Beading Wire

Written by Sarah Provost
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The type of wire you will use for beading projects depends entirely on what you want to do. You would need a different wire to make a bracelet, for instance, than you would if you were going to do a French beaded flower. There are many varieties of beading wire available, including memory wire, single strand and cable.

Types of Beading Wire

Memory Wire

Memory wire is used to make necklaces, bracelets, anklets, rings and some craft items such as wine glass charms. It is an annealed (hardened) steel wire formed like a spring. You cut off as many loops as you want strands in the finished piece, string your beads on it, and form a loop at each end or finish with a cap bead. The wire can be pulled open to put the piece on, and will then return to its original shape.

Single strand wire can be steel, silver, gold or copper. It is measured by gauge: the higher the number, the thinner the wire. Single strand wire comes in many sizes and can be used for almost any type of beading project. It comes in a wide variety of colors as well, so you can match your wire to your beads for more depth of color. Single strand wire may also be coated with clear nylon or, for flower making, with green cotton fabric.

Cable wire is made of anywhere from 7 to 49 strands of very thin wire twisted together for extra strength and flexibility. C-Flex is one of the most popular brands of cable wire, made with 49 strands and coated with clear nylon. It comes in extra-thin, thin, and regular diameters, which have a breaking strength of 16, 21 and 36 pounds, respectively.


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