When you examine a spool of Power Pro beading thread, you may notice the little picture of a fish on its label. It's there because Power Pro is actually a brand of fishing line. Over the years, beaders discovered that a certain type of Power Pro, the one called braided line (or braid line), works especially well for beadweaving. Here's what you should know about it.
When to Use Power Pro
One of the biggest advantages of Power Pro is its durability. It's a great thread to use when you stitch crystal or other beads with potentially sharp edges. Power Pro is also recommended for designs that receive a lot of wear, or pulling and tugging, such as beaded finger rings.
Where to Find Power Pro for Beading
A wholesale company called The Bead Smith distributes Power Pro as a beading thread to bead stores and online bead sellers. You can also purchase Power Pro fishing line and use it for beading. The "braided" variety, which is generally best for beadweaving, is made up of tiny, braided strands of polyethylene plastic called monofilament. The braiding and multiple strands make this thread stronger and less likely to stretch than single-strand monofilament thread.
Power Pro Thread Colors
Because it's inherently a fishing line, Power Pro is available in a limited variety of colors: moss green, white, bright yellow, and red. (Each of those colors has a special use in fishing.) The most common Power Pro color used for beading is moss green, largely because it's a relatively neutral color. If you need one of the other colors and cannot find it at a bead store, try a sporting good store or tackle shop.
Power Pro Thread Sizes
Power Pro is available in thirteen sizes as a fishing line. Each size is denoted by the diameter of the thread in fractions of an inch, along with the "pound test" of each diameter. (The pound test is a measure of strength; the higher the pound number, the stronger the thread.) The most popular sizes used for beadweaving are ".005" (or eight pound test), ".006" (or ten pound test), ".009" (or 20 pound test), and ".011" (or 30 pound test).
How to Cut Power Pro
Unfortunately, Power Pro's superior durability makes it more difficult to cut than many other types of beading thread. Regular beading scissors do not work well, and can become dull if you use them on Power Pro. Instead, try a pair of children's craft scissors or Xuron beadweaving scissors.
With a hobby knife, you need to pull the thread taut in order to make the cut. You can hold it between the fingers of one hand and use the other hand to make the cut, or press the thread down on a self-healing cutting mat, and make the cut there. Remember that you need a clean, non-frayed cut in order to thread a beading needle onto you Power Pro.
How to Thread a Needle With Power Pro
Even the smaller sizes of Power Pro can be a little bulky for the eyes of beading needles. After cutting your thread, use the the tips of your finger and thumb (or your fingernails) to flatten the cut end. Then, slide the flattened thread vertically through the eye of the needle. Fortunately, once Power Pro is threaded, it tends to grip onto the needle pretty well and rarely falls off accidentally.
Power Pro and Thread Knots
Power Pro is designed to hold knots, since knots are used to attach fishing hooks to fishing line. That's good news when you deliberately tie a square knot or half-hitch knot in your beadwork. It's not good news when your thread gets tangled.
To avoid tangle-induced knots, never work with a length of thread longer than about one arm span, and remove any objects from your work area that might catch on your thread, such as pens, paper weights, or even your beading scissors. Also try to bead at a table free of knobs or handles, which are notorious thread snaggers. If an unwanted knot does occur, do your best to tease it apart with the tip of a beading awl.
Frequently Asked Questions About Power Pro For Beading
Do you still have questions about using Power Pro for beadwork? Read through the FAQs below and see if they're any help. If not, please stop by the Beadwork forum and post your questions there.