Stranded Wire

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What characteristics should I look for in stranded beading wire?

Stranded Wire

Jewelry beading supply stores offer a large range of miniature wires created especially for bead stringing. You want beading wires that are soft, supple and strong so that they can be knotted like thread. Metal beading wires are typically strong, so they can also be fastened with metal crimps. Stranded wire products for beading are made from very tiny strands of stainless steel (strong) and then are coated with clear or colored nylon (smooth, vertatile colors for designs). To select the right wire, consider how flexible you want the stringing cable to be. A seven strand product is fine for most applications and is reasonably flexible. If you are using very light weight beads or need a very "drapey" look, choose a product with more strands (e.g. 19 strands or 49 strands). You also need to select diameter of the beading cable. Most gemstone beads or glass beads work well with .015 inch diameter cable. Tiny bead or pearls requirer thinner cable, such as .012 inch or .010 inch sizes. Heavy beads (10mm and larger) need heavier cable - so used .018 inch or larger sizes. Since most stranded cable is fastened at the end with crimps, you will be doubling the wire at the ends. Remeber, you need to be able to fit the wire through the inside of the beads twice at each end of the piece of jewelry.



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