It’s time once again for another Clasp Wars post! I ran another vote on the Wescott Jewelry Facebook Page for what clasp you guys wanted to talk about next and though it was close, the good ole slide clasp just barely eked out a win!
So, first off! One of the most advantageous things about slide clasps is that they are incredibly slim. This is great when you don’t want to add a lot of length to your project. It’s also great if your piece is flat and you don’t want your clasp to disturb the low profile.
Slide clasps come in lots of different lengths. I usually use the two or three loop variety, but I’ve seen ones as long as nine loops. Regardless of how wide your bracelet is, you should be able to find a corresponding slide clasp with enough loops for a secure connection.
Slide clasps are also available in a variety of color and metal finishes. My favorites are the matte antique-y ones, like the matte silver below, but they coming in bright finishes as well. You can also get sterling silver, if that’s your jam.
I have found in the past that connecting them was a bit annoying. They were always perpendicular to how I was stitching, so I had to use jump rings to attach them or do some weird stitching to get bulky loops where I wanted them. But now they make slide loops with vertical loops! I don’t have any photos of jewelry made with them, since I just found out about them recently – but I am very excited to play with them in the future!
You can also get them in a plain bar style, which is perfect for peyote stitch! I’ve used something like these once or twice, but I don’t do plain peyote stitch often enough to keep a huge supply on hand.
I’ve also found that slide clasps are a good blend of secure and easy to use. Some of them are a bit magnetic, but the main mechanism to keep them closed is with a little tension doo-hickey in the center. Since the slide goes vertically and most sudden tugs on the bracelet will be horizontal, it tends to hold up well against stress and doesn’t break easily.
Honestly, there aren’t a lot of disadvantages to this type of clasp, but one thing I don’t love about them is that they’re a little plain looking. Adding pretty twisted jump rings can help and some times the simplicity of the clasp works better with the design, but I’ll admit, the look isn’t my favorite.
Another to note is that sometimes a customer won’t know how to use a slide clasp if they haven’t seen one before – it’s not always super intuitive that they slide out vertically. This is not at all a problem if you’re selling your jewelry in person, since you can just show them the magic, but if you sell online, it can be a little tricky to describe the motion through text.
When Do I Use Them?
I only use slide clasps on bracelets. They might work on multi-strand chokers, but I rarely make multi-strand necklaces and find them a little fussy to work with behind one’s neck. I use them on bracelets where I need the clasp to add as little length as possible, where the design calls for a slim, simple finish, or I’m making something particularly wide or flat.
I’ll admit, I used to use slide clasps more before I started keeping a stash of box clasps on hand. Nowadays, I don’t find myself as drawn to the simple, utilitarian style. But I have used them lots in the past and I consider them a useful staple in my stash.
So, do you have anything to chime in? Comment below if you have any thoughts about slide clasps! Do you like them? Use them a bunch or never tried one out? I wanna know!
Stay tuned for more Clasp Wars and other posts – and check out my Facebook page for when I post my next poll on what type of clasp to examine next!