If you are into bead stringing, you probably already know how bad string can ruin any project. Whether you’re creating simple bracelets or chokers for your personal use or creating more complex designs for sale, you need flexible wire or strong beading wire to make those projects successful. Today’s blog will center on everything you need to know about choosing the right wire for all types of beading projects.
Modern beading wires are coated with material like nylon to make the wires suppler and easier to on the hands. The smoothness of the outer layer is also perfect for making jewelry. Some beading wires are also tinted to match the color palette or aesthetic you are going for when making your beads projects. Stringing with the right, flexible wires can make your projects more rewarding and easier to finish, too.
In the beginning, it can be overwhelming to some because it’s not easy to shop for wires with so many choices. The composition of beading wires also varies, as well as the make and colors. Fortunately for beginners, by simply reviewing the basics of beading wires, you can make informed decisions while shopping. Additionally, you will be able to get all the beading wires you need for different kinds of beading projects.
How to Choose the Right Wire for Your Beading Project?
Let’s talk about the diameter of beading wires. Technically speaking, you can be more intuitive when selecting the diameter or thickness of the wire. Just take a good look at the types of beads that you will be using. You can’t use wires that are too thick because they won’t fit the smaller beads.
If the wire diameter is too small, it won’t hold the heavier beads in the design.
So what we are really after is striking a balance between durability and the thickness of the wire. Wires with larger diameters are more suitable for multi-string projects that require heavier beads. On the other hand, smaller diameter wires are great for projects that make use of small beads or lighter glass beads.
Also, the thinner the wire, the easier it would be to pass the wire through the bead. We are sure that this is an exciting period for all of you who are just starting with beading projects. We recommend trying out different types of wires and diameters to get a good feel as to how the wire diameter affects the performance of the wire itself.
Next on the list is the strand number of strand volume. Essentially, each wire is comprised of numerous individuals strands. What you are holding is essentially a cable in form; it’s just not as heavy as other types of cable that you usually see. The individual strands are woven together to create a flexible and durable wire for bead construction projects. The general rule about the strand count is the lower the number of individual woven strands and the wire’s stiffer. The finer and more numerous the strands, the more flexible the cable or wire gets.
We want to re-emphasize that the more flexible your beading wire, the better your results will get. Flexible wire also has a higher quality feel that we’re sure you will appreciate. No one likes wearing stiff jewelry. We want jewelry to be super durable and at the same time have that flexible and soft feel, which is luxurious, to be honest.
The second reason why the flexible wire is superior in beadwork is we would also like to avoid the risk of kinking. Kinking causes the wire to bend at certain points that disfigures the jewelry. When you have kinks involved, you end up with undesirable angles. Angles have no place in jewelry unless the angles are part of the actual design.
The strength of a beading wire is determined by the pound test or the breaking test. Read the labels of the wires you are buying, and you will see how many pounds of weight the wire can tolerate before it reaches its breaking point. However, please take note that the breaking point is often computed, so it’s theoretical at best. This means that while the breaking point has been mathematically determined, other factors can reduce the breaking point to a lower degree. Laboratory tests are carried out on metals to determine the breaking point.
Your best bet for beading wire is the brands that feature higher strength numbers. The stronger your wire, the safer your bracelets and necklaces would be. However, keep in mind that when you start wearing jewelry, wear and tear will enter the picture, and the regular use of jewelry can weaken the constitution of any wire, to be honest.
Several factors can cause even the strongest jewelry wire to snap. The most common problem are beads with sharp edges. Let’s say you bought a thick wire with multiple strands. However, you also purchased super heavy beads that have sharp accents on their edges. The sharp accents are certainly pretty. However, as the wire comes into contact with the edges of these sharp accents, the wire is essentially pounded by the movement, and eventually, the wire weakens at different points. The second most common cause of wire breaks is excessive movement.
It’s not the wearer’s fault that the wire breaks because of movement. However, the more you move, the higher the likelihood of the wire snapping.
Simple way to DIY a wire wrapped necklace (from TheSorryGirls @Youtube)
When purchasing beading wire, purchase several types of wires with different strengths and strand counts. Before deciding on which wire to use, be sure to feel the wire and test the strength manually. If the wire seems too soft and you have a lot of weight going on in the design, we recommend using a higher diameter and strength rating. Find our different gauge of wire for your wire wrapped project.
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