When I say that each SEA+STONE necklace is knotted by hand- I mean it, and I have the calloused fingers to prove it!
Knotting between each bead adds time and labor to all of my pieces, but it is a technique that is very important to me and has come to be a signature of my work.
Growing up, my grandparents would give me pearls each year. Every year, the new pearls would be taken to a local jeweler, where they would knot the pearls onto the strand to join the ones I had been given from the previous years. By the time I finished school, the gifts over time had transformed into a beautiful, graduated pearl necklace.
Pearls are a classic staple in the jewelry world- but nowhere takes its pearls more seriously than the South. Southern women wear pearls with EVERYTHING. (Trust me, here in Charleston I see women wear their pearls to pilates!).
When I became a teenager, I had cheap pearls that I would wear everyday and then the fine pearls that my grandparents gave me that were reserved for special occasions: Graduations, family parties, Easter, or Christmas. Back then I hadn't taken any gemology classes and knew nothing about fine pearls- nothing about their quality, the nacre they're made of, or their luster- but I knew that a good way to tell a fine quality strand of pearls from the ones you would buy at a local department store was the way they're strung. A nice strand of pearls will be separated by knots; lesser quality necklaces will not.
I would be able to make exponentially more necklaces per day if I stopped knotting my necklaces, but to me, this small detail is one of the things that separates the quality of my work from the rest of the beaded necklaces on the market.
Why do I knot my necklaces?
I don't just knot between each bead just because it sounds more luxurious- the knotting has a lot to do with the longevity of your jewelry!
Truth be told, it's a win-win for both of us. I know you want your jewelry to last, and I'd rather not spend my time repairing broken or damaged jewelry!
-Knotting between gemstones beads prevents them from rubbing against each other! Gemstones and pearls can be scratched, chipped, and dulled by rubbing against each other over time. Separating the stone with a knot preserves the beautiful gemstones that you paid for!
-Knotting between each bead prevents the loss of valuable gemstones in the event that your necklace is broken! Accidents happen- a necklace could get caught on something or be unintentionally pulled causing it to break. When this happens, the beads from an unknotted necklace would roll everywhere and some may not be recovered. When a knotted necklace gets broken, only one bead is at risk of falling off and getting lost.
I knot them on silk. Why?
Each of our necklaces is knotted on two strands of silk thread.
-Silk is softer than other fibers and will not abrade or damage even the softest of gemstone beads!
-Silk 'drapes' nicely. Some people use other materials, sometimes plastic cord or wire cable, to string their necklaces. These materials are more rigid than silk. Silk knotted necklaces are very free flowing and fall on the body very nicely.
-Silk will not weaken like other stringing materials over time. Plastic cord and metal cable cannot be bent repeatedly without becoming weak and eventually snapping- which makes them a risky choice for putting nice quality beads on. Silk thread can be moved in any direction, as much as you want, and it will not lose it's strength.
Part of my mission statement was to create "Unique and enduring jewelry". The enduring part was important for me- I wanted SEA+STONE jewelry to be made with such care, quality, and attention to detail that it could be enjoyed for many, many years by my customer. That is why our natural gemstone beads are hand-knotted and why we use precious metals instead of cheaper alloys.
If you're interested in any tips on how to keep your jewelry well cared for and clean or on how to tell when your necklace needs restringing, please check out our customer care section!