There is no other piece of jewelry that showcases the same timeless elegance as a strand of pearls. Whether you are working with freshwater or saltwater pearls, though, it is important to take steps to protect them against damage. Rather than simply threading them onto a string, placing knots in between each pearl is typically recommended. This prevents the damage that could result from the stones rubbing together, and it ensures that all of the pearls won’t go flying off if the string breaks.

Knotting pearls isn’t difficult, but the process does take a bit of getting used to. If you enjoy using pearls in creations, it is definitely something that you should learn how to do. Keep reading to discover everything you need to know about how to knot pearls.

What Is Pearl Knotting and Why Is It Important?

When using pearls in your jewelry creations, knowing how to knot pearls is important. Knotting pearls is simply a technique that involves tying knots between the individual pearls that make up a strand. One of the most important reasons to do this is to prevent all of the stones from falling off if the strand breaks. Knotting pearls ensures that you will never lose more than two gems.

Pearls are also knotted because it prevents adjacent stones from coming into contact with each other. While natural pearls are relatively durable, frequently rubbing two of them together can cause damage to their surface. Placing a knot in between each one keeps them from chipping and wearing each other down.


Gather Your Supplies

Before you get started, take a few moments to gather up all of your supplies. For this project, you will need pearls (of course), stringing materials (silk cord in a coordinating or contrasting color works best) and tweezers. You can use either freshwater or saltwater pearls for this project. Spend some time learning about the differences between freshwater and saltwater pearls to determine which ones will work best to help you create the jewelry piece you have envisioned.

The most important thing to consider when choosing your pearls is whether you are trying to create a more traditional strand of spherical pearls or if you are going for a more modern look with irregularly shaped pearls. Saltwater pearls tend to have a more rounded, spherical appearance than their freshwater counterparts. Saltwater pearls are also most lustrous and are typically white or cream in color. If you want more variety in terms of color, freshwater pearls are the way to go. Using freshwater pearls may be a bit easier on your bank account, too.


Place Your First Bead on the Strand

Tie a knot at the end of the string to prevent your pearls from sliding off and then add the first bead.

Prepare to Make a Knot

Hold the first pearl in place between your thumb and ring finger. Next, wrap the thread over and around your middle and index fingers one time using your opposite hand. Wrap again and then stop while your opposite hand is in back.

Tie the Knot

Carry the thread over the loop on top of your fingers and then pass it under from back to front. Pull the rest of the thread through. Next, grab your tweezers and pass them under the piece of thread that is closest to the tip of your finger. Keeping them under the thread, grab the other thread as close to the pearl as possible. Carefully remove your fingers from the loop and then pull on the thread to tie the knot.


Finish the Knot

Using the very tip of your tweezers, grasp the knot’s loop and pull it as close to the pearl as you can. Then, use them to tighten the knot up a bit more and push it toward the pearl.



Repeat this process until you reach the desired length for your strand. Once you have finished, you can add a bead tip, French wire or clasp to complete the strand.


If you can tie a standard knot, you can easily add pearl knotting to your repertoire of jewelry-making skills. Learning how to do this also ensures that your pearl necklaces will withstand the test of time and that only minimal damage will be done should the strand ever break. At Beads of Cambay, we offer a wide selection of freshwater pearls for all of your jewelry-making needs. Shop today to find the pieces that will work flawlessly in your newest designs.
December 09, 2020 — Arun Yadav widget logo