Cord Ends

ending leather cords the right way

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What are Cord Ends?

Cord ends are also known as Thong Ends, Coil Ends, End-Coils, or Crimp Coil ends. Here we use these terms synonymously and interchangeably.

Coil Ends are generally used with leather cords.


To put a clasp on leather, you will generally need three pieces of items:

  • two coil ends
  • and a hook, latch, lobster, or other clasp.

cord ends or coil ends How to use Cord Ends
Putting a coil end on a piece of leather requires a little practice, but it is not too hard.

  1. put a little glue on the end of the piece of leather (anything except super glue).

    Some good and recommended all-purpose glue/adhesive for jewelry-making is E6000 or Helmar's 450 adhesive

    Leather has natural oils and can be a bit oily.  So it could may slip out of the coil end without the help of some glue.

  2. put the leather into the coil end.
    Twist the cord slightly as you push it all the way into the coil end. The ease of this step usually varies becuase cord widths & textures can vary.

  3. Place the coil end inbetween the jaws of an ordinary pair of flat-jawed pliers; using the broader end of the pliers (i.e. away from the tip of the pliers & nearer the joint of the plier). Crimp down the first part of the coil end (the end away from the coil-end-ring).
    Some people crimp down the first half of the coil end, others crimp down the 1st or first few coils (the end away from the coil-end ring)..

    Do not crimp down so hard that you cut the leather.
    To test the secureness of the crimp, hold the coil with one hand and pull on the leather cord with the other.
    The cord should expand a little bit which indicates that the coil end is securely crimped.
    However if the leather starts to pull out, you need to crimp down again a bit harder.
  4. Do the same for the other end of the leather cord.

  5. Note that there is a ring at the end of each coil end. You may want to attach a clasp to one of these rings at one end of your coil-ended leather cord. At the other end of your cord, you can choose to leave the coil end as is so that you use the ring of the coil end itself, or attach a jump/split ring to the coil-end-ring at the other end.
Thickness of leather to size of cord end
For 2mm cord, it's better to use the 1-2mm, rather than the 3-4mm cord end. If the cord is too large for the opening of the coil end, shave part of it down with a razor blade.

using thin cord with a cord endIf you have too thin a leather in comparision to the coil end you want to use, you can fold over the end of the leather cord before inserting it into the coil end.
At the end of the coil is a ring. Ideally, you want to attach a clasp to one side, and either use the ring on the other side as is, or attach a jump or split ring to it. The Lanyard Clasp is great because you can slide it right onto the coil-ring. With other clasps, you will probably need a jump or split ring to connect the coil-ring to the clasp. The concern here is that the coil-ring is somewhat brittle. If you move the end of the ring too far, in order to open the ring up so you can slide a clasp onto the wire, sometimes this coil-ring will break. Be careful.

NOTE: For 2mm cord, it's better to use the 1-2mm coil end, rather than the 3-4mm coil end. If the cord is too large for the opening, shave part of it down with a razor blade.

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