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Thursday, 4 November 2010

Which Strands to Use for Beaded Jewelry Making

Author:   Jackie Nel

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Wire
There are different kinds of wire for different purposes. The wires varies from thin and flexible to thicker with less bend-ability. Wire is measured by gauge and designated by a number - the higher the gauge, the thinner the wire. All wire should be cut with wire cutters.
Bead Stringing Wire
When you string beads you want it to be unbreakable and durable. It is then best to string on wire instead of elastic, thread or cord. Beaded jewelry making wire is made of woven strands of stainless steel wire that are coated in nylon.
It is waterproof, flexible and hypoallergenic and even come in colours to coordinate with colored beads. Wire comes in different diameters, the thicker the wire, the better the resistance to breaking. Larger diameter wire is designed for items that must withstand a lot of movement and bumping.
A medium diameter will work for almost anything and a small diameter wire for light weighted beads eg. pearls or seed beads.
Sterling Silver/Metal Plated Wire
Sterling silver can be hard or soft. For a less expensive option, you get silver, gold or copper plated wire but it gives the same look.
Elastic Cord
Stretch elastic cord can also be used for stringing. The thickest diameter that will work with the beads will then be used. It's great for adjustable jewelery and kids' jewelery. It also comes in different diameters, colours or clear elastic.
Beading Thread
Beaded jewelry making thread is used for bead stitching and making fringe. Some threads are waxed to keep them from tangling while it's used.
Other Types of Cord
Waxed linen cord works well for stringing beads and it knots well. Leather cord or waxed cotton cord, similar to leather can be used to string pendants. This man made type is more regular in size and colour than the leather cord.

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