The Ins and Outs of C-Lon Beading Thread and Cord

Quite a few years ago, Barry Kahan of Caravan Beads came up with this idea to produce dedicated beading thread in a wide variety of colors and sizes in the United States. No such thread had ever been produced here. Beaders borrowed their threads from the sewing industry and even the fishing industry, but in the United States, we had yet to produce a dedicated beading thread/cord. I think the Caravan Website describes their thread best: 

"C-Lon was the first cord developed exclusively for beadwork in the United States. C-Lon thread and cord are manufactured for Caravan Beads in North America because we believe in supporting domestic manufacturing whenever we can. Our popular sizes of C-Lon thread and cord are sold all over the world."

First I want to talk about the C-Lon beading thread. It comes in two sizes just like Nymo does: AA and D. We sell just the D in three different color packs and in a package of three beige and three black.


We don't believe the size AA is strong enough for bead weaving on a loom. The size AA is more useful when doing off-loom beadwork with tiny beads.

Now for the cord. This is where we get into slightly confusing territory. I will be happy to clear it up right now and here! Caravan produces four different sizes of beading cord. We sell two of those sizes as they are most appropriate for loom work.

The newest cord we carry is C-Lon Micro Cord which we sell in a package of five or our favorite colors. The thing about this cord is you can use it for both warp and weft as we discovered with our Rosalie Bracelet Kit where we do just that. That was a fabulous discovery. The only trick is you need to use a beading needle with a slightly rounder eye. 

We find that Flex Wire beading needles are perfect for this whereas the Tulip beading needles tend to break more frequently because their eye is thinner. You will want to pick up some of those nifty needle threaders to make threading the needle easier. It's fun to use this beading cord where the warp will show and become part of the overall design. I have not tried it with beads such as Delicas size 11/0 but there is no reason why it would not work with them as well as regular size 11/0 seed beads. It would produce a sturdy final product. I would imagine it would be a great choice for doing a beaded tapestry using the shedding device. It would also work well as warp when weaving 14 to 20 ends per inch. 

The other size we sell is 135 Fine Weight Bead Cord. We've been using and selling that size for ages now. We first discovered it when we created the Tapestry/Bead Cuff Bracelet. We used it just for the warp and used hand-painted silk and other novelty yarns for the weft. This cord works just for warp. It's great for fiber and bead piece combinations. It would serve well for fine tapestry as well. We sell it in beige and black but it is available in a variety of lovely colors.

There are two additional sizes of C-Lon cord. For my purposes, they are too heavy. I prefer to use the thinnest warp I can that can withstand the rigors of whatever medium I am using. 

In conclusion, I am a big fan of C-Lon thread and cord. It comes in great colors, is very strong and can be both weft and warp. 

What is your favorite thread and cord to use in conjunction with the Mirrix Looms?