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Real 100% Silk is the traditional way to string beads & feels incredibly smooth & soft. Silk has good tensile strength and little stretch so therefore can be easily worked with & knotted. Necklaces made with silk drape naturally around the contours of the body and always portray a look of elegance and beauty. When your project is pearls or mostly pearls using silk cords is recommended as other stringing materials can hurt the pearls. Silk does break down in 3-5 years so will need to be restrung.
The most popular sizes for stringing pearls are size 0, 1 & 2. For medium sized beads the most popular are size 4 - 8. For heavy weight beads and for other uses such as knotting etc. size 10 - 16 are good.