Henrietta’s Gum Arabic is used make a self-needle from thread. It does this by hardening the end of a thread so it is easy to cut the end of a thread at a fine point. The pointed harden edge can be used to easily thread beads. This is highly essential when creating knotted necklaces.
Henrietta gum is very easy to use and simple to apply. Always allow to dry before cutting it at a point.
Advantages of Henrietta’s Gum Arabic are;
- Odourless, non-toxic & water-soluble
- It is easy to wash away from hand
- It makes the use of tools and beads easy
- Only takes 15 minutes to dry
Disadvantages of Henrietta’s Gum Arabic are;
- The point is not hard enough to withstand constant threading through gemstone with irregular holes.
- It has ability to wear off so you may need to reapply it
Super Glue is a good alternative but I don’t enjoy using it on a personal level. It can only be recommended for serious crafters and extra care must be taken in spilling super glue. No matter how hard I try, I tend to see super glue everywhere. In a nutshell, super glue is an excellent alternative. It dries rock hard, it’s quick so 5 minutes later you are stringing beads, its easy to cut at a fine point and doesn’t seem to rub off so does not reapplying.
You can also use Nail Polish. I bought the cheapest top coat at the local Chemist sold at (approx. $5) and it worked well. It does take a few hours (over night is good) for nail polish to dry really hard but when it does I find it a lot more durable and harder than the Henrietta’s Gum.
In our Beads Online Starter Kit – Knotted Tassel Necklaces I have included the Henrietta’s Gum as it is the safest and cleanest option. It also does an excellent job. There are other alternatives discussed above which also work just as well.