Tips for beginners: Choosing beading wireNovember 26th, 2009 by Ava Arie
Beading wire (a.k.a. nylon coated standless steel wire) has become the standard in the beading world. Depending on the nature of your project, you can choose from a selection of bead stringing wire which varies in weight, number of strands, colours and diameter. A few common beading wire names you’ll see in the store are Beadalon, Accuflex, and Soft Flex.
Choosing your wire
Flexibility and drape of a wire is determined by the number of strands it is made from, which can range from 7 to 49 strands. For a wire that is very flexible and has more drape, look for a wire that is made of a greater number of strands. A wire made from less strands is best if you’re looking for wire that will keep its shape.
Colour of the wire can help make a ‘finished look’ especially if much of the wire is exposed in your design. There is a range of colours you can choose from, including gold and sterling silver plated.
Strength and size are affected by the wire diameter. Needless to say, the larger the diameter gives greater size and strength.
*Note: Choosing the correct size is very important in extending the life of your projects. Although the wire is very strong and will last much longer than many other stringing materials, they will eventually break. The most common cause of breakage is the slight friction between the beads and wire over time.
For the longest lasting wire, choose a the wire with the largest diameter that will fit through the beads with the smallest hole size in your design. You can also avoid beads that have a sharper edge around the hole, and avoid stringing beads too tight.
~ Ava Arie