to fireline and love to use that when i’m using crystals, although, I have never had trouble using silamide with crystals either.

  • avatar Mandi Ainsworth February 21, 2010, 9:57 am

    @Summer- I like the way you think! I won’t feel bad building up a beading thread stash.

    @Ralonda- I’ve been a diehard Nymo fan for awhile, and it will be hard to replace. I have a project that uses mostly crystals that I will use fireline for, but you’re right, its like an old friend.

    @Leslee I know I mainly use seed beads, and your gorgeous work has many different types of beads, crystals, and pearls, so fireline seems to be the logical choice. Many beaders tend to gravitate towards fireline when using those types of materials, and I’ve never heard one complaint about it yet. Have you?

  • avatar Ssorca19 March 9, 2010, 6:12 pm

    I’ve used Nymo since just after I got into beading, have never tried silamide, but have been considering it, as I’ve heard it can be stronger and doesn’t stretch as much… we’ll see… have yet to purchase it!

    As for Nymo, though… I’ve never been in the habit of waxing it, and have never had an issue. Yes, I always stretch it first, but, except in the case of using matte beads with a rough finish that seemed to be chewing up my thread a bit faster than I was happy with (and in that case, a bit of thread heaven did the trick), I dont find I need to wax the Nymo.

  • avatar Lynne March 15, 2011, 2:01 am

    I have a question more than a comment
    I also like these qualities of Nymo and also that you have such a color selection! I do wonder if it is affected when you get it wet, washing hands, dishes, etc. How durable is is?
    ( I want it to be very durable as I have used it for a long time!!! :) But I would appreciate knowing for sure.)
    Thanks,
    Lynne

  • avatar Mandi Ainsworth March 23, 2011, 2:49 pm

    That is a great question, Lynne. Nothing that I have ever beaded using Nymo has broken. That being said, I’m very careful about not getting it wet and I think I’m pretty good about reinforcing vulnerable section of beadwork.
    That would make for a good experiment, though: running samples through the washing machine to test thread quality : )

  • avatar Jill May 3, 2015, 8:17 am

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