How to Care for Your Mumbles & Things Bracelet
I love the convenience of elastic stretch bracelets—up until that seemingly inevitable moment when the elastic snaps and the beads scatter across the floor in all directions.
You can prolong the life of your Mumbles & Things elastic bracelets by making a few simple changes in how you wear them. Here are seven common mistakes people make when buying and wearing elastic bracelets.
1. You Are Not Putting It on Properly
Many people stretch on one end of the bracelet, forming a triangle shape in order to stretch the entire bracelet around their hand. This is one of the worst things to do with your lovely bracelet because it stresses the elastic and, eventually, this strain will cause it to snap. When putting on your bracelet, roll the beads over your hand and wrist. This keeps the elastic from over-stretching and helps your bracelet to last longer.
2. Your Are Wearing Your Stretch Bracelet All the Time
It can be tempting to wear your beautiful new bracelet and feel the energy all day everyday, but if you never take your bracelet off you risk exposing it to chemicals that break down elastic. You shampoo and soap in the shower, hair spray, perfume, body lotions, and sunscreen all break down and weaken elastic over time. Weak elastic is more likely to snap. When you take a shower, wash your hands, or apply lotion, be sure you remove your bracelet first. It’s also not ideal to wear them while swimming in the pool or ocean.
3. Your Elastic Bracelet Was Made With Crimp Beads
Many elastic bracelet break because of the way they are made. Crimp beads are made of metals, and as the metal rubs the elastic it wears it down to the point of breaking. Rest assured that Mumbles & Things does not make bracelets with crimp beads so there is no need to worry about this with your purchase. However, if you are looking for bracelets elsewhere and you see a flattened crimp bead or crimp bead cover, you might want to pass.
4. The Elastic Was Not Pre-Stretched
It may seem strange, but before making your bracelet, someone should have given a good tug on the elastic to stretch it out a little. When the elastic is pre-stretched, as all Mumbles & Things bracelets are, it will snap back to the same size without losing any of it’s elasticity. When shopping for bracelets look for beads that sit tightly against each other: this keeps a slight tension in the elastic (and the knot) so that it doesn’t become loose during normal wear.
You can tell when a bracelet hasn’t been pre-stretched because the beads are a little loose, or the bracelet stretches the first time you put it on. If this happens, there isn’t enough tension on the knot to keep it tied and the bracelet will break.
5. The Knot Is Exposed Instead of Concealed
It’s not always possible to hide the knot inside a bead, but a well made bracelet will show no signs of how it was tied. If you can’t find the knot, this is a good indication that your bracelet will last.
At Mumbles & Things, I use elastic safe glue and slide the knot inside of a bead. This not only protects the knot from the chemical breakdown mention above, it keeps the knot securely inside a bead where it isn’t exposed to as much stress. This makes it less likely to fail.
6. Your Elastic Bracelet Gets Caught on Something
Things happen and this mistake is hard to prevent. The best way to protect your bracelet from getting caught on something and breaking is to wear it on your non-dominant hand. If you are right-handed, wear it on your left and vice versa. You are much less likely to get your bracelet caught on something if it’s on the hand you use less frequently.
Additionally, avoid wearing your bracelet during high action activity. Take off your bracelet before doing yardwork, exercising, cleaning, etc.
7. Your Elastic Bracelet Is Made With Floss Elastic
All jewelry makers have their favorite types of elastic cord and it’s not uncommon to see commercially made bracelets with floss elastic—especially since it is easier and quicker to use.
This type of thread will eventually fray, with individual strands breaking free over time until there is a complete failure. It doesn’t mean you should avoid these bracelets entirely, just make sure you're aware when the bracelet uses floss and look for signs of wear and tear.
At Mumbles & Things, I use strong elastic cord that is made for use with gemstones and heavier beads. Avoid buying gemstone bracelets made with gossamer floss because the sharp edges and rubbing are likely to limit the lifespan of the bracelet.
Simple Changes Will Make the Difference!
A few simple changes in the way you select and wear your elastic stretch bracelets will go a long way towards making them last. Many people avoid elastic bracelets, but there's no reason to if you know what to look for when you buy them and how to monitor them for wear and tear.