If you a jewelry designer, you know you are short changing yourself if you do not know how to wire wrap. Though it’s easy to learn how to wire wrap, it takes some experience to pick the right wire and tools.
Factors to consider when choosing your wire are:
Once you have decided on the design of your favorite project, the above criteria will determine which wire you should use.
Wire comes in different material: sterling silver, silver filled, 14Kt. Gold, 14Kt. Gold-filled, Rose Gold-filled, and German Style Wire by Beadalon. If you are making jewelry where the metal used is Sterling it’s best to go with Sterling Silver wire. If the main components are Gold-Filled, then you want Gold-Filled wire. If you are mainly dealing with Gemstone beads and need a silver tone wire, but don’t want the plating to wear off, its best to use Silver-Filled wire, which is substantially cheaper than Sterling Silver but still holds pretty good. For jewelry that is gold tone it’s still best to use Gold-Filled wire because it will hold its color very well. The material you use will determine the cost of the jewelry since gold wire and silver wire are not cheap.
If you are a beginner we suggest you use German Style Wire, which is inexpensive. Since it takes a while to get the hang of wire wrapping there might be wastage as you perfect the technique. German Style Wire comes in many finishes.
The rule is the thicker the wire, the lower the gauge. The thickness of the wire comes into play when we weigh in the weight of the other materials (no pun intended). If the beads, chain or other components are heavy, use the thickest (lowest gauge) wire so that it can support the weight. The size of the loop or hole of the bead is important too. The wire should freely move through the wire or hole to give the jewelry fluidity.
Wire also comes as soft or half hard. If the wire is thick you want to use soft wire, as it’s easier to bend. For thinner wire, use half hard as it holds its shape better.
Wire comes round, half round and square. Depending on its application choose the right shape. Round wire is the most versatile and popular wire.
The same parameters will hold true for head pins and eye pins.
Basic tools for all wire wrapping are:
Round Nose Pliers
Chain nose PliersFlush cutter