I'm starting to do a major revamp of my wholesale line of jewelry, gearing up to do a trade show (hopefully) in New York this fall. Basically everything that's on the KathyVanKleeck.com website is part of my wholesale line. If you've been following along with me for awhile, you'll know that I've gone through some trials with the thread I use in most of my work. Mostly I use this silk from Big Stone. It's a close copy of Gudebrod silk which is no longer available. I use the size F or FF for most things, single strands as well as plying it into cords of varying thicknesses.
I've always loved the sheen and hand of the silk. Plus, the idea of silk is much more appealing than nylon or Tenara. The thing is, it's a natural fiber and wears and abrades much faster than synthetics. I've just started doing a 2-ply cord to string the Stitched Silk series and I'm liking it so far. It's definitely stronger and should be a bit more abrasion resistant. But it's still silk and my worries about the durability of my work will continue. That makes it an area of concern for shops looking to carry the work. I always stand behind the work 100% and will restring or repair pieces for the duration ... but the genuine potential for breakage and cautionary tales to retailers is not one of my favorite conversations.
Today I've been writing down concepts I want to associate with my work. One thing that keeps coming up is durability. I like the idea that my jewels can be someone's signature, go-to pieces without worrying if the silk is wearing out ... kind of like that beloved old Toyota pick-up truck, I want the work to last and last. Plus, I like the idea that someone could wear their Coin necklace rafting the Grand Canyon and not worry about it.
So here's my question ...
Which is more important to you, the aesthetic and feel of silk, knowing you'll have to keep an eye on it ... or the durability and almost as nice a feel of a synthetic?
I thought about Tenara, but the original version only comes in black or white. There's a version that comes in grey, but I'm not sure what a "lubricated" thread would feel like, plus a half pound spool is frightfully expensive.
This Nylon #69 that Marion sells has a pretty nice hand, comes in great colors and, if I buy in quantity, is less than half the cost of the silk. Plus it would be a whole lot easier to use, especially with tiny faceted gemstones, which means faster production time.
I wish I could factor in green/sustainable options, but that seems like an impossible challenge.
To encourage your opinions and feedback I'm throwing in a bit of incentive ...
I'll draw a name from peeps who leave their opinion either here or on my FaceBook page. The winner will get to choose one of the following ...
this pair of Petite Petal earrings
or this Raw Pebble pendant
I'll draw a name on Wednesday the 22nd, 5pm EST. Can't wait to hear what you think ...
Thanks in advance!
l i g a - kvk