One of the many perks of my job at Fusion Beads is trying out products. Today, I’m going to share my testing experience using Beadsmith Opelon Stretch Jewelry Fiber Cord. Many of us are already familiar with Stretch Magic for stretch bracelets, but Opelon has a few key advantages over other elastic cords that are worth discussing.
First, Opelon is a fibrous cord that has surprising stretch and resiliency. It has elasticity so stretch bracelets won’t droop or stretch out over time. Secondly, the fibers are very stable so it is to fraying. Lastly, Opelon’s flat structure gives it greater flexibility than Stretch Magic. It can be used like a thread in more complex weaves which makes it ideal for creating adjustable woven rings or bracelets.
To test Opelon’s level of stretchiness and its resistance to fraying I used it in a right angle weave stretch bracelet. I based my design off one of our Inspiration Projects called the Chevron Bracelet.
For my project I simplified the design by decreasing the width to just one row. I used the Chevron instructions to help me establish the diagonal color pattern with three different Fire Polished beads. I selected 4mm Fire Polished Czech Glass Beads in the new Pacifica finish which gave the design a very fresh and bright color scheme.
To start, I measured out about 4 feet of Opelon cord. In order to thread the Opelon into a size 10 beading needle, I trimmed the end diagonally using a very sharp pair of Xuron Thread and Fiber Scissors. This created a long tapered point to feed through the eye of the needle. To further prepare for this project I placed my three beads into separate piles on my bead board. This helped ensure my color pattern stayed in the correct order.
I then started the right angle weave stitch. Since the Opelon is flat I could successfully thread it through the Fire Polish beads 2 to 3 times. The Opelon does have a rough surface texture so it would sometimes get hung up in the bead. However, as long as I pulled the cord slowly with a steady pressure the Opelon would slip through fairly easily after the initial friction passed.
After the completion of each right angle weave section I checked the Opelon tension. The Opelon cord was pulled snug but still relaxed and not stretched out. Once the bracelet length was big enough for my wrist I connected the two ends together to finish the bracelet. I wove the Opelon cord ends back into the bracelet and then tied the ends off with a knot. Lastly, I applied a little Hypo Tube Cement onto the knots to secure.
Overall, I was very satisfied with the performance of the Opelon Stretch Jewelry Fiber cord. This product does have great elasticity and it really held up well during this project. There was minimal fraying at the end of the cord which was impressive considering how many times the Opelon passed through the Fire Polished beads. The Opelon surpassed my expectations and I enthusiastically recommend this great product for any stretchy bracelet.
Happy Tuesday – Rebecca