July 30, 2020

K.O. Beading Thread Review

I previously gave a quick overview of what factors help determine the best thread for beading. Thanks to feedback from other beaders, I realized there are quite a few bead threads I've never tried or haven't examined in enough detail yet. One of those is K.O. thread.

K.O. Thread Review

K.O. thread is a nylon thread that is made in Japan. In various product descriptions, I've read that it is color fast, does not stretch, is strong, holds knots well, is pre-waxed and does not fray.  

So, the big question, is it really all of that and how does it compare to my standard go to thread, Nymo on the cone, size D?

I purchased .15mm diameter, 4 lb. test in Natural. The color is beautiful!  

It has a slight sheen, it's perfectly neutral, not at all yellow like my cone of Nymo. It is a sand color.  It's thinner than the Nymo I have, probably closer to a size B. It was easy to thread on a size 12 needle.

K.O. Beading Thread Review

So far, so good.

The project I chose to make were some fringe earrings. I think that's one of the biggest tests for nylon thread is how well it moves in fringe.

I decided on some long loop fringe through a center bead (or maybe these are really tassels??).  The K.O. thread was super easy to work with, never tangled, didn't need any waxing. 


I pre-stretched it, but didn't sense any give to the thread.  

It did not fray very much at all where my needle was - something that always happens when I use Nymo.  It just separated a little bit.

K.O. Beading Thread Review

And the loop fringe is super soft. Maybe a little too soft... I guess I would only know by making another pair, but the center of the loop may droop just a tad too much.  It could also be my thread tension.  

By the way, it makes me a little bummed that the light really shows these cat beads looking so sad and Zombie-like. In person, when you're wearing them you don't see that much detail and they just look like, well, cats.

Beaded Cat Head Loop Fringe Earrings

I made one other earring as a side by side comparison - one using Nymo and one using K.O.  This time, I used even count peyote stitch.  Nymo on the left, K.O. on the right below.

Daisy Flower peyote Nymo vs. K.O. thread


I had trouble keeping tension on the earring I made with Nymo. It just seemed like it got loose at the end of every row and I'd have to keep pulling it tight.  I didn't have the same problem with the K.O. at all. So, that's the good part.

The bad part is it's just too floppy and soft. Again, probably exactly what I want for fringe, but I'm not sure about anything else. It could be the diameter that makes it softer - but I really just think it's the thread. And wouldn't you know, I ran out of thread making the earring.  So silly for me to cut it that close.  

Beginning beaders (or any beaders for that matter) - DON'T DO THAT!  Thread costs probably like 25 cents per yard and I wasted an hour to try and save 5 cents of thread.  Just have extra.  (I do this more than I care to admit!)

Now for some more information, or possibly, disinformation. While researching K.O. thread, I read things like: 

- It's identical to One-G thread by Toho.  

I'm sitting with both in front of me, and I just don't think that's true. The One-G is 300 dtex, the K.O. is 330. And the One-G seems to have body and oomph that's missing from the K.O.  But, they are both from Japan (so there's that similarity). And they're very pretty colors.

- K.O. thread was made by master Japanese beader Nozue Sonoka.  

Well, that might be true, but then why did she also make her own thread Nozue Sonoka - also known as SoNo?  So, I'm not sure what to think of this either. I'm guessing it was confusion, but I'm honestly too lazy to try and verify it. Let me know in the comments if you know...

- K.O. thread is easy to thread onto a needle and does not fray.

100% agree with this.

So, yeah, that's it. I really love the color, it's easy to use but the lack of body leaves me (and my beadwork) a little limp. I'll definitely try it in some brick stitch earrings with fringe - and maybe for a beaded rope, because sometimes they end up a little stiff - but it definitely doesn't have enough body for peyote and probably not for brick stitch either.

Let me know if you agree, disagree, know if it's really the same as One-G or was developed by the same person who made SoNo in the comments.

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7 comments:

  1. Thanks for the review, gives me plenty to think about.

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  2. Thank you, Lisa! Personally, I love KO thread. It's compared to a size B or Tex 35. I have found it works great for brick stitch fringe earrings. I use Fire Line for the top portion and KO for the fringe. I think KO is better than One-G, as I have had One-G break on several occasions and gave most of it away. After using KO, I also gave away all of my Nymo.

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    1. Thank you for the feedback. I love, love, love the color so much more than my Nymo cone. I'm going to try a few more projects.

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    2. The apricot if beautiful, too and goes with a lot. Enjoy! Love your writings.

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  3. I wrote a reply to your email, but to sum it up, living in Japan, I've used the (One-G) and Nymo, but KO works best for me, seems to be the most durable and long-lasting (as well as widely available). I'm not sure who made it, never really researched that bit. Once in awhile I go to One-G if a shade I need isn't in KO, but 90% of the time I use the KO.

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    1. The K.O. definitely seems strong and durable. What stitch/types of projects do you make most? I'm going to try some other things this weekend with it and see how they turn out. I'll definitely try some brick stitch fringe earrings,

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