Wire is commonly used in beading projects. Like thread or string, wire can add form or structure to beaded items such as ornaments and jewelry, The flexibility of beading wire allows it to be bent into different shapes and designs.
The many types of beading wire available today vary in
durability, composition, and diameter. Choosing the right type of wire for a beadwork project primarily depends on the project's design. The beading wire's composition or material can determine if it's the right fit for a beading project.
Each type of metal used for beading wire has a unique characteristic that is best for a specific type of beadwork. Learning about the different types of beading wire can give you an edge in creating beaded items.
Metals used in beading wire
There are five metals commonly used to create wire for beading. Sterling and fine silver, gold, copper, and gold-filled metal are some of the metals most popularly used for making beading wire. Here's some useful information about these metals for wire beading.
1. Silver has a shiny appearance that some beading enthusiasts consider best for general beading and jewelry making. There are two types of silver used in wire-making: sterling and fine silver. Sterling silver is made from ninety-two percent silver. Because of its composition, sterling silver tends to be more durable than fine silver.
Fine silver, on the other hand, is made from 99.9 percent silver. Although fine silver is not easily tarnished, its soft and flexible characteristics makes it unideal for heavier beads. However, one advantage of using fine silver wire is that this type of silver wire does not change in color when exposed to high temperatures. This makes fine silver beading wire ideal for beading projects involving heated lamp work.
2. Gold is the most valuable metal used for beading wire. Gold's purity is measured in karats; twenty-four karat gold is considered to be almost purely gold in composition. Gold beading wire is usually expensive, but it is available in many craft shops and bead shops.
3. Gold-filled wire is similar to gold beading wire. Although gold-filled wire is not made from pure gold, gold-filled wire offers many benefits. Aside from being durable and more affordable than gold wire, gold-filled wire does not tarnish easily. It also lasts longer than gold-plated wire.
4. Copper is the metal used for one of the most popular types of beading wire today. Copper wire is considered to be best for beading beginners because of the wire's sturdy and damage-resistant features. Copper wire can also be plated with solver or brass to enhance its appearance.
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