A New Skill: Restringing Pearls

A couple of months ago, a reader asked if I could restring some pearls for her.

She had three strands that I believe belonged to her mother-in-law, and she wanted a necklace made using all three strands.

Now, I've never restrung pearls before--but when did that ever stop me?

It did, however, take me an embarrassingly long time to actually GET to the project, because it was something new, and I had to have the right kind of energy to tackle it. And I did my research, both online and at two different bead stores, to find out the best techniques and tools for restringing these beautiful pearls.

But now that I am in the middle of this project, I am really enjoying it. It's one of those things that you can't rush, just slow and steady and pay attention to where everything is--coordination is key, in other words. It's a kind of meditation.

As I work, I'm remembering reading about a woman in one of Colette's short stories--in Paris, of course--who made her living restringing pearls. I'm thinking I could never do this fast enough to make a living at it.

More about restringing pearls.

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Jul 04, 2011
Pearls with the glue
by: Gail

Hi Ladies, I have the same problem, but cannot get a pearl reamer, is there another way to remove the thread & glu. I have had these pearls to restring for 15 months, they have not taken me long, but now I sit with 1 pearl I cant get clean.

May 24, 2011
Try a pearl reamer
by: Kari

Hi Lori,

Removing thread from the inside of pearl holes can be tough and if it is also glued....it can be really tough.

I suggest you try a pearl reamer which is a pointy file on the end of a stick. With lots of patience, you might be able to "file" away the glued thread.

I have a few new pearl reamers on hand and would be happy to sell you one and send it to you for $5 including shipping.

Just in case you want to try using a pearl reamer, you may send $5 via Paypal to kari(AT)karipearls(DOT)com

Or use the "Buy Now" button below.

I hope you can solve the problem. Kari

May 24, 2011
restringing pearls
by: Lori

Pearls on either side of clasp have been glued inside. How do I undo the glue and remove the old thread? I have tried soaking it in water and poking it with a needle. It doesn't budge. Please advise.

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