As Jewelry Shopping Guide editors, we write about things that we love and we think you’ll like too. We often have affiliate partnerships, and may generate some revenue from these links at no cost to you.
Most jewelry is made of precious metals and gemstones, but there are some handmade necklaces that will give you a colorful, earthy and ethnic style – and thread necklaces are one such type.
Thread necklaces were inspired by arts and crafts, where alternative materials like silk threads, terracotta, hemp, and even quilled paper were used in designing jewelry. If you want to make an artsy statement, keep on reading for the stylish ways to wear a thread necklace.
What Is A Thread Necklace?
Thread necklace by Weave Tassy Co. See them here.
Thread necklaces are not only stylish, but also artistic and handmade. These unconventional jewelry pieces rely on base materials like plastic, lightweight balls, and tubes, which give the structure of the necklace. Materials like silk threads and yarn are then commonly rolled and attached to the base material of the necklace for texture and color.
Gemstones and pearls are usually incorporated into the necklace design. Sometimes, recycled textiles are even transformed into stunning thread necklaces, making them more of a wearable art, than an accessory or jewelry. The value of thread jewelry is weighed by its artistic design.
Types of Thread Necklaces
While thread necklace sounds pretty straightforward, there are several varieties to choose from.
Silk Thread Necklace
It’s fascinating how silk thread takes the form of a jewelry design and it looks stylish on every occasion. A silk thread necklace has a touch of Indian culture and tradition, and is usually designed with tribal motifs, floral accents and bold colors. The thread is rolled onto beads or base material to take various shapes. Some necklace styles are made of precious metals and gemstones, making them the perfect jewelry choice for special occasions.
Braided Thread Necklace
Braided thread necklace by Great Indian Attire. See it here.
Compared to silk threads that are rolled onto base materials to create silk beads, braided thread necklaces traditionally come with pendants or beads held by braided cords. Sometimes, cords made from satin, rayon, or nylon is used since these have smooth, shiny textures that will look great with precious metals, gemstones, and oxidized silver pendants.
Usually, the rattail satin cord is used when creating thread necklaces with “kumihimo” braiding and Chinese knotting designs. There are also thread necklaces made of yarn—wool, acrylic, cotton—that gives an earthy feel to the jewelry piece. Braided yarn is commonly used to complement the rustic feel of terracotta and oxidized silver pendants.
String Thread Necklace
Feldspar macramé necklace by Lucent Lioness Arts. See it here.
If you want an earthy, tribal look, think of a string thread necklace made from cotton tassel cord or even hemp. Home decorations and scrapbooking might be the first things you’ll think of when it comes to hemp cords, but they are great for jewelry making too. Hemp has a rustic feel in its texture, making it perfect for quartz crystal, wooden bead, sea glass bead, ceramic, terracotta, and feldspar rock pendants. Terracotta pendants can be glazed or unglazed, which adds a rustic appeal to thread necklaces.
Quilled Paper Thread Necklace
Quilled paper necklace by Quilly Paper Design. See it here.
Another art form that found its way to jewelry making is paper filigree and are stunning when paired with thread necklaces. These thread necklaces feature quilled paper pendants, which are made by rolling strips of paper, gluing them to desired decorative shapes, and glazing them to preserve its shape. This technique can even make beads out of paper, making thread necklaces more of an art and craft type of jewelry.
Crochet necklace by Crafts by Sigita. See it here.
These thread necklaces have beads and ornaments crocheted and sealed with small hooks. The necklace design can be simple or elaborate depending on the crocheting pattern and stitches. Sometimes, the yarn is wrapped to base material to take a particular shape and incorporated into the necklace design.
Stylish Ways to Wear a Thread Necklace
If you’re thinking about incorporating a thread necklace into your look, here’s how to do it right.
Opt for a thread necklace that reflects your personal style.
Thread bib necklace by Milo Necklaces. See it here.
Handmade jewelry like a thread necklace makes a stunning first impression, making it the perfect accessory to express yourself. If it’s your first time wearing an unconventional jewelry style, start with your traditional color palette and distinctive style whether it’s modern, classic, vintage or bohemian.
A woman with a trendy style will find colorful silk thread and quilled paper necklaces stylish. If you have a minimalist style, think of crochet necklaces in neutral colors, architectural designs, and geometric shapes that will add some flair to your look. After all, your choice of jewelry whether it’s a color, material, overall style, or small detail reveals a lot about you.
Stick to a theme or style when creating a fashion-forward look.
Rope necklace by Twigs and Figs Au. See it here.
There are endless style options when it comes to thread necklaces, so what kind of statement would you like to make? To avoid a mismatched look, define your theme whether it’s romantic, classic, traditional, vintage, or modern—and stick with it from your outfits to accessories.
Add interest to your basic outfit with a thread necklace.
Thread necklace by Mikelina Art. See it here.
If you’re wearing something plain and basic, add some pops of colors with a colorful crochet necklace. The more casual your outfit is, the more you can go for eccentric jewelry. Think of crochet thread necklaces with wooden beads and ceramics that will give a rustic, earthy spin to your look. However, don’t overpower your outfit by wearing multiple statement pieces at once.
Make the necklace the highlight of your outfit.
Freshwater pearl with silk thread necklace. See it here.
Good statement jewelry toes the fine line between stylish and absurd, so keep in mind that less is more. If you’re wearing a dress with intricate details, better skip wearing a thread necklace with an eye-catching design. The same rule applies to outfits with bold colors and loud prints, as too many attention-grabbing details will look over-the-top. Always think of your clothes as the backdrop of your jewelry, so you’ll get a balanced look.
Wear the right necklace for the right outfit and occasion.
Remember, your outfit matters when picking a thread necklace, as you can make or break your overall look. As a rule of thumb, elaborate necklaces are best with simple outfits, and simpler necklaces with elaborate outfits. If you want to keep a monochromatic look, just add texture with your necklace, but stick to your color scheme. On the other hand, bold colored thread necklaces will look great with neutral outfits.
While thread necklaces with sea glass beads, shells, tribal motifs, terracotta pendants, wooden ornaments, and ceramic embellishments are just perfect for music festivals and beach parties, they are not the best option for cocktail parties and formal dinners. To get a sophisticated look, choose thread necklaces made from precious metals and gemstones in an elegant style. If you’re styling a black dress for a formal party, an oriental style necklace in gold and black trims might be perfect.
Make an artsy statement with a thread necklace.
Woven pendants by Weave Tassy Co. See them here.
One great thing about handmade jewelry is its uniqueness—no two pieces are exactly identical. Artistic thread necklaces with terracotta pendants, earthy beads, and quilled paper motifs are perfect with casual outfits. The beauty of alternative jewelry is that you can wear it with your simplest outfit yet make a fashion statement.
Wear thread necklaces with attitude and confidence.
Pastel macramé thread necklace by Lucky Rat Jewellery. See it here.
Unconventional jewelry is designed to stand out, so wear your necklace loud and proud. The key is to choose a thread necklace style you’re comfortable wearing, so you’ll look stylish in it. If you want to show off your thread necklace, make it the starting point when choosing your outfit. Just play with different accessories and outfit combinations until you discover what works for you.
Our jewelry choices are not limited to precious metals and gemstones. With these thread necklaces you’ll be able to make a fashion-forward statement in a unique and exotic way.