nymo vs fireline

I answered a customer service ticket the other day regarding what the advantage was to Fireline thread as opposed to, say, Nymo thread.  The customer was new to stitching and wanted to know if they needed to invest in Fireline Fireline Beading Threador if a cheaper alternative would be okay.  For a minute, I was kind of stumped by the question.  I have always used Fireline.  I learned to stitch with Fireline; I’m accustomed to Fireline.  To me when I start a project the only choice is really, ‘should I use Crystal or Smoke?’  In fact, I had never even worked with Nymo until I started learning the technique for Wrap Bracelets to demonstrate in our last video.However, after I gave it some thought, it occured to me that there are some major differeNymo Beading Threadnces between the two threads; as well as specific projects for which each is more appropriate.  And this is important to know because you get 64 yards of Nymo thread for about a dollar and some change, where as 125 yards of Fireline will run you over twenty bucks.  That’s about 2 cents per yard versus 18 cents per yard.  So Fireline is nine times more expensive than Nymo… you probably want to save it for projects it’s actually necessary to complete.  So here’s the lowdown.

First of all, Fireline stays on your needle more easily.  After you thread it through the eye and fold it over, it just isn’t likely to go anywhere because it will hold the crease of the fold.  Nymo, on the other hand, is much more likely to accidentally slide off.  You may have noticed, if you saw the How to Make Wrap Bracelets video, that I strung double the needed amount of Nymo and folded it over on my needle.  This was to prevent it from slipping off as it is suseptible to doing.  This tendency to slip off is especially frustrating because Nymo also tends to fray at the ends.  This makes it very difficult to rethread on the needle.  When working with Nymo, you may find yourself repeatedly trimming the frayed end of your thread in order to rethread your needle.  Fireline, however, will not slide off your needle and the end will not fray.

Fireline is stiffer than Nymo.  A stitch made with Nymo will have more flexibility.  Because Nymo is nylon covered with wax, it will have some stretch to it as well, which Fireline will not.  If you pull very hard while stitching, Fireline is probably the better choice for you.

Fireline comes in “Crystal,” which is clear and is not meant to be seen in your finished piece.  Nymo has the advantage if you want a unique color of thread for your piece.

In a nutshell, I still recommend Fireline 9 out of 10 times.  Nymo works great for Wrap Bracelets because you can obviously see the thread and the color needs to compliment the bracelet.  However, the stitch I’m working on now for our next instructional video, for example, needs to be pulled tightly, is intricate and should not show thread.  Plus, I can’t deal with the frustration of learning a new stitch AND fighting with thread that keeps falling off my needle!!!  ;)

I don’t know why I posted a picture of my cat, mostly because she’s cute.  I know, it has nothing to do with this blog post.  :D  She hates the camera flash!
Kelly Henderson

Kelly Henderson is a jewelry designer and editor of the Auntie's Beads blog. When she's not beading, you might find her chasing her one-year-old son, Sawyer, watching bad reality TV or reading a good book.

3 Comments

  • Reply February 24, 2014

    Meghan Peterson

    I found your blog through a google search- great info that I really appreciate! I am a novice beader and am about 3/4 done with my first big project on my loom. The owner of the local bead store suggested I try a big eye needle. I used fireline for the warp and nymo for the weft. I can see how the nymo would slide out of a regular needle and be hard to thread (it does fray!) but with the big eye needle, it was SO slick! Just a suggestion to give it a try- I’m so glad I did!

    • Kelly Henderson
      Reply February 24, 2014

      Kelly Henderson

      A big eye needle is a great suggestion! I haven’t tried one but maybe I will for my next project. Thank you Meghan and thank you for reading.

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