Waxed Linen Blog Hop: Going Tribal

May 24, 2014
Mixed Media Sun Goddess Necklace

Spring Goddess (SOLD)

Vintage sterling pendant with labradorite and aventurine

Acai seed beads, Labradorite, Bali sterling silver

Tibetan resin and sterling silver bead

Lampwork by Donna Millard

Waxed linen is a very versatile fiber.  They've been using it in bookmaking for ages.  Linen has survived since Egyptian times so it's not a fiber we have to worry about deteriorating very quickly.
Diana of Suburban Girl Studios thought it would be fun and interesting to see what jewelry artists are doing with waxed linen.  As you'll see from the list at the bottom of the post, there were a lot of jewelry folks wanting to share!
Waxed linen in many colors
I started using waxed linen quite a few years ago after taking a book binding course with Volcano Arts and buying a bunch in bulk.  I like the fluidity of a necklace that is knotted on it.  Very much like silk, but heftier.

Ocean Inspired Statement necklace

Nautilus- an example where I've used thread ends to tie charms

Some tips or things I've noticed when using waxed linen:
  • Beads do have to have larger holes than the average semi-precious stone beads to slip on to the thread.  
  • It's not as easy to get a tight knot against a bead with waxed linen as it is with silk, especially once your hands have warmed up the wax and made it sticky.
  • Keep your hands cool, because as mentioned above it works its best when cool so it can slide through beads and those knots are easier.
  • However, when tying off the waxed linen on a clasp or within your design use the wax to your advantage.  Tie several wraps and knots and warm it with your fingers to get it to mold into itself.
  • Like when using silk for pearls or gemstones you need to make sure you cut a large enough length of waxed linen to make your piece, allowing for knots that you'll use to separate beads.
  • Waxed linen comes in a lot of different colors.  Use that to your advantage as a design element.
  • Fray the ends to add texture to a piece.
  • When tying knots you may have to tie it twice to get a bulkier knot.  It can be frustrating to try to make it larger like you would a silk thread knot where you wrap twice, because it doesn't slide against itself like silk.

Raku lampwork

Donna Millard Lampwork

Here are the links to other participants in the Waxed Linen Blog Hop:
Janet Bocciardi -  you are here!